Cosmos Midfield In Top Form As They Enter Playoffs

New York has scored 13 goals over final four Regular Season games
Published Nov 3, 2017

The New York Cosmos are hitting their stride at the right time as they begin the NASL playoffs on Sunday afternoon.

With 13 goals over their past three games, two wins and a draw, the Cosmos set a season-high for goals in a three-game stretch, culminating in their 5-2 win over Puerto Rico FC last Saturday. The five goals, all in the second half, were the most the Cosmos have recorded in any game this season.

For the players, the recent strong showings have them feeling strong as they head to Miami.

“It gives us a lot of confidence,” said midfielder, Andrés Flores, of the team’s recent play. “We have good, quality players to score that many goals. That means we’re working very hard to find them.”

“It’s very important for the team to come into the playoffs like that,” said midfielder, Juan Guerra. ”Team confidence is very high right now. We’re still concentrating.” 

Unlike previous seasons, the Cosmos will have to hit the road for the playoffs after winning two NASL titles with only home playoff games over the past two seasons. But making the playoffs is still an accomplishment for the current Cosmos, who had to build up confidence over a grueling 32-game Regular Season.

“We’ve had a lot of ups and downs during the year,” Flores said. “But now we’re happy we could make the playoffs and we’re excited to go and try to win it.”

While Flores knows the feeling of winning titles and what it takes to get there, Guerra is a rookie when it comes to the NASL playoffs. Prior to coming to New York, Guerra spent the previous two seasons with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, but the club didn’t make the playoffs. Now, he is looking to make the most of his first crack of November action. 

“The first years it was frustrating because we missed the playoffs by one or two points after grinding to the end and falling short,” Guerra said. “This year, I finally made it. I’m very happy to be with this great group of guys.”

With the Rowdies, Guerra knew playing the Cosmos was no easy match, and he expects the same mentality from the Cosmos as they head to Miami. 

“When I was in Tampa, the Cosmos were always a tough team to play against,” he said. “Every player always wants to play well against the Cosmos because it’s an exhibition for everyone.” 

This season, the Cosmos will need to have a similar mindset as they head to Miami to battle the league’s top team in the Regular Season.

“We know they are a very good team and it’s going to be tough to beat them down there,” Flores said. “But we know that we have a chance and we have very good players, too. We’re going to have to be very smart, and we’re going to have to score on the opportunities that we have.”

“We’re trying to see it as one more game. Just looking at the next game as the most important game. We know what’s at stake,” Guerra said. “Just enjoy it, have fun, play well. If we do what the coaching staff asks from us, I think we will be able to come back with a positive result.” 

The Cosmos will look for the positive result against Miami FC in The Championship semifinals at Riccardo Silva Stadium on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET. The game will be televised nationally on beIN SPORTS (English), beIN SPORTS en Español (Spanish), and beIN SPORTS CONNECT (Digital).