The New York Cosmos are your Fall and Combined NASL champs! With their win Saturday Night and FC Edmonton’s loss to Minnesota United FC, the Cosmos clinched first place and the rights to home field advantage that comes with it. Thanks to some great resiliency and the help of superstar Juan Arango, the boys in green were able to comeback in a much needed away win.
Things started off well for the Cosmos. In the twenty second minute, Yohandry Orozco found himself in the right place at the right time on the far post and tapped in the rebound of a Jairo Arrieta shot. However, at the beginning of the second half Jacksonville found themselves back into the game. Alhassane Keita smartly turned past Jimmy Ockford and slotted an equalizer into the top corner. It appeared the David Ochieng was fouled before the goal, but nothing was called. Regardless, the Armada were able to take a lead later on. After Jimmy Maurer deflected an outside the box shot, Zach Steinberger was able to beat Ochieng to in a footrace to the rebound and struck the ball top net. The Armada went down to ten men as Keita was sent off for two yellow cards.
The end of this game showed why Juan Arango should be the league’s MVP. He put the team on his back, equalizing and then putting the Cosmos ahead on two free kicks. Arango, who has always been a deadball specialist, first had one bounce off the crossbar and over the line. For his second trick, he curled the ball into the far corner. The icing on the cake came from a final Arietta goal, in a move started by a diligent tackle by Danny Szetela.
The Cosmos have two games left this season. Next Saturday, Hunter Freeman returns, but in the away locker room as the Cosmos play Miami FC. New York ends their season in a NASL vs MLS showdown in Minnesota United FC’s last match in the league.