Match Preview: Cosmos Head To Miami For Semifinal Matchup

Cosmos look to take down NASL’s top team in playoff opener
Published Nov 3, 2017


The Championship Semifinals

Miami FC vs. New York Cosmos


Sunday, November 5 at 5:00 pm, ET | Riccardo Silva Stadium in Miami, FL


-Watch live on beIN SPORTS (English), beIN SPORTS en Español (Spanish), and beIN SPORTS CONNECT (Digital).

-Follow @NYCosmos, #MIAvNYC, and #TheChampionship on Twitter for updates

After a grueling season spanning more than eight months, it all comes down to this. The New York Cosmos and Miami FC will meet on Sunday afternoon in south Florida in The Championship Semifinals, with the winner earning a spot in The Championship final.

Over the past four years, the Cosmos have been the dominant playoff team in the NASL, winning five of their six playoff games in route to three championships in four seasons. However, this will be their first road playoff game since 2014.

In just their second season in the league, Miami FC (21-6-5 Combined Standings) is coming off arguably the greatest Regular Season performance in NASL history. The club set league records in wins (21), goals (61), highest goal differential (+33), and most points in a Regular Season (69).

But for all the records set by the home side, they have had their difficulties against the Cosmos (11-12-9 Combined Standings) in the Regular Season. In five matchups this season, the teams have evenly split the games 2-1-2, with each side winning a home and away match over the first four meetings before a 3-3 draw in their final match on September 6 at Riccardo Silva Stadium. All-time, New York is 5-1-2 against Miami, having swept the three games in the season series in 2016.

The Cosmos enter Sunday’s game as the number four team in the NASL, having clinched a playoff spot in the final game of the Regular Season with a 5-2 win over Puerto Rico FC on October 28 at MCU Park. Down 1-0 in the second half, Emmanuel Ledesma’s hat trick led the way while Carlos Mendes and Lucky Mkosana also scored for New York. The five goals, all scored in the second half, are the most scored by the Cosmos in a game this season. Over their past three games, the Cosmos have scored 13 goals, their highest total over a three game stretch this season.

On the other end, Miami FC enters the playoffs having won three of their final four Regular Season games. The first team ever to win both the Spring and Fall Season titles, Miami FC are coming off a 2-1 home win over FC Edmonton on October 28. Kwadwo Poku’s second half brace was the difference for Miami in the win. Alessandro Nesta’s club is playing in its first ever playoff game, and will have something to prove after a dominant Regular Season.

In the clubs’ most recent meeting on September 6, Jaime Chávez led the way with a hat trick for Miami FC, including what looked to be the winner in the 90th minute. However, the Cosmos got a second half stoppage time goal from Javi Márquez to even the score late and steal a point on the road. Bledi Bardic and Pablo Vranjicán also scored for the Cosmos that day while Kyle Zobeck made three saves in goal in a 3-3 draw.

For the Cosmos, Sunday’s game also represents an opportunity to extend Captain Carlos Mendes’ career by one more game, as the defender will be retiring at the end of the season, and he would love to go out with one more championship.

New York will battle 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).