Game Guide: Cosmos vs. Jacksonville Armada FC

The Cosmos can clinch their first NASL spring title on June 13 at Hofstra University's Shuart Stadium.
Published Jun 12, 2015

By Aaron Cheris (@aaronhowie)


New York Cosmos (5-4-0, 19 points) vs. Jacksonville Armada (3-2-4, 11 points)

When & Where

Saturday, June 13 at 7 p.m. ET

James M. Shuart Stadium at Hofstra University



The Stakes

New York Cosmos

In their last NASL match, the Cosmos got a late equalizer from Raúl to earn a 1-1 draw in Minnesota. In their next game, the Cosmos beat the Cuban National Team in a historic friendly in Havana, Cuba. Lucky Mkosana was the star of that game, as he scored two goals to lead the Cosmos to victory.

Heading into the final game of the Spring Season, the Cosmos are in prime position to clinch the spring championship and earn a postseason berth, as they are three points ahead of second place Tampa Bay. In order to clinch, the Cosmos need a win or a draw against Jacksonville. If the Cosmos lose, they can still clinch. If the Rowdies lose or draw against Atlanta, the Cosmos will still clinch. If New York loses and Tampa Bay wins, the championship will come down to goal differential, where the Cosmos hold a six-goal advantage.

Jacksonville Armada FC

In their inaugural NASL campaign, Jacksonville has had an up-and-down ride so far. Currently Armada FC sits fifth in the NASL with 11 points. They battled Ottawa Fury FC to a scoreless draw last Saturday in Jacksonville.

Armada FC is led by forwards Alhassane Keita and former Cosmos Jemal Johnson, who each have three goals. Goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo has started eight games for Jacksonville and has made 19 saves while allowing 12 goals.

Jacksonville has not scored a goal in its last three matches. The last one came in a 3-2 loss at Minnesota United FC on May 23. Jacksonville hasn’t won since a 1-0 victory over Indy Eleven on May 9.

Matchup History

This is the first matchup between the two sides. After Saturday’s game, New York will play Jacksonville twice in the fall – away on July 18 and home on September 12.

In the previous incarnation of the NASL the Cosmos matched up with the Jacksonville Tea Men four times, winning twice and losing twice. The final game, on May 2, 1982, saw Giorgio Chinaglia and Vladislav Bogićević score in a 2-0 Cosmos triumph. Chinaglia scored five goals in four games against the Tea Men (data provided by club historian Dr. David Kilpatrick).



Historic Win in Havana

New York posted a 4-1 win over the Cuban National Team on June 2 at Pedro Marrero Stadium in Havana, Cuba. Lucky Mkosana was a difference-maker in the historic match, netting a first-half brace to put the game out of reach. With the result the Cosmos became the first U.S. professional sports team to compete in Cuba since U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced they would seek to restore diplomatic relations that were severed in 1961.

The Streak Continues

Two weeks ago the Cosmos earned a 1-1 draw against Minnesota United to remain unbeaten and stay atop the NASL standings. The Cosmos are the only undefeated team in the NASL. At home, the Cosmos are 4-0-0 this season, having only conceded two goals.

Strong Back Line

This season the Cosmos have allowed just six goals, fewest in the NASL. Jimmy Maurer’s 23 saves rank second in the league. Maurer has allowed just one goal in each of his last two appearances: a 1-1 draw in Minnesota and a 4-1 win over the Cuban National Team in Havana.

Raúl on a Roll

Cosmos forward Raúl was named NASL Player of the Month in May, scoring three goals to help the Cosmos stay undefeated. Raúl’s four goals are most on the team and tied for second most in the NASL. In the Cosmos’ last NASL match, Raúl scored an equalizer against Minnesota in the 90th minute to preserve the Cosmos’ unbeaten streak.