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Cosmos Blame Themselves in Loss to San Antonio

Christian Arnold

When it comes to teams that have the Cosmos number, it's not many. And when it comes to teams that have their number at home it's just one.

Saturday marked just the second time -- dating back to 1972 -- that the Cosmos were defeated at Shuart Stadium and it was the second time this year that the San Antonio Scorpions beat them. The Scorpions snapped New York's NASL record 372-minute shutout streak in a 1-0 Cosmos loss on April 26 during the Spring Season.

The Cosmos held the advantage in shots and possession percentage, but San Antonio was able to shut down New York's scoring threats and capitalize on their own.

"We give up early goals and we don't match their intensity," Hunter Freeman responded when asked about San Antonio. The Scorpions scored in the 15th minute of their April 26 win. "And I think a lot of the games where we struggled is where we haven't matched the other team's intensity. We gotta look ourselves in the mirror and realize we're not just going to step on the field because we have a good team and we've had success, and teams are going to bow down to us.

"It's the opposite. Teams are gonna be up for us and we're gonna get every team's best shot. We saw that last year. This year is the same, so we have to be prepared for that."

But the Cosmos don't see the two home losses so much as a reflection of San Antonio's play, rather a result of the effort put forth by themselves.

"It's more about us. It's not about them," Jimmy Maurer said. "They're a very good team and credit to them they play very well, but it's more about us. The two losses we've had  to them this fall and this past spring it was about how we approached the game. It was about how we played and it just wasn't good enough either time."

Head coach Giovanni Savarese agreed with Maurer,saying that his team "wasn't aggressive enough" Saturday night.

The Cosmos may have also been dealing with some rust going into their Fall Season opener against the Scorpions. Prior to Saturday night New York had not competed in a match since their US Open Cup loss to the Philadelphia Union on Tuesday, June 24.

So it could be argued that the "flat" play from the Cosmos could be the team working off the rust and Savarese sure hopes thats what it is.

"I hope that it's the rust that they...leave behind," he said. "The way we lost against Philadelphia wasn't easy because I think the guys fought and maybe deserved a little bit more in that match. Then you go into a little break of two weeks, you come back and you have to play again. So maybe the guys were a little bit going through the transition still.

"Maybe it was a necessity for us, I mean last season after we lost, against San Antonio as well, we were able to find ourselves. We learned from it, we became better and then we were stronger through the entire season. Hopefully it's the same case."