The Cosmos probably wish they could have another first impression at MCU, as they were manhandled by Miami FC. As Carlos Mendes picked up an injury midweek, Dejan Jakovic made his debut at center back alongside David Ochieng. Jakoivc, who was picked up right before the start of the season, looked understandably off the mark. He and Ochieng struggled to deal with Miami’s offense led by former NYCFC midfielder Poku. Ochieng brought down Jamie Chavez to give Miami FC a penalty, but Richie Ryan’s effort sailed over the bar.
Miami broke the deadlock in the fiftieth minute. Dylan Mares, left open at the far post, put in a half volley with to give the visitors the lead. Things got scrappy immediately afterwards as Danny Szetela put in a hard yellow card tackle. Miami stuck again as a Stefano Pinho cross took an unlucky deflection off Richter to double the lead. Pinho was able to capitalize on a slip from David Ochieng for kill any hopes for a Cosmos comeback.
Cosmos no shots on target, so can we call it a no-hitter? #NYCvMIA— FieldTurf of Dreams (@FTofD) April 2, 2017
There weren’t many, but there’s a few positive takeaways from the defeat. Eugene Starikov made an immediate impact on the Cosmos’ flat offense once he entered the match. Jimmy Maurer, much to his own chagrin, received the Emirates Man of the Match award for his three saves. In his limited action, Javi Marquez looked solid, almost exposing an out of position Daniel Vega with a midfield rocket. In their two games so far, the Cosmos have yet to score. The defensive line crumbled without the leadership of Mendes. Games like this remind us how quickly this squad was assembled and how rebuilding the Cosmos championship squad will be a process. It’s clear this Cosmos squad needs more time to gel.
Although the team did not look beautiful, MCU Park did. The Five Points was popping and the Cosmos played in front of a sellout crowd. The imported turf looked natural and the lack of baseball lines is a huge benefit. Owner Rocco Commisso was not only in the building, but his presence was felt as he was seen not only in the press box, but among the Cosmos supporters. The Cosmos coverage on PIX 11 and BEIN Sports was very solid as well. Hopefully the club can keep this momentum and atmosphere going throughout the season.
The Cosmos get another shot at Miami FC, this time at FIU stadium, next Saturday.