MLS veteran Darrius Barnes adjusting well to life in New York

Darrius Barnes [Photo: Steve Hamlin/TICC]

The Cosmos, like many NASL clubs, have a history of signing players who have found success in Major League Soccer. In fact, the Cosmos back line, the unit that has most stayed intact since 2013, has seen the likes of Carlos Mendes and Hunter Freeman come from MLS and become stalwarts for the green and white. While this past offseason has changed a lot for the Cosmos, new signing Darrius Barnes has become a part of the continued Cosmos tradition of acquiring veteran MLS defenders. Continue reading

Other Side of the Pitch: New England Revolution

13507159_10154424103721091_802315511886453004_nTonight is the US Open Cup match against the New England Revolution. We talked to the Bent Musket Blog about their team. Here is our brief Q&A:

TICC – The Revs come off an extra time win in the Cup where home grown player Zachary Herivaux scored a great goal from the top of the 18. This was a game that saw appearances by Lee Nguyen and Kei Kamara. Just how seriously do the Revs take this competition and what can Cosmos fans expect to see when the starting XIs are announced? Will Brad Knighton be in goal again being you are sandwiched between two crucial Eastern Conference games? Are there any major injuries?

BM  While the Revs will say that this tournament is important to them, it’s clear that the team puts more emphasis on league play. In recent years, the US Open Cup has been used as a proving ground for players hoping to grab more minutes. Brad Knighton is the most recent example as his solid performance against the RailHawks lead to a start against Vancouver over the weekend. With this in mind, expect to see a mixed lineup on Wednesday.

Two players you certainly won’t see are Charlie Davies and Gershon Koffie, who are both recovering from long-term injuries. Darrius Barnes and Femi Hollinger-Janzen, who are nearing full health, could be available.

TICC  The Revs currently have given up the second most goals in the East and if NYCFC did not give up a Touchdown against the Red Bulls, you might be at the top of that list. It seems the Revs have a hold at center back next to Goncalves. Can you comment on the current defensive situation?

BM – Simply put, the defense hasn’t been good. Head coach Jay Heaps has tried to remedy this by moving Andrew Farrell to right back. Farrell has played well in his former position, but the team is still looking for a complement to Jose Goncalves. London Woodberry has stepped up in recent weeks, showing both strengths and weaknesses.

That said, you’re likely to see a blended backline with such a busy stretch ahead. If ready, expect to see Barnes start. The same could be said about Je-Vaughn Watson and Jordan McCrary. The final defenseman is likely to be either Goncalves, Farrell, or Woodberry.

TICC –  There are some options going forward for this Revs team. Who is one player, who you think could get the start Wednesday night, that we should watch out for? Talk to us about style. What is the formation of choice for the Revs in 2016 and what style best suits them?

BM  Keep a close eye on Femi Hollinger-Janzen if he plays tonight. The rookie, drafted 51st overall, has already established himself as a threat off the bench. He’s the type of attacker that pops up in the right spots and just loves to score. The University of Indiana product now needs to show that he can be energetic over the course of 90 minutes. Everyone in New England is rooting for Femi since his story, which includes being abandoned as a child, is absolutely amazing.

Other players to watch include defensive midfielder Zachary Herivaux, who just scored his first professional goal, and Kelyn Rowe, who always seems to score in the Open Cup.

TICC –  MLS had its fair share of turf fields, but the turf at St Johns could really be tough to play. How do you think the Revs will adjust to playing on poor turf in front of a smaller crowd? Could we see a change in tactics?

BM – Playing at St. Johns shouldn’t be a problem for the Revs, who play on turf at the cavernous Gillette Stadium. The weather, which should be cooperative, poses a bigger threat as the Revolution had to endure a 2+ hour delay against the RailHawks.

TICC – Some of the New York Cosmos fans follow the Revs because of the history between the supporters. They would be interested to know. What is the latest on the Revs Stadium situation?

BM – There’s nothing new to report in regards to a stadium. MLS Commissioner Don Garber recently reaffirmed his support of the Kraft family, saying that he believes that the Revs will have a soccer specific stadium before NYCFC. There were rumors that the Krafts were looking at a property near Frontage Road in South Boston. Those whispers have since been replaced by the idea that the Revs could build a stadium at the site of the old Bayside Expo Center.

 

Cosmos and Revs fans have history…a good history

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There has been a lot of talk about poor behavior from fans in football recently. Whether it is at home or over in France, it seems fans are painted in a bad light and while every sport has their share of fights amongst fans, its not always publicized when soccer fans actually get along. This is the mysterious story of how two sets of fans became friends. Friends now, but as expected, they will be enemies for 90 minutes come Wednesday evening.

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Match Preview: Cosmos host Revolution in Open Cup encounter at Belson

13516649_10154424099886091_568253334457124378_nThe Cosmos will play their third Round of 16 match in as many years on Wednesday night, facing the New England Revolution for the first time in their history. With the Cosmos knocking out NYCFC near the death in their last match and New England eliminating the Carolina RailHawks, both teams will look to win and earn a date in the quarterfinals against the winner of New York Red Bulls and the Philadelphia Union.  Continue reading

Cosmos COO Erik Stover: “Criminal activity” caused Hofstra to ban USOC matches

13428491_10154398405671091_5503252106946949317_nOn a press call last week, Cosmos COO Erik Stover disclosed that US Open Cup matches would no longer be held at Shuart Stadium. With fan behavior at the 2015 NYCFC derby getting out of hand, Hofstra University made the decision that the facility would no longer be available for the Cosmos to host MLS competition.

In this week’s episode of Cosmos Country Podcast, he hammered his point home some more.  Continue reading

NYCFC behind them, Cosmos look ahead to the Revolution

13453886_10154396746036091_359418877_nAfter the first round of MLS participation in this year’s Open Cup, the remaining teams were all subject to a regional draw to determine their opponents. Placed in a group with the New England Revolution, the New York Red Bulls and the Philadelphia Union, the Cosmos will now face the Revolution on June 29th at Belson Stadium. Continue reading