By DAN KARELL
It’s taken longer than expected, but the New York Cosmos could finally see their likely first-choice forward back in action on Saturday evening at home against the Carolina RailHawks.
Italian veteran Alessandro Noselli has overcome his hamstring injury and took part in full practice with the team all week without showing any signs of aggravating the injury. The news is positive for Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese, who also has Jamal Johnson making a sooner than expected comeback, running on the side without a knee brace.
“We’re having a good week,” Savarese told reporters after Cosmos training on Thursday. “Noselli is back, so potentially he could be available this weekend.
“Jamal is progressing amazingly, so soon he may be already training fully with the team, which is something that we didn’t expect. We have pretty much everybody healthy. We are getting to a point where we have almost everybody fit and healthy and that’s a good thing because that will create more competition.”
Noselli, who scored the game-winning-goal in the Cosmos season opener on August 3, hasn’t played since being forced off with the hamstring injury in the first half of the Cosmos match against the Atlanta Silverbacks on September 7. Johnson injured his knee on the team’s pre-season trip to England.
Here are some more notes from Cosmos practice this week:
GORSKIE’S ROOKIE SEASON OVER
After only eight games into his professional career, Hunter Gorskie’s rookie season with the Cosmos is over.
The 22-year-old Stanford graduate injured his knee in training two weeks ago and earlier this week underwent surgery to repair the undisclosed injury. Savarese confirmed though that the surgery would keep Gorskie out of the lineup for the final five games of the NASL Fall Season schedule.
“Gorskie had surgery, so he’s already recuperating,” Savarese said. “He’s out for the season, for next season we hope to have him 100 percent for the first match.”
The New Jersey native started everywhere across the backline in his first season of professional soccer, starting the season at centerback, then moving to left back, and even deputizing at right back. With Gorskie out, Ayoze will likely remain as the team’s starting left back.
REYNISH EXPECTS COSMOS TO PLAY ON SATURDAY “WITH A CHIP ON THEIR SHOULDERS”
When the Cosmos first played the Carolina RailHawks, it represented the team’s worst defeat of the season to that point and since then only defeat of the year.
Playing in the rain and wind of Cary, North Carolina, the Cosmos slumped to a 3-0 defeat, one that saw them finish the game with nine men. Since then, the Cosmos are unbeaten, including winners of their last four, and even though it was in August, according to Cosmos goalkeeper Kyle Reynish, the memory of that defeat is still fresh.
“Having (the RailHawks) celebrate like they did (after the match), I think if that can’t get you excited or amped for a game to give it back to them a little bit at your home field, I don’t know what does,” Reynish told SBI last Tuesday.
“I definitely think everyone should have a chip on their shoulder because that was a pretty tough game down there. We were doing well but to have things kind of go sideways as they did, we just couldn’t quite catch a break and everything that could go wrong seemed to go wrong.”
The game at Wake-Med Sporting Park marked the debut of Roversio and Danny Szetela playing alongside Marcos Senna in central midfield for the first time, two lineup changes that have worked wonders for the Cosmos since that fateful day.
OTHER NEWS AND NOTES
- The Cosmos have yet to play the exact same lineup in two consecutive weeks, with the team heading into their 11th week of play. This weekend is a possibility to see a repeat with none of last week’s starters missing for Saturday night’s match.
- Savarese confirmed that injured goalkeeper Chad Calderone has returned to full fitness and is available for selection.
- Savarese believes that since the RailHawks loss, the team has become fitter, gelled together better, and become more mature.
What do you think of these notes? Do you see Noselli starting on Saturday? Sad to hear about Gorskie’s injury? Do you agree with Reynish’s sentiments?
Share your thoughts below.