Cosmos Notes: Team learns lessons from defeat; Suspensions leave opening for Szetela; and more

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By DAN KARELL

In a season of first’s for many of the New York Cosmos players, they faced a whole new experience as a team last Saturday.

The club’s 3-0 defeat in the wind and rain at the Carolina RailHawks wasn’t nearly as abysmal as it seems on paper, but it did include two red cards to Joseph Nane and Sebastian Guenzatti. Cosmos captain Carlos Mendes admitted this week in training that the team lost their head at times throughout the course of the match and that the defeat “woke the team up” to some of the difficulties of playing in the North American Soccer League.

“We need to do a better job with handling the referees and game situations like that,” Mendes told SBI in a phone interview this week. “Those are little things between winning 2-0 or 3-0 and losing 2-0 or 3-0. Sometimes you need experience in games where you might not be getting the calls, or the game isn’t going your way, but we need to find a way to get through that.”

Even though in professional sports there are no moral victories, Mendes thought it’s best to improve on what they did well and work hard on fixing the little mistakes that he feels cost the team points last time around.

“You have to take the good and the bad,” Mendes said. “Even in the first half (on Saturday), we controlled a lot even though we were down 2-0, we created some opportunities, and we as a team we have to look at ourselves and look at the good things we did. You look at the things you should do better and the things you need to improve on but also there were some positives in the game and we need to continue rolling on that.”

Here are some more notes from this week’s New York Cosmos training sessions:

SZETELA COULD MAKE HIS FIRST START

Following two substitute appearances, each one longer than the next, Cosmos midfielder Danny Szetela could make his first start for the club in an official match on Saturday.

The suspensions to Nane and Guenzatti have opened up two places in the lineup, and after a couple of solid performances in the scoreless draw at the Tampa Bay Rowdies (22 minutes) and the defeat to the Carolina RailHawks (45 minutes), Szetela has an opportunity to enter the Cosmos lineup in central midfield as a starter.

“I’m feeling great so far, hopefully I’ll be able to get the start if the opportunity presents itself on Saturday,” Szetela told SBI in a phone interview. “If (Gio) calls for 90 minutes then it’s 90 minutes, if he calls for less then it’s less, I’ll go out there and give it my all and hopefully get three points.”

Mendes was confident that whether it’s Szetela or Dane Murphy potentially starting in midfield on Saturday, he believes that the team wouldn’t miss a beat in terms of the talent drop from starters to reserves.

“I’m personally a fan of his, I think he’s a great player, and if it’s him or Dane [Murphy] that play this weekend, I think they’ll both do a good job,” Mendes said. “We’ll see (about Saturday), but the way Danny’s been training and everything, he’s really a big plus for this team.”

SQUAD NEEDS TO PUNISH OPPONENTS, SAYS MENDES

For the second consecutive week, the Cosmos failed to finish any of their chances on goal.

According to NASL.com’s statistics, the Cosmos had 12 shots on goal against the Tampa Bay Rowdies and three shots on goal against the RailHawks, with forwards Alessandro Noselli, Peri Marosevic, and Guenzatti all clutching at their opportunities.

The lack of scoring has led Mendes to believe that the team needs to learn how to “punish” opponents more, like the RailHawks did to the the Cosmos six days ago.

“We felt like in Tampa we created plenty of chances, the movement was good, and we’re just not punishing teams,” Mendes said. “We gave up some goals last game but we also need to punish teams and try to jump on them and I think that will help get a result. That’s something we’ve been working hard this week.”

NEWS AND NOTES

  • Per a Cosmos spokesperson, the suspensions to Nane and Guenzatti are for one match only, and they’ll be eligible for selection in the Cosmos next match on September 1 at FC Edmonton.
  • In a quickly scheduled friendly match, the New York Cosmos reserves drew 1-1 with the Montreal Impact reserves. The game was a chance for some players who haven’t seen minutes to keep or gain some match fitness. Hagop Chirishian scored the lone goal for the Cosmos
  • Carlos Mendes mentioned that a lot of talk this week from the coaching staff has been to push the pace of the game more, and for the Cosmos to control the tempo.

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What do you make of these notes? Do you feel that the Cosmos needed the wake up call? Do you believe it’s good to experience losing at least once during a season? Do you see Szetela earning a start on Saturday?

Share your thoughts below.

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36 Responses to Cosmos Notes: Team learns lessons from defeat; Suspensions leave opening for Szetela; and more

  1. David M says:

    I’m wondering why one NASL team gets more press here than probably all others combined, and more than even some MLS teams?

    • suppetman says:

      If you dont like it go troll at bigsoccer.com

    • Matt C says:

      David, i have the same question. This whole suck up to the Cosmos is nausiating.

      PS. i suspect the reason for the add’l cvg of this team is b/c Ives is based (or used to be) in the NY/NJ area. So, maybe there’s a little bit of homering going on, which i doubt. It’s probably just be/c the Cosmos are in their backyard and it’s easy to get content quickly. Finally, i guess any news about the NASL is better than no news.

      Still, can’t stand the Cosmos.

    • Travis says:

      Ives is naturally going to determine content by the comment section, Cosmos articles get a ton of action on them so naturally he will put out more of them.

      • TomG says:

        And they have the biggest name recognition(of ANY US team), and they have the highest profile, and they have the most money, and they have the highest profile players, and they are the most controversial, and they have the most compelling story, and they play in the biggest market, and they are the newest team… I could go on and on, but come on, guys. Are you really telling me that none of these things occur to you before you write or are you just complaining for the sake of complaining? You can’t possibly be that clueless, can you? The Cosmos are the biggest story in the NASL, duh.

        • TomG says:

          I’m sorry for the sarcasm. We keep getting the same complaint over and over and the answer to me is so obvious. I got annoyed and flipped out.. Apologies.

        • Travis says:

          Not sure if this is sarcastic or not or what but I have spoken out multiple times against the massive Cosmos love, since the fans can be simply insufferable. I understand why Ives puts out content about them though.

          • Cosmosfan says:

            Answer is simple..Cosmos = hits. People love them or hate them..and as much as you hatethe constant coverage it drives more readers than the rest of NASL combined. Hell COmsos stories on here regularly get more hits than most MLS stories. Thats just life man…deal.

    • Josh D says:

      It’s built on demand. This blog is a business, and after a brief stint with FSC, I think this is Ives’ only full-time gig (based on observation, obviously not fact).

      While the Cosmos were a big hit when they first started, I think most people are calming down about the team. After all the hype, they’ve just become another team that wins some and loses some. Senna was a great buy, but he’s not highlight material at the moment, and all their veterans, has-beens, and foreigners aren’t lighting the league on fire.

      I would like to see more coverage of other teams, but until other writers step up to write those articles, we won’t see them. Not Ives’ fault.

    • JoeCool says:

      clicks and comments.

      Cosmos stories generate MLS-level interest.
      Ives gives the people want they want even if it’s not what you (or I) want.

    • RK says:

      Ives is from Jersey…this blog used to have a NY/NJ angle to it.

  2. NYCSPORTSPUNK says:

    No mention of the Cosmos Stadium announcement being Imminent.

    link to nysenate.gov

    • Josh D says:

      Great find! Impressed with their FO to move along this fast. Wish our (DC) FO was that quick…

      • NYCSPORTSPUNK says:

        Well if the soccer media in this country spent more time on Local soccer,Youth soccer and the Leagues we currently have instead of writing about everything across all ponds we as readers might be more educated as to what is going on in our own backyard.

        Example : Biggest American soccer story in the past month is Dempsey coming home so Grant(For selfish Reasons)Wahl and his editor at SI put Mario Balotelli on the cover. Traggic and the problem with journalists in the U.S. , they all want the big gig that allows them to be on Bein Sport, Fox Soccer,ESPN FC instead of concentrating on the American Game. @ many hands in the Cookie Jar.

        • Clyde Frog says:

          You know what happens if Wahl walks in the office of the SI bosses and tells them to make Dempsey to Sounders the SI cover story? He gets laughed out of the office. SI decided months ago that Baloteli was the kind of larger than life personality/celebrity that they would love to do an in depth feature on, possibly even cover story. Wahl himself has zero influence on SI covers, apart from the World Cup preview issue.

          And I don’t know where you get your news but the coverage of
          Dempsey’s return has been massive.

          • US soccer police is watching me says:

            Wahl gets laughed at anyway, have you seen him on foxs soccer lol !

            I don’t know where you get you idea that i don’t know that Dempseys return didn’t get covered, i am talking about a little love from SI for U.S. soccer instead of a story about a selfish,crybaby from Italy.

            Another policeman for the site i see, cool got 2 names now, wondering how many more there are. LOL

    • Brian says:

      Probably because it is not imminent.

      • NYCSPORTSPUNK says:

        please do tell ? Far as i know there is 1 person opposing it that matters in terms of votes. What do you have ?

        • Brian says:

          Has the vote gone through? Then it isn’t imminent.

          • NYCSPORTSPUNK says:

            I just told you 1 person is opposing it ! Let’s call it inside info.

            • Brian says:

              You are asking Ives to report on a fluff piece and “insider info.” When the vote passes I’m sure SBI will be on top of it.

              • NYCSPORTSPUNK says:

                OK Fan boy of the site, maybe i am asking for a little research, apparently it say’s a spokesperson for the Cosmos was talked to. So the question must have been raised, but yet there is not mention of it. I guess news travels slower in some parts. That info is 2 days old and is out there, but i guess backing up the site is more important in your mind.

  3. alocksley says:

    Ives, keep on reporting on the Cosmos. It’s great to keep an eye on them and see what develops from the big ambitions they have. It’s all good for American soccer.

  4. Brian says:

    Complaints about the Cosmos coverage cracks me up. Ives has stated that he wants to increase coverage of NASL. Of the NASL teams, Cosmos is the highest profile club and probably the only one that consistently drives clicks and page views for his readers across the country (and internationally) so it is the most obvious place to start. Give it time.

    • alocksley says:

      Let’s not forget that this is a team that has a television contract of it’s own, and may soon have a soccer specific stadium.

      • RB says:

        And you left out jersey sponsor, something even a few MLS sides cannot say. (Though how much that may be due to the league’s sizable cut of those may be a good question.)

  5. McQ says:

    Based on the feedback to date, they are well on their way to achieving their goal of becoming the Manchester United (Dallas Cowboys. :). ) of North Americaa while the others are simply the pickup trucks and Kalises of the game. Keep it coming Ives

    NEW YORK IS GREEN AND WHITE

  6. Rey Pygsterio says:

    The Cosmos are the most important club team in the history of the United States. They would probably be listed in the top-five most important things to happen to soccer here. That is why the team’s return and future continues to be a story. And I am not a Cosmos fan.

  7. AndyP says:

    Yes – Szetela Starts! Not sure he makes the full 90 though

  8. Supa says:

    On the NASL link, here on Ives blog, is the preview of week 4. As of this posting there is one comment, and it’s not from any of the “report on other NASL teams crowd”. There are 20+ comments on the Cosmos link. That’s why Cosmos are featured.

  9. Jose from the Bay says:

    Cosmos? Cosmos who?

  10. Chupacabra says:

    Lesson learned: this is not your father’s Cosmos.

  11. Ty says:

    They should have Bruce Springsteen perform “Glory Days” every single game at half.