Jersey Express advanced on May 19th with a 1-0 win over the New York Pancyprian Freedoms. Angser Otto scored a game winner in the 80th minute to make Jersey one of three PDL sides to make it to the third round of Open Cup play.
In their current season of play, the team sits in next to last place in the Mid Atlantic Division with three points in two matches.
Last year, the Cosmos routed the PDL side 3-0 behind goals from Sebastian Guenzatti, Leo Fernandes, and Mads Stokkelien.
Leo Fernandes goal (Credit: Luis Hernandez)
That doesn’t mean they’ll take this likely.
“First of all, as I always say, this is the most difficult match we are going to play. Always, the first one in the US Open Cup is, for me, the crucial one,” Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese told TICC. “So, we hope to arrive with the right mental stage and ready to be able to compete and get a result in order to continue in the Cup, in this Cup that we always consider seriously.”
The biggest challenge for the Cosmos lies in their roster depth. With injuries to Niko Kranjčar, Adam Moffat, Eric Calvillo, Alexis Velela, and Gabriel Farfán, along with the call-up of Yasmani Duk and the recall of Mike Lahoud, the roster is riding pretty light. The Cosmos may have to dip deeper into the well for this one.
“There’s the possibility of some Cosmos B players [joining up for this match], but not because we will replace the ones that we have, but because we don’t have enough players right now. There’s a lot of injuries,” the coach continued. “But, guys are coming back, guys are getting healthy. Most likely, we will have some Cosmos B play for this match on Wednesday.”
Not having enough players was a clear issue on Saturday, as the Cosmos could only dress 16 players for the match against Rayo.
Between fielding an XI to beat this side and the Strikers match that will follow three days later, the Cosmos will be challenged with balancing the lineups while hoping to avoid more injuries.