By DAN KARELL
For about a five minute period which included the New York Cosmos conceding to the ten-man San Antonio Scorpions last Saturday, there were a number of communication breakdowns in the backline.
Multiple times, the line was not all on the same page as Scorpions wingers and forwards were able to drift between defenders and into space, where Cosmos goalkeeper Kyle Reynish made two breakaway saves, though he couldn’t keep out Tomasz Zahorski’s wide open chance on goal.
Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese acknowledged this week that the team had spent time looking at their mistakes in a film session, and he was determined to work very hard to correct the errors in training.
“We had a video (session) this week to show those plays and why we got into those situations,” Savarese said to reporters after a light team training on Thursday. “I think it was a strong match for us but nevertheless they created chances, San Antonio had possibilities to score more goals, so we have to do a better job collectively to not allow teams to create those opportunities.”
One of the issues that may have caused communication errors was the inclusion for the first time in the starting lineup of Roversio, who doesn’t have the chemistry or speak the same first language as the rest of the regular backline, which includes Hunter Gorskie, captain Carlos Mendes, and Hunter Freeman. Roversio’s addition to the lineup will be something to keep an eye on going forward.
Here are some more notes from Cosmos training this week:
SAVARESE HAPPY WITH EARLY RETURNS ON ROVERSIO
Though he’s only started once and played the second half in another match, Roversio has already impressed not only his teammates but also the coaching staff.
Savarese revealed for the first time on Thursday how they acquired the Brazilian center back and how he’s quickly exceeded expectations in the locker room.
“He was sent by an agent,” Savarese said about Roversio. “I talked to this agent saying that I was looking for this type of player, and he said ‘what about this player?’ I saw the videos and I felt he was the right person for us, exactly what we were looking for, and we decided to contact him. We had a conversation and at the end he decided to come.
In addition, Savarese confirmed the rumors that Roversio had interest from multiple teams in Major League Soccer, and said that he was very glad to have him with the Cosmos because of his other possibilities in Europe, America, and even Brazil.
NO SET BACK FOUR AT THE MOMENT
We’re already four matches into the NASL season and Savarese has still not committed to a specific back four.
While Hunter Freeman and Carlos Mendes have started each match, Roversio’s inclusion has forced Hunter Gorskie out to the left back spot, moving Korey Veeder to the bench. In addition, midfielder Danny Szetela even played at right back for nearly 30 minutes of the scoreless draw in Tampa Bay.
When asked if the most recent back four was his preferred choice, Savarese chose to be coy on the topic, not revealing information, and perhaps keeping his team motivated to keep working hard in practice and fighting for their spots.
“Every single player that is on the roster is a competitor,” Savarese said. “They’re all good players and everybody can step in the field and do the job. Maybe the back four is one that you try not to change as much, but everybody can step in there and whoever looks best during the week is the one that is going to play in the back four.”
NEWS AND NOTES
- The team participated in a light training session on Thursday, with the field players engaging in 5v2 contests for the first half and a competitive soccer tennis tournament in the second half, one that saw Marcos Senna successfully hit a bicycle kick that went over the net, hit Hunter Gorskie in the face, and fall for a point.
- Savarese confirmed that both Joseph Nane and Sebastian Guenzatti were available for selection, and that it was a good problem to have with so many players available to play and not enough places.
- Cosmos forward Henry Lopez, who scored the game-winning goal last Saturday, was not called up for Guatemala’s friendly match on September 6 against Japan. Savarese said that he knows that the Guatemalan Football Federation is keeping a close eye on Lopez’s progress and Savarese wouldn’t be surprised to see him called up in the future.
What do you think of these notes? Do you see the Cosmos defense improving? Do you believe Roversio is as good as advertised? Do you think it’s a good idea to not name a set lineup week to week?
Share your thoughts below.