With the start of the 2014 NASL spring season a little more than a month away, the New York Cosmos are gearing up to defend their title as Soccer Bowl champions.
After several weeks of training on Long Island, the Cosmos have taken a trip to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) to continue its preparation for the upcoming season. Not only will the Cosmos players enjoy the beautiful sights of Dubai, but quality opposition as well, as the club is set to take on Al Shabab Al Arabi in an international friendly match on Thursday, March 6.
The Dubai-based club -- and three-time league champions -- is enjoying a successful 2013-14 campaign and currently sits near the top of the UAE Arabian Gulf League in second place.
While the result of the friendly is not necessarily of principle concern, head coach Giovanni Savarese knows that this match presents a good opportunity for his Cosmos squad to test itself ahead of the NASL season.
"This is going to be an important game for us,” Savarese stated. “Especially playing a team like Al-Shabab that has been playing well this season and been very competitive. We want to get good matches in on this trip and be challenged. It's important for us to start applying our work ethic and putting together good efforts."
Kickoff is scheduled for Thursday at 5:30 p.m. local time (8:30 a.m. EST) at Al Shabab’s home venue, Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium. Fans can follow live play-by-play of the friendly on the Cosmos matchday Twitter feed (@NYCosmos_Match).
Cosmos fans can start preparing for the regular season by purchasing regular season tickets here.