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New York Cosmos 2 - Tampa Bay Rowdies 0: Reaction and rating form

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Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

The New York Cosmos remained unbeaten to start the NASL season, defeating the Tampa Bay Rowdies in their home opener. The modern-era record crowd of 12,550 went home happy, and certainly enjoyed the beautiful weather and 2-0 scoreline.

Marcos Senna opened the scoring early in the first half, after Mads Stokkelien won a penalty when his header was handled in the box. Leo Fernandes doubled the lead with his second of the season just after the second half kicked off, and it was smooth sailing from that point forward.

Up next, the Cosmos will head back out on the road, where they'll take on the Silverbacks in Atlanta. They'll likely do so atop the NASL table, depending on the result from the Silverbacks match with the Carolina RailHawks.

Thoughts:

  • I believe this was the first time since the reboot that head coach Gio Savarese has used the same starting eleven for three consecutive matches. Hopefully it's about to change, as Hunter Freeman is getting close to a return.
  • For all the fanfare surrounding Raul, when healthy, Marcos Senna continues to be the best player in the NASL. This should be three straight weeks that he gets best XI recognition.
  • Walter Restrepo has assisted a goal in each of the first three matches, and looks like the signing of the season thus far.
  • The crowd at Hofstra tonight looked fantastic. I can't wait for the next home match, as I'l be able to attend that one.
  • For those of you at the game, you missed a treat with Mike Petke in the booth. He was just as good for ONE World Sports as he was coaching the New York Red Bulls.
  • Despite finishing without a goal, this was easily Raul's best game with the Cosmos. He looked much more comfortable with his teammates this evening.
  • It's hard to imagine that the Cosmos aren't currently the best team in New York, based just on the season's first three matches. Hopefully everyone stays healthy, because this club finally seems to have fixed the balance issues they've had since 2013.