This is Cosmos Country Blog — August 11, 2013 at 12:26 am

Tempers and Temperatures Rise as Cosmos and Rowdies Draw


Hard Fought Match (Image Credit: Tampa Bay Rowdies)

St. Petersburg, FL - In front of a sellout crowd of over 7,000, with the heat and humidity weighing down on the fans and players alike, the New York Cosmos and Tampa Bay Rowdies played to a scoreless draw that saw both teams with a goal disallowed as offside.

The two teams, who had not played each other since 1984, played a close and aggressive game that resulted in a total of 26 fouls and five yellow cards. The two teams traded bouts of possession in the first half, with no real clear shot at goal until Joseph Nane’s breakway in the 21st minute.

Nane streaked down the middle of the field, but his shot hit the post and went out of bounds. The Rowdies responded, and later Carl Cort had his own breakaway that was denied, his dribbler of a shot being collected easily by Kyle Reynish. The closest shot of the half went to Tampa Bay’s Luke Mulholland, whose free kick from 25 yards out went just wide of the post and Reynish’s outstretched hands.

The second half saw former NASL MVP Etienne Barbara come on for Cort, and he immediately provided a change of pace in the attacking third. The Cosmos began to piece together solid attacking from the wings and the pressure began to build on Rowdies keeper Diego Restrepo, who was forced into making several dramatic saves.

That pressure came to a head in the 77th minute as three Cosmos shots were saved off the line in succession. The Rowdies countered and forward Georgi Hristov appeared to have scored, but was adjudged as offside.

The Cosmos immediately attempted capitalized on the missed chance, and forward Alessandro Noselli finally got the ball past Restrepo in the 88th minute. However, the Cosmos would be denied a second late winner in as many games, as that goal too was called offside.

Just before full time, Mulholland was shown a second yellow for dissent, but the Cosmos were unable to seize upon the man advantage, as the resulting free kick was the last touch of the game. Mulholland will now miss the Rowdies’ game next week at Minnesota United, in a rematch of the 2012 Soccer Bowl.

While the Cosmos wing play steadily built momentum throughout the game, the Rowdies defense put in their day’s work, leaving both teams with a point, and tied atop the NASL Standings. The teams will meet again in New York on September 28th for the next chapter in this storied rivalry.

Steve Holler, member of the Tampa Bay Rowdies supporters group, Ralph’s Mob attended the match and generously took the time to write his recap for us. Thank you, Steve!


  1. joseph nane is on the ny cosmos. the nene is the state bird of Hawaii.

  2. On a positive note, now we know Hawaii’s state bird. Thanks for the assist!

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