The Cosmos have had an underwhelming two-game performance so far to kick off the 2017 season. A disappointing draw in Puerto Rico and a humbling home loss to Miami have set the tone to open up the season. In neither game was New York able to register a shot on goal and a series of defensive mistakes cost them dearly last weekend.
New York’s challenge will be to figure out their defensive issues and attacking options while traveling to face the side who issued them one of their worst home losses.
Head Coach Giovanni Savarese recently shared concerns about the fitness of striker Amauri and second-half spark plug Eugene Starikov following the loss to Miami. With additional injury concerns revolving around center back Carlos Mendes and forward Irvin Herrera, the state of both the attack and defense are called into question.
Dejan Jakovic and David Ochieng were partnered for the first time last weekend. The unfamiliarity of the partnership was evident as Miami’s forwards found their way past the back line on multiple occasions. In fact, only the heroics of Jimmy Maurer kept the scoreline from looking worse at the end of 90 minutes.
On the attacking end, the lack of a forward played a large part in keeping the Cosmos out of the match offensively. It wasn’t until the second half of both their matches that the Cosmos appeared to progress on the offensive end of the field, and this was only with the appearance of Starikov. The questions, offensively, become whether Amauri and Starikov will start and, if they’re not, will they start instead of finish?
On Miami’s end, there’s not much to adjust. Former Cosmos Gabriel Farfan is their standard their right back, but suspended. The shift of another former New York player, Mike Lahoud, into that role did not hurt them last week and no changes should be expected from the Miami side.
Miami Predicted XI – Vega, Lahoud, Freeman, Trafford, Kcira, Rezende, Ryan, Mares, Pinho, Poku, Chavez
New York Predicted XI – Maurer, Richter, Barnes, Ochieng, Ayoze, Restrepo, Starikov, Flores, Amauri