Match Preview: The Championship Semifinal

New York enters the postseason as the No. 1 seed for a second straight year.
Published Nov 4, 2016




Saturday, November 5 at 7 p.m. ET | Shuart Stadium at Hofstra University



The Cosmos enter their fourth consecutive NASL postseason with an opportunity to win a second straight title. New York won the league in 2013 and again in 2015. Winning another Soccer Bowl trophy in 2016 would make the Cosmos the first back-to-back NASL champions of the Modern Era.


In their three matchups with Rayo this season, the Cosmos came away with a win, a loss and a draw. Both positive results came at Shuart Stadium: a 1-0 win on May 28 and a 1-1 draw on Aug. 7.


Golden Gio: Head Coach Giovanni Savarese piloted the Cosmos to perhaps their best regular season of the reboot era, posting a 20-5-7 (W-D-L) record while recording his 50th NASL win. Savarese boasts a 3-0-1 postseason record with two championships in tow.

Streaks Collide: Both New York and Rayo OKC are in top form heading into The Championship, the NASL’s four-team postseason tournament. Rayo has won its last five matches and is unbeaten in its last 10. The Cosmos have won five of their last six, and have lost just once in their previous 16 fixtures.

A Fort in New York: The Cosmos ended their 2016 NASL regular season unbeaten at home, missing out on just four points over 16 games (14-2-0). In the process they equaled an NASL record for the longest home winning streak (10 games) and set a new record for the longest unbeaten streak at home (19 games).

Hearts of the Attack: Each team in this Championship Semifinal matchup was led in goal scoring by a midfielder during the regular season. In addition to dishing out seven assists, Juan Arango found the target 15 times for New York in 29 appearances. Michel scored 14 times for Rayo in 27 appearances.