Cosmos, Rowdies Meet In Potential Postseason Preview

The No. 1 seed and No. 4 seed could be on the line when New York and Tampa Bay kick off on Saturday
Matthew Levine (@NASLInsider} | Oct 29, 2015

The New York Cosmos-Tampa Bay Rowdies match may be the most crucial of the final weekend of the NASL regular season. It could have an impact on both the race to the No. 1 and No. 4 seeds for The Championship.

“We need the three points to still have the hope to finish first in the Combined Standings,” Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese told “Tampa Bay also needs the points to try to qualify for the playoffs.”

The Cosmos have a semifinal home game secured after winning the Spring Season title, while the Rowdies are trying to play on into November. The sides have split the season series so far, each picking up a 2-0 win against the other. The Cosmos won at Shuart Stadium, where Saturday night’s contest will take place.

 “We beat them at home, it was a very good match,” Savarese said. “When we went down there, we didn’t play as well.”.

New York – and Fort Lauderdale – will hope it’s more of the former. Should Tampa Bay lose or draw, it opens the door for the Strikers to claim the final spot in The Championship, the NASL’s four-team postseason tournament, with a win or tie at Jacksonville on Sunday. A Rowdies win would eliminate Fort Lauderdale.

Not only will it be a match of two long-standing rivals with postseason implications, it will also be the final regular-season match for a pair of stars, Raúl and Marcos Senna. The Spanish greats will hang up their cleats at the end of this season after illustrious careers.

For the Cosmos, they are expecting the match to play out similar to the previous 29 league matches.

“I think it’s going to be a great game,” Savarese said. “It’s going to be difficult just like any game in the NASL. We don’t expect anything to be different.”

An interesting twist to the match, depending on how results shake out, is that the Cosmos and Rowdies could be playing a potential semifinal preview.

With a lot riding on the line for both sides on Saturday, though, Savarese added, “It’s going to be worthwhile going to watch.”

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