After letting a two-goal lead slip away for a draw in Tampa Bay, the Cosmos get one more chance to find an elusive three points in Edmonton. Another location that has never been an easy result for them, a win will be crucial to keep from slipping down the table as they already sit in second place in both the fall and combined tables.
Edmonton currently sits in fifth place for the fall (2-1-1, 3 GF, 2 GA), but is in fourth place in the combined table (7-3-4, 12 GF, 9 GA).
After being shut out in the first three games of the year, they’ve lost only twice in their next eleven matches, including their last match this weekend at the Indy Eleven. Since the initial streak, they’ve been shut out only twice, while posting five of their own.
The Eddies have been known for their defense, and this has held true with them giving up more than a goal only once all season. Offensively, they’ve managed to score two goals only three times all season. However, one of those games came against the Cosmos at home, making this rematch an interesting scenario for the boys in green.
Edmonton lost their last match, entering with a 4-1-4-1, different from the 4-2-3-1 they typically employ, and a depleted defensive line due to absence and suspension. That should not be the case on Wednesday as center back Albert Watson returns to the field for the first time since the passing of his father and, his partner, Papé Diakite is also available after seeing a pair of yellows two games ago. Full backs Shawn Nicklaw and Adam Eckersley should also be in the mix.
Behind them will be the impressive Matt Van Oekel who leads the league with a 0.64 GAA in his 14 appearances while also staying tied for shutouts with six.
Up ahead, the Cosmos will probably see Canadian international Nik Ledgerwood paired up with the young Shamit Shome as the more defensive-minded portion of the midfield.
The Eddies attack has stayed fairly consistent with Dustin Corea, Jake Keegan and Daryl Fordyce consistently occupying roles to support striker Tomi Ameobi up ahead. Keegan leads the side in goals with four scored in fourteen appearances.
As for the Cosmos, it remains to be seen how they approach this match. Edmonton has been a difficult place for them to get a result with only one win in five attempts (1-2-2, 5 GF, 6 GA). It’s also difficult to get a read on who gets the start with a constantly shifting lineup from Giovanni Savarese.
A win would go far for the Cosmos, allowing them to shake off road woes (only two wins in Miami so far), give them another elusive win in Edmonton, and a solid start to the next stage of the season where they play eight of their next ten games at home.