Match Preview: Cosmos Look To Clinch Playoff Berth In Jacksonville

Massive three points on the line in New York’s final road game of Regular Season
Published Oct 21, 2017


New York Cosmos vs. Jacksonville Armada FC


Sunday, October 22 at 4 pm, ET | Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, FL


-Follow @NYCosmos and #JAXvNYC on Twitter for updates

For the New York Cosmos, the task at hand is a simple one. Win on Sunday afternoon at Jacksonville Armada FC to clinch a spot in The Championship. The 4 pm matchup at Hodges Stadium marks the Cosmos’ final road game of the Regular Season, and it will prove to be a pivotal one.

The Cosmos lead the all-time series against Jacksonville Armada FC 4-4-2 (W-D-L) over 10 matches since the Floridian side joined the NASL in 2015. This season, the Cosmos have yet to win (3D-1L) over four matches, three of which have been at MCU Park. The lone meeting in Jacksonville this season produced a 1-1 draw on May 6.

Leading into Sunday’s game, the Cosmos sit fourth in the NASL Combined Standings with 41 points. Jacksonville sits fifth with 39 points. While a Cosmos win guarantees a playoff spot, a loss or draw will leave the playoff spot up for grabs heading into the final week of the Regular Season.

New York (9-14-7 Combined Standings) is coming off its largest win of the season, a 4-1 triumph over Puerto Rico FC on Wednesday night. Ayoze led the way by scoring on a free kick and a penalty kick for his first Cosmos brace. Eugene Starikov added a goal and an assist while Bledi Bardic scored his second New York goal in the win.

The Cosmos are currently unbeaten in their last five road games (1W-4D) while scoring multiple goals in their last four away matches, the longest streak in team history. 

Jacksonville (9-12-9 Combined Standings) played FC Edmonton to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday night at home. Jack Blake opened the scoring in the 39th minute off an assist from J.C. Banks, but the Eddies responded with a Jake Keegan strike in the 62nd minute as the game finished level. The Armada are winless in their last eight home games (3L-5D), and they have only scored multiple goals once in their last 15 NASL home matches. 

In the teams’ last meeting on September 17 at MCU Park, Jacksonville jumped out to a 3-0 lead after 65 minutes on two goals from Cirán Kilduff and one from Jack Blake. Down, but not out, New York rallied to tie the game on late goals from Javi Márquez, Eugene Starikov and Juan Guerra, with the final goal coming late in stoppage time.

Watch the Cosmos continue their playoff push on Sunday afternoon at 4:00 pm on MSG Networks and ESPN3.