Tampa Bay Sports Day

Fit to be Tied: Coach Savarese Frustrated by Another Cosmos’ Draw

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — Don’t try to tell New York Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese that for a brand new team, being undefeated in three home matches, with only a single loss in six overall contests (during the franchise’s first season after a 29-year hiatus) isn’t bad.

Rather, Savarese believes his squad, now 2-1-3 — after settling for a 1-1 tie against the Atlanta Silverbacks (1-1-4) at Hofstra University’s James M. Shuart Stadium on Saturday night — should we winning more often.

That’s especially the case after what Savarese thought was the Cosmos’ “best match” of the season, one in which New York outshot Atlanta 17-7 and had nine of the game’s 12 corner kicks, while largely controlling the play.

Exasperated by yet another draw in a match that he felt the Cosmos should have won, Savarese said, “We completely dominated the ball. We created chances… now we need to work a little more on putting the ball into the net, because we created so many opportunities [tonight], and we definitely could have won this game.”

His players agreed.

“It’s definitely frustrating when you dominate a game like that [and you don’t win],” said defender Hunter Freeman, who failed to score on the two shots he fired.

“I feel that we dominated the game from beginning to end, and it’s a shame we couldn’t finish them off when we had them,” added last week’s NASL Player of the Week, veteran Brazilian midfielder Marcos Senna, who recorded a game-high three shots.

One of those attempts accounted for New York’s only goal, on a penalty kick in the 44th minute, five minutes before unchecked defender Shane Moroney headed in a free kick from midfielder Pablo Cruz early in the second half.

What kept the match tied from that point was primarily the stellar play of goalkeeper Joe Nasco, who made eight saves, many of them in brilliant fashion.

“He’s a really good goalkeeper, probably the best we’ve played so far,” said Senna, while Savarese concurred that Nasco “had a great game” while noting, “There are a lot of good goalkeepers in this league.”

Unfortunately for the Cosmos, that fact has already led to more ties, and fewer wins for New York, than Savarese would have liked.

Slumped in front of his locker after the match, Freeman said, “Maybe with the exception of last week [in a 1-1 tie at Edmonton] and when we played away at Carolina (during the Cosmos’ only loss this year), I think every goalkeeper we played against has played the best game of their life.”

As a result, New York remains in fourth place in the NASL’s 2013 Spring standings, with nine points, but just one point behind a trio of teams (Tampa Bay, Carolina and Fort Lauderdale) tied for first place.

The draw did keep the Cosmos two points ahead of the sixth-place Silverbacks, who are a point behind fifth place Minnesota (2-2-2), which will visit New York on Saturday night, September 14, as the regular season reaches its midpoint.

All statistics and other game information provided by the New York Cosmos’ media relations staff. All quotes courtesy of Jonathan Wagner, while covering the Atlanta Silverbacks-New York Cosmos match for New York Sports Day on September 8, 2013. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanJWagner.