PREVIEW | Cosmos Head To Atlanta Aiming To Close In On Top Spot In Combined Standings

New York can still claim the No. 1 seed for The Championship as Atlanta tries to move closer to securing a postseason spot
New York Cosmos Staff | Oct 7, 2015

After playing on Sunday evening, the New York Cosmos and the Atlanta Silverbacks meet again on Wednesday night. Atlanta is pushing to reach The Championship, the NASL’s four-team postseason tournament, while New York has already clinched a berth with its Spring Season title, but can still claim the No. 1 seed with a finish atop the Combined Standingsf.


New York Cosmos: The Cosmos are coming off a 1-1 draw on Sunday night at Shuart Stadium in the first match of this home-and-home set against the Silverbacks. The Cosmos started out the night on the attack with quality scoring chances strung together by Raúl, Leo Fernandes, and Andrés Flores. But Atlanta scored on its first shot of the evening, converting a set piece opportunity, and the Cosmos went into the halftime break down a goal.

The home side had a scare when Raúl went down with an apparent ankle injury in the 46th minute. The Spanish legend would remain in the game for seven more minutes, however, until Ruben Bover replaced him.

"He's hurting," head coach Giovanni Savarese said after the match, "but it doesn't seem to be something very serious."

The Cosmos finally broke through on the scoresheet with a little help from the Silverbacks, as an Ayoze corner in the 70th minute deflected off captain Simon Mensing to equalize the match at one apiece.

New York would have one more opportunity in stoppage time to secure three points as a Gastón Cellerino back heel sailed over the net. A minute later the final whistle blew, ending the game.

The Cosmos continue to fight to gain the top spot in the Combined Season Standings, sitting four points behind Ottawa Fury FC with four matches still to play. The draw snapped the Cosmos’ two-game losing streak.The team has never had a three-game losing streak in NASL play.

Atlanta Silverbacks: A 38th-minute Michal Mravec header off Jimmy Maurer’s hand netted the first score of the game to Atlanta on Sunday. Goalkeeper Stewart Ceus stayed cool under some pressure throughout the match, stopping a Raúl shot from 14 yards out in the second minute and getting a piece of a threatening Ayoze corner kick in the 75th minute.

Although the Silverbacks are 14 points behind Fall leader Ottawa, they are still only three points out of fourth in the NASL Combined Season Standings. Atlanta (31) sits on the outside of the three-way point tie between Fort Lauderdale, Edmonton, and Tampa Bay (34) in the quest for a postseason spot.


Sunday was the first matchup between the Cosmos and Silverbacks this Fall Season. The Cosmos had the edge in shots (15-3), corners (8-1), and possession (53-47), but Atlanta made the most of its chances to pull ahead early and eventually grab a point on the road.


Streaks Alive: Sunday’s home draw against Atlanta pushed the all-time series to 5W-3D-0L in favor of the Cosmos. It was the second consecutive draw between these teams, dating back to a scoreless slugfest April 25 at Silverbacks Park. Entering Wednesday night, the season series and an untarnished record against Atlanta are at stake for New York.

Keeping In Form: Cosmos goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer’s goals against average (GAA) remains at 1.04 this year. That and his 60 saves are second and third best in the league, respectively.

Three In Eight, Getting Late: Four games remain in the regular season for New York, including Wednesday night’s encounter in Atlanta. That’s the midpoint of another taxing stretch of three matches in eight days. Postseason contenders FC Edmonton come to Shuart Stadium on Sunday, October 11, for a 5 p.m. ET kickoff.

Still Shooting: The Cosmos remain steadily atop the league with 229 shots taken, and also rank third in the NASL with 39 goals.


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