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Cosmos put together complete performance in rout of RailHawks

MarcosSennaNYCosmosHome1-CarolinaRailHawks (Getty)


HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — From the early minutes of the match, it was clear to see that the New York Cosmos were a different team than the one that fell 3-0 to the Carolina RailHawks in August.

Facing the only team to have defeated them this season, the Cosmos put in a complete performance on Saturday night, scoring three times in the second half en route to a 4-0 thrashing of the RailHawks in front of 5,409 fans at James Shuart Stadium. The win was the Cosmos’ fifth-straight, and extends their unbeaten run in the league to eight games.

“They performed exactly the way we asked them to perform,” Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said following the match. “Just pressuring, winning the ball, possessing the ball, making the runs, finding the goal early. Definitely I will say that so far this has been the most complete game that we’ve had this season. We (the coaching staff) are very proud of the players.”

For the first time all season, Savarese went with the same starting lineup in consecutive weeks, and the decision paid early dividends.

Diaz was played into space down the left wing and sent a low left-footed cross into the box. Szetela, making a late run, met the ball and toe-poked a shot home for the opening goal in the eighth minute of the match. It was Szetela’s first goal of the season and his first professional goal since October 18, 2008, when he was with Brescia in Serie B.

“It felt great,” Szetela told reporters following the game on scoring. “We always talk about making our runs from the midfield into the box. Once I saw the ball out wide I just started running. Diomar played a great ball across and I just took it first time and it went in the net.”

The Cosmos continued to create chances on goal, specifically on set pieces. Marcos Senna sent two on goal in the 16th minute that forced RailHawks goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald to make a couple of reflex saves. Fitzgerald also had to save a rebound shot from Carlos Mendes, who followed the flight of the shot on the first free kick.

For the rest of the half, the majority of the ball stayed in the middle third of the field, but after the halftime break, the home squad played with a renewed sense of energy.

“We just wanted to make sure that we put a lot of pressure on them, that way they don’t have the easy way to come out from the back,” Savarese said. “We knew that if we gave them space and they were able to put in long balls, they have good players up front, so we pressured right away from the beginning.”

Once again, it only took the Cosmos eight minutes in the second half to find their second goal of the night. Hunter Freeman came into the attacking third and sent a long throw-in towards goal. Paulo Mendes flicked on the header and Diaz arrived at the back post to fire the ball into the roof of the net for a two-goal advantage. Diaz’s goal put him at the top of the Cosmos goal scoring charts with five class finishes on the season.

Veteran forward Alessandro Noselli, making his first appearance on the field since September 7 due to a hamstring injury, earned his side a penalty on his first touch after entering the field in the 74th minute as a substitute.

Though he was forced to retake the penalty kick due to encroachment, Senna stepped to the spot in the 76th minute and calmly scored his fourth goal of the season into the top corner on the second attempt, after the first one was whistled back.

“I was very calm and I’m always waiting until the last minute to see if the goalkeeper moves, and where penalty shot goes depends on where he moves,” Senna revealed after the game. “The first penalty he went to one side and the second, he went to the other.”

Noselli added a goal of his own in the 90th minute with a blast just inside the near post that completed the rout to the delight of the home fans.

“I’m very happy because I didn’t play for one month and after one minute (on the field) I earned a penalty, and in the final (minute) I scored,” Noselli said. “It’s the perfect game for me.”

The win gives the Cosmos 24 points from 11 games and a seven point lead at the top of the NASL standings.

Here are the game highlights:


  1. The Cosmos have put together a wonderful experience for D2 soccer. It’s an authentic New York team. They deserve better attendance than what they are getting. Hofstra is holding them back somewhat, so hopefully their stadium comes through soon. Seats without seat backs unless you pay $95 per seat and if you’re coming from the NJ side you pay for tolls on the GWB and Throgs Neck so its pricey to watch a game and be comfortable. Can’t wait for them to get their own stadium. I wish they could buy out the Red Bulls, rebrand the team and move into RBA.

  2. Any team here in America that is willing to hire jenn Chang and all his baggage is not being run properly and is doomed to failure. And do they still have cantana running the show? Ridiculous…..

      • well, the e- chang is involved, and im sure you know about his Liverpool debacle. no accountability!!! spells big trouble. but I guess now with two other teams in nY, cosmos will have to do it the hard way. keep them in check that way.

      • No denying the Liverpool fiasco, but I’m guessing he learned his lesson. Hell, NYC FC hired the guy from Rutgers.

  3. Best thing for US Soccer is a strong 2nd division to support a strng 1st division.

    I can’t believe how many haters are out there.

    And, for the record, it wasn’t the Cosmos who bankrupted the old NASL. It was over-expansion into markets that didn’t care – like Tulsa.

    The Cosmos had their shortcomings, but to blame the league’s failure on one team is incorrect.

    As an aside, I attend both Red Bulls and Cosmos games and I can tell you that this Cosmos team would roll over DC, laughable Toronto and Chivas right now.

  4. Maybe it’s just be, but it seems SBI gives the Cosmos quite disproportionate coverage to their actual relevance in American soccer. Cosmos? Nobody really gives a crap, man.

    Maybe it’s time for this guy to find other soccer sites to read? Yes!

  5. the real truth is that the cosmos drove the old NASL into the ground. they over spent and created an untenable situation, and it bankrupted a whole league. keep a close eye on the cosmos. history proves they are a dangerous team for soccer in America.

    • Different time, different league, different ownership, completely different set of circumstances, economy and state of the game in this country. The reality is, for better or worse, on the positive and negative side of things, the ONLY thing that links this team to that one decades ago is a logo. I’m not a Cosmos fan, but I am rooting for them to succeed. They’ve certainly chosen a very difficult path in which to do so and I’m not sure what the end game/goal is? NASL will never morph into an upper division league nor will promotion relegation happen anytime in our lifetimes. Playing the majority of games against lesser competition in pretty humble stadiums/atmosphere, its pretty difficult to keep a team sharp and at a level to compete with top MLS or MX league teams. Anyone who has watched FA and US Open knows that upsets can and do happen and the occasional miracle run but…….. how do you become more than an upstart.. an elite team that attracts elite talent under these circumstances? I’m not saying it can’t be done, just that I have a hard time seeing it. Time will tell.

  6. Most print and accolades on SBI = New York Cosmos…..Perhaps a straight up New York edition of SBI should be set up to spare the vast majority of the rest of the country, who could give 2 s**ts about them, shouldn’t be inundated with their “news”?

    • Chill out. Ives cut his teeth with us in the Northeast, Jersey papers specifically. Just staying true to his roots, nothing more. Like it or not, the NY Cosmos plays a significant part in this country’s soccer history.

    • The funny thing is, by reading these articles and posting under them, you increase views and the likelihood of seeing more. Anyone in marketing or trying to run a successful website will tell you it is attention/readers/viewers they seek, whether it is positive or negative does not really much matter.

      • +1 million. He has stated on the podcast that the cosmos articles are some of the most viewed and commented on

    • lets also cut out coverage of toronto fc

      They stink and their fans are very tiresome

      They have new leadership every year and will never make the playoffs

      They are a black mark on MLS and, if relegation existed, they would be losinto to U-8 teams

  7. Don’t want to get ahead of things but the biggest danger for the NY Cosmos is to become too dominant, too quickly. If they end up making it to the Soccer Bowl and winning, what do they do for an encore? They’ve clearly go the most talent in the NASL after not even a full season of playing together. Will people care to see them blowing away the competition week after week, next season, if things keep going the way they have been?

    • Yes, the fans will enjoy seeing that. Especially NY fans who demand winning teams. The Cosmos will force other teams in the league to get better. It happened in the old NASL. They didn’t win every Soccer Bowl back then. Other team’s did beat them after getting better as a result of the Cosmos being so good. Thats what built the whole soccer movement in America! I can’t wait to see the Cosmos play and defeat the Red Bulls and that new ManCity spin-off squad. This puts a lot of pressure on NYC FC before it even starts. love it!

      • I hope it does force the other NASL teams to get better but, realistically, how much can they spend vs. the Cosmos?

      • This is also what led to the collapse of the NASL, the Cosmos overpaying and everyone trying to keep up..lead to the death of soccer in America until MLS saved it.

        Cosmos sent soccer in the US behind by 20 years

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