Cosmos Country now has a tentative date to look forward to as the USSF released the format and schedule for the 2016 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. June 1st is targeted as the entry date for their boys in green.
In previous appearances, the Cosmos hosted the Brooklyn Italians (NPSL) and Jersey Express (PDL) in Belson Stadium at St. John’s University. They shut out both opponents, the Italians by a score of 2-0 and the Express 3-0 in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
Assuming they beat their opponent in the third round, the Cosmos will advance to play an MLS side on June 15th. In the last two years, they have hosted and won both third round MLS derbies with the same result, but wildly different stories.
On June 14, 2014, the Cosmos smothered the New York Red Bulls with two goals from Mads Stokkelien in the first half and a third from Alessandro Noselli in the second half. Jimmy Maurer put the icing on the cake shutting out the MLS side to advance to the Round of 16. The Cosmos would travel to Philadelphia where, after a series of controversial decisions, the Union would eliminate them in extra time.
On June 17, 2015, the Cosmos played host to another derby and a new opponent. New York City Football Club had out to a 2-0 lead by the second half and only the efforts of Lucky Mkosana, who assisted on a 65th minute Leo Fernandes goal and scored a 90th minute equalizer, would save them and send them into extra time. A missed City penalty in extra time sent the two teams to a shootout. City took the early lead, scoring three of their four penalties to the Cosmos’ two conversions. But with City blowing their last two shots, the Cosmos scored theirs and advanced, yet again, to the Round of 16.
Their luck ran out in New Jersey as a determined Red Bulls side would play spoiler to the Cosmos’ hopes. Lucky Mkosana scored the only Cosmos goal in a 4-1 loss as they were unceremoniously eliminated from the Round of 16 again.
Now, a new journey begins as the Cosmos will try once again to win the oldest cup competition in US Soccer. A win would not only earn them a trophy, prestige, and a nice payday ($250,000), but entry into the CONCACAF Champions League, the only way the club could currently enter that competition.