The Cosmos have much-needed eight day break between their win against Puerto Rico and their next home game against Rayo OKC. The Cosmos currently find themselves atop the Fall Season standings, but that won’t be the case for long: FC Edmonton and Minnesota are have a game in hand and can pass the Cosmos with a win. Competition is very tight at the top and more dropped points in upcoming matches could even see New York drop out of the playoffs. Going forward the Cosmos have a lot to figure out, but one thing they should know for sure is that Jimmy Maurer should be their starting goalkeeper.
Jimmy Maurer is one of the Cosmos’s most important players and his form has been crucial to their success in 2015 Championship season and the 2016 Spring Season. He also cemented his place as a fan favorite with his penalty shootout heroics during in the team’s first derby match against NYCFC. In this season so far, Jimmy Maurer has earned 7 shutouts in 13 appearances and has a Goals Allowed Average of .83 per game. He’s also saved 71% of the shots he’s faced over the shots he’s faced this season. But numbers can only say so much; if you need more evidence of Maurer’s importance to the Cosmos, re-watch the FC Edmonton match. Maurer’s second half heroics saved the Cosmos from dropping even more points on the road. Jimmy excels at stealing the show by performing reflex saves that many other keepers could only dream of. Maurer is a renegade in net: He isn’t afraid to take matters into his own hands and come off his line. He also is strong in one on one situations, something the Cosmos defense has been suspect to letting up due to the high line they often play. Jimmy has been a pivotal part of every clean sheet the Cosmos have recorded this season. New York’s defense just feels so much more secure with Jimmy Maurer in net.
At the beginning of the Fall season to the surprise of many, Jimmy Maurer was dropped for Brian Holt. In the two games that Holt started, The Cosmos won twice, but failed to record a clean sheet. Gio Savarese also dropped Jimmy after the team’s 3-0 defeat to Rayo OKC, but in the next game the Cosmos drew and let up an own goal and a penalty kick. While Holt hasn’t been awful for the Cosmos, he hasn’t been amazing either, and in his recent run of games hasn’t done enough to take Maurer’s starting spot.
With the Cosmos defense being an incredibly vulnerable unit as of late, the Cosmos need consistency at the goalkeeper position. Although we are well into the 2016 NASL season, I don’t think the Cosmos know what their best eleven is yet. I Think the team is still trying to find their identity especially after losing Lahoud and Kranjcar, as well many regulars from 2015 such as Hunter Gorskie, Leo Fernandes, Gaston Cellerino, Walter Restrepo, and of course, Raul and Marcos Senna. The Cosmos have a lot of soul searching to do, but they can count on being in good hands with St. Jimmy in between the posts.