When the New York Cosmos won the 2015 Spring Season title, they played 10 games and won a total of 20 points. In 2014, it took 20 points in 9 games to win the spring for Minnesota United. Atlanta finished with 21 points in 12 games in the 2013 spring season.
So on Saturday, with 18 points, the Cosmos had a chance to win another piece of hardware that no one seemed to want. That was until Indy Eleven did the one thing no other team was able to do yet this season: take advantage of the situation.
The reality is, after the Cosmos lost to FC Edmonton on May 15th, they should have been swept out of the competition, but this was the Spring Season no one seemed to want.
Minnesota United controlled their own destiny and could easily have walked away with the Spring, but they decided to lose three straight league games. Carolina started the year 4-0 but then lost four of their next six league matches.
The Cosmos were able to then net two straight victories to get back into the mix, but they were unconvincing in the process. That unconvincing form even stretched into the Open Cup as the they failed to capture the imagination against Jersey Express.
Yet, the Cosmos walked into Lockhart Stadium on June 4th with a chance to win and wrap up their second straight Spring Season title. Sticking to the form of the NASL, the Cosmos could not capitalize on the situation.
The Indy Eleven were undefeated in the spring, and on Saturday night, they were the first team to actually take advantage of the situation ahead of them. All they had to do was beat a poor form Carolina RailHawks team by 4-1 and they were able to do just that.
Cosmos fans will feel cheated and of course some might say Carolina helped Indy Eleven bea,t but the reality remains that when faced with a chance to clinch the hubcap, the Cosmos came out with no urgency and failed to get the job done.
Indy Eleven did and are now the Spring Season Champions and even though it is the lowest point total to ever win a Spring Season in the split formats short history, Indy deserved this one. They took advantage of the opportunity in front of them and got the job done.
The Fall Season will have a lot of compelling story lines for sure as a home playoff game is not assured like it was last season.
Did anybody deserve it? Doesn’t seem that way.
I’m gonna kick this off by saying the Cosmos didn’t. If it weren’t for Miami FC’s nightmares, they would have not only gone winless on the road, they would have lost every game. That’s not convincing to me as a champion and I agree after the Eddies game we should have been ruled out.
Minnesota, who went on a three-game losing streak late and, at one point, won one in a five-game stretch? Not really.
And Indy. Congrats for a spring title in an undefeated ten-game spring, where you could only win four games, got shut out three times, and a had a margin greater than two goals once. That isn’t convincing to me, but to be fair, you “not lost” the least.
While it’s definitely a moment of pride for the club, a team that just “doesn’t lose” doesn’t scream champion to me. Last year’s Cosmos drew five games in the fall and edged out their competition by a point, not exactly overwhelming. This year’s Indy edged it out by the one head-to-head match they played. It’s crazy to think that a draw there could have given the Cosmos the title. And I’d still be ranting about an undeserved title.
A 1.8 point per game average is really something and while I know this is testament to how competitive the league has gotten, it also says that most teams are just not able to put it away when it counts.
Except Indy, this time, when it really mattered. Congrats to you boys in blue.