PREVIEW | Cosmos vs. Rowdies

A historic rivalry continues when the New York Cosmos play their home opener against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday
Tampa Bay Rowdies Staff | Apr 18, 2015

The New York Cosmos and Tampa Bay Rowdies meet for another installement in their rivalry, which began in 1975. Both sides enter the match with four points after two games. The match will kick off on Saturday, April 18, at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Series History

The Rowdies-Cosmos rivalry is one of the most historic in the United States, dating all the way back to 1975. The Rowdies are 1-2-2 (W-T-L) against the New York Cosmos in the NASL Modern Era, after going 1-1-1 in the series last season. New York won 3-0 at Al Lang Stadium in their first meeting of 2014, but the Rowdies prevailed, 3-1, in their second meeting in St. Pete. The teams played a 2-2 last October in their final meeting of the season. Tampa Bay is 0-1-1 in New York, losing 4-3 in 2013 and drawing 2-2 last year.

Rowdies Notes

For the third straight week, the Rowdies will play in a home opener. Tampa Bay opened on the road in San Antonio in Week 1, then hosted its home opener against Minnesota last week. Now, the Rowdies head to New York for the Cosmos’ home opener. New York is tied with the Rowdies on points with four points from two matches.

The Rowdies, like the Cosmos, have conceded only one goal this season, a 92nd minute goal scored by San Antonio’s Omar Cummings in Week 1. Last week, the Rowdies kept a clean sheet against Minnesota United, the NASL’s highest-scoring team in 2014.

Stefan Antonijevic, Darwin Espinal, and Corey Hertzog are all tied for the team lead in goals, with one apiece. Leading preseason scorer Maicon Santos has not yet appeared in the regular season, but is available for this match.

Scouting New York

The Cosmos enter the match tied after drawing 1-1 in Indianapolis against the Eleven last week. New York opened the season with a tight 1-0 win over the Strikers in Fort Lauderdale. New York forward Raúl scored his first NASL goal last week against Indy, nodding home a header from a Walter Restrepo free kick in the 65th minute to earn the Cosmos a road point.

Head coach Gio Savarese most often prefers a 4-5-1 formation. Against Indy, Danny Szetela and Marcos Senna sat deep in midfield, shielding the backline. Restrepo and Leo Fernandes played in wide positions in the midfield with Raúl in a withdrawn forward role behind Mads Stokkelien.

Raúl and Fernandes are tied for the team lead in goals with one apiece through two matches.


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