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Playoff Preview: Cosmos vs. Miami FC

Another New York playoff run starts Saturday

@NYCosmos

It’s another pressure game for the New York Cosmos this Sunday. There shouldn’t be any worries; the Cosmos have overcome adversity all season long.

An impressive showing from Emmanuel Ledesma capped off by a Carlos Mendes goal launched the Cosmos into the playoffs after beating Puerto Rico FC, 5-2.

New York’s reward? A trip to Ricardo Silva Stadium to take on the Combined Season champions in Miami FC.

Miami has been dominant in both the NASL and the U.S. Open Cup this season. Recently, we looked at what Miami has to offer in terms of their players and formation, and how they’ve become so lethal using both.

Yet, it should be noted that the Cosmos have been fairly even with Miami in NASL play. The two clubs share a 2-2-1 record each time they’ve played this season. Both teams have beaten each other at home and away.

It’s no secret what Miami has to offer in this one. The club has five nominees going for the NASL Golden Ball, and one young player in Robert Kcira going for the NASL Young Player of the Year.

The orange and blue have a 21-6-5 record this season which is good for a winning average of 66 percent.

Defensively, Miami only concede 0.9 goals per game while boasting 15 clean sheets thanks to goalie Daniel Vega. To switch sides of the field, Miami love to posses the ball. Their near 60 percent possession stat suggests so.

The Florida side have scored 61 goals this season, while bulging the back of the net on an average of 48 minutes in each contest.

The question remains: How do the Cosmos defeat Miami FC?

Well, let’s start with the obvious. Miami would be rather foolish is they didn’t stick at least two players near Ledesma. The 29-year-old deserves that kind of attention given the form he’s been in for the Fall Season.

Ledesma was recently named the Player of the Month for October after his clutch hat trick against PRFC. Emmanuel is currently top five in goals and assists in the NASL (10 and 5, respectively) and looks to be a really strong candidate for league MVP.

Javi Marquez has been stabilizing the midfield for the Cosmos all season long. Marquez loves stepping up to take a shot from the midfield. He currently has 58 shots, which is good for third in the NASL.

The Barcelona native is balanced on both sides of the ball. Marquez has 6 goals and 3 assists offensively, and has won 37 tackles and 24 clearances defensively.

Empire of Soccer

The question mark all season long has been the defense of the Cosmos. New York has a solid keeper in Jimmy Maurer. Maurer currently holds a 67 percent Sv%, while earning 6 clean sheets this season.

The backline hasn’t seemed to match the performance of Maurer for most of the campaign. Dejan Jakovic looks to be the leader of the defense at the moment. The Canadian has won 22 tackles, 45 interceptions and 67 clearances.

We can’t act like Jakovic doesn’t have his moments either. Jakovic, David Ochieng, Ryan Richter and Jimmy Mulligan have to step up their game if the Cosmos want to advance to the NASL Finals.


Match Prediction - Cosmos 2-1 Miami FC

How can I pick against the Cosmos in the playoffs?

Regardless of the fact that Miami looks better on paper, something tells me the Cardiac Cosmos prove us wrong yet again.

This is Miami’s first kick at the can in the playoffs, while the Cosmos have been champions three out of the past four years. I’m betting that the Originals will be looking to get back to another NASL Final.

Poll

Cosmos vs. Miami FC: Who Wins?

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    New York Cosmos
    (5 votes)
  • 50%
    Miami FC
    (5 votes)
10 votes total Vote Now

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