The Cosmos have been a brutal force in the NASL ever since coming back into existence. 3 Soccer Bowls in the last four years isn’t too shabby. New York will look to add to that collection tomorrow against the San Francisco Deltas.
The Originals have been crowned champions two seasons in a row. New York has knocked off the Ottawa Fury and the Indy Eleven. Next up to the plate are the Deltas, looking for a championship in their first season.
It’s been noted who the Cosmos need to watch out for, and who wins the title based off of individual matchups. All the big guns are showing up for this one; Jimmy Maurer, Emmanuel Ledesma, Romuald Peiser and Pablo Dyego should all prove for an entertaining fixture.
It’s been a consistent season for the Deltas up to this point. San Fran went undefeated in their first four NASL matches before losing to the Cosmos 1-0 at Kezar Stadium. Ever since then, it’s been a equal amount of draws and wins that propelled the Deltas to second place in all of the Spring, Fall and Combined season standings.
In the semifinals against North Carolina FC, a Tyler Gibson breakthrough allowed the Deltas a trip to the finals. An even more interesting note is that the Deltas didn’t allow one chance in the contest, proving their abilities defensively.
The Deltas love to play the aerial game as they currently lead the NASL with 11 headed goals. The Cosmos will have to do their part to keep the ball on the turf and hog possession.
As for New York, most fans know how the season went down. An up and down season proved to include many impressive victories for the Cosmos, including their win over La Liga side Valencia.
The Cosmos struggle when trying to find a winner to avoid a draw. 9 out of their last 16 matches in the Fall Season were finished in a tie. What benefits the Cosmos in the playoffs is that the match doesn’t stop at a draw. New York enjoys extra time and the penalty shootout. Look at the semfinals for an example against Miami FC.
The Deltas may have a stout defense, but they are going to have to bring their top game if they want to prevent the Cosmos from scoring a goal. The Originals have scored 56 goals this season, which all come from a plethora of different ways and angles.
The Cosmos score a goal every 51 minutes per average, meaning they likely won’t walk out of California without a goal of their own.
Even though this game is for the pride of holding up the Soccer Bowl, it could mean so much more to whoever lifts is this year.
As most fans know, the USSF denied the NASL of Division II status in the United States. Furthermore, many teams within the league do not know what’s going to happen with their respective franchise after the season concludes.
In the recent edition of Scout the NASL, a piece was found that noted that the Deltas could win the Soccer Bowl and then fold right after they do so. What’s even more sad is that they’d only have a full year of existence under their belt.
The New York Cosmos have been the epitome for success in North American soccer. They’ll be looking for their 9th major title, which would be the most out of any team in the United States.
No matter who wins this match, the USSF will have to look at their decision again. I’m not going to get into the core of my beliefs, but I’m a full supporter of promotion and relegation in the U.S. I truly believe the Cosmos could beat any team in the country at the moment.
To get the United States noticing, the Cosmos have to win the Soccer Bowl. They will cement themselves as a true soccer dynasty, forcing the hand of the USSF. This isn’t just the most important game of the season, but the most crucial game in the existence of the NASL.