It's been a long, exciting winter for fans of the New York Cosmos, in which the club signed one of the biggest names in Europe for much of the past 20 years, announced that they're be the first United States professional sports team to play in Cuba since president Obama relaxed sanctions, and added one of United States Soccer's brightest up and coming stars.
It's finally time to return the focus to what is happening on the pitch, and tonight at 7:30 pm ET, the boys in green will do just that against the new look Fort Lauderdale Strikers. The game will be streamed live on ESPN3, as well as televised by ONE World Sports. Details on the coverage can by found by clicking this link.
Gio Savarese is missing a few key players, with backup keeper Kyle Zobeck and fullback Hunter Freeman both unavailable due to injury. His side will also be without Samuel Caceres, who is still dealing with visa issues and hasn't traveled with the club.
With that in mind, Savarese has opted for the following lineup tonight, which would appear to be some sort of 4-4-2 or 4-2-2-2 variation:
The Cosmos have primarily lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation since the reboot in 2013, so this ought to be any interesting evening from a tactical perspective. Im also very excited to see how Raul and Stokkelien work together, as on paper, that duo would seem to be an excellent compliment to one another.
The Strikers have lost much of the group that led them to the NASL final last season, rebuilding the club with some exciting young talent and former Brazil International Leo Moura. They'll line up as follows this evening:
With as little as we've seen of the new-look Strikers, this ought to be a very good test for Raul, Marcos Senna, and the rest of the Cosmos lineup. I've been waiting all winter for this.