The Cosmos are your 2016 NASL Champions! All of New York’s hard work has payed off as the Cosmos beat Indy Eleven in penalties to secure their second NASL title in a row and their third in four years. The Cosmos played Indy in a hard-fought and physical match final. Both teams had chances but no one was able to secure a winner either in the full ninety or in extra time. So the Championship went to penalties. If you haven’t seen them already, take a gander below:
The Cosmos didn’t miss a single kick! I personally was a little perplexed that NASL coach of the year Tom Hankinson opted to have keeper Jon Busch take his team’s third penalty. That decision clearly did not work out well, as he completely missed the target and looked rattled in net as Ryan Richter cooly placed the winner past him. Richter hitting the winning penalty was a stroke of poetic justice, as the right back lost in the final last year to New York. I was also very surprised NASL team of the season striker Eamon Zayed missed his penalty. Jimmy Maurer did a fantastic job in net, as we saw in the US Open Cup last year he is a keeper that thrives in shootout situations.
After the match it was time for the Cosmos to celebrate! The players looked very excited as they were finally able to see their hard work come to fruition. Former Cosmos striker Raul was in attendance and was able to watch many of his former teammates lift the championship trophy. Although the final was played in the tiny Belson stadium, the presence of Cosmos supporters was felt strongly, especially in the shootout when Indy had to face the not only Jimmy Maurer, but the Five Points. There may be a lot of uncertainty in the future of the Cosmos, but one thing is for sure: The Cosmos on the field product has been an absolute success this campaign. Celebrate success Cosmos Country, we deserve it!