Preview: Loons at Shuart for Saturday Showdown

Two perennial title contenders face off in New York.
Published Sep 7, 2016




Saturday, September 10 at 7 p.m. ET | Shuart Stadium at Hofstra University



The stakes are always high when New York and Minnesota meet, and that's because each side has enjoyed consistent success in the NASL. The Loons won the league in 2011 (then as the NSC Minnesota Stars), the Spring Season and Combined Season titles in 2014 and reached the postseason each of the last two years. On top of two league championships and their own Spring Season title, the Cosmos have played postseason soccer in all three seasons since the reboot.

It's more of the same in 2016. Though neither team has locked up a spot in The Championship yet, each is peaking at the right time; the Cosmos are unbeaten in seven straight games, while Minnesota has taken points in its last five. As it stands, Saturday could be a Championship Semifinal preview, with the top-seeded Cosmos hosting No. 4 seed United.

However, with Minnesota bound for MLS next season, Saturday night could also be the last time the Loons travel to face the Cosmos in NASL play. Expect both squads to be aggressive going forward. The Cosmos lead the league in goals scored (44), and the Loons are third (33).


The Loons took the last meeting, prevailing 1-0 up at the National Sports Center this past April. But the Cosmos hold a 4-4-1 (W-D-L) record in the all-time series.


Final Four: Only four regular season home games remain for the Cosmos this year, including Saturday night’s matchup with Minnesota United FC. Three of them are against NASL Fall Season title contenders: FC Edmonton (2nd in the Fall Season Standings), Minnesota (4th) and Miami FC (5th).

Back to Back: New York will play the second of back-to-back home matches against FC Edmonton on September 17. The Cosmos are unbeaten in 15 straight regular season matches on their home turf.

Home Firepower: The Cosmos have scored 30 goals at Shuart Stadium in 2016 while allowing six. Just two other teams in the league (Indy and Minnesota) have scored more goals home and away this season than New York has scored at home.

Golden Boot Hopefuls: League-leading scorer Christian Ramirez (14 goals) will line up opposite Cosmos midfielder Juan Arango, who is three off Ramirez’s pace in the race for the NASL Golden Boot.