Blog Written by Alessandro Pugliese (@sandro_pugliese):
The New York Cosmos lost in heartbreaking fashion to the New England Revolution in the fifth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. It was a similar script for the Cosmos, who have now lost in the fifth round of the competition to an MLS club for the third consecutive year. This year the NASL club was selected to host and the match took place at Belson Stadium on the campus of St. John’s University.
A well-worked team goal finished off by Ruben Bover in the 38th minute put the Cosmos in front. But the Revs responded just five minutes later when Teal Bunbury blew by Ayoze and roofed a shot into the top of the net at the near post. The Cosmos regained the lead in the 56th minute as Sebastian Guenzatti took down a pass in the air onto his left foot inside the box and placed the ball into the far corner. The NASL club had two opportunities to double their advantage but could not convert their chances, which would come back to haunt them. Kei Kamara found his first goal for the Revs, with some luck as Roversio’s block gave him an open net, 14 minutes after coming off the bench. Following the dispossession of Adam Moffat by Zachary Herivaux, which looked like foul, Kei Kamara played in Teal Bunbury who scored his second of the night and seal the comeback for the Revs. The Cosmos pushed forward in the remaining seven minutes and change but couldn’t find a late equalizer.
Kei Kamara and Lee Nyguen coming off the bench brought the Revs to a level of play that is just above this Cosmos team. Meanwhile, when Adam Moffat came into the match he was far too slow and simply not up to the pace that was needed. When MLS clubs play their top talent in Open Cup matches, it’s very hard for any NASL club to keep up to par.
The New York Cosmos have once again lost in the fifth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the third straight year. Two years ago it was to the Philadelphia Union after Extra Time and last year to the NY Red Bulls in Harrison, New Jersey. Each loss gave Cosmos supporters hope of the possibility to make history and advance to the quarterfinals of the Open Cup. Each loss has also come with mistakes from Cosmos players that have directly resulted in opponents scoring. Last year, Hunter Gorskie lost the ball right outside his box and then gave up a penalty trying to win the ball back. While last night, a dreadful punt from Jimmy Maurer allowed the Revs to quickly find Kamara for the tying goal. Then, as Adam Moffat was too slow with the ball at his feet in his own defensive third, a crunching tackle won the ball for the Revs, which allowed Kamara to play Bunbury in on goal.
So, the Cosmos have yet to been able to get over the fifth round hump of the U.S. Open Cup. Both the players and fans really felt this was the year to make the deepest run in club history in the competition. This loss will sting especially being only 15 minutes away from glory but coach Giovanni Savarese after the match said it best, “We are ready to continue to go forward. We cannot stay hanging on the result tonight. We analyze, we look at it, we learn from it, we grow from it.”
It was evident by the player’s reactions and emotions at the end of the match how much this game meant to the club. I even saw a little kid crying in the stands after the final whistle. Supporters chanted, “We’ve got Jimmy Maurer!” as the Cosmos goalkeeper came over to greet and acknowledge the 5 Points (Cosmos supporters clubs). Also, the 5 Points deserve tons of credit for singing and cheering on their team for 90 minutes even after falling behind.
The Cosmos will have to rebound quickly as they kick off their Fall Season on Saturday night against the Ottawa Fury at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium. Jimmy Maurer put it nicely in his post-match comments, “Tonight is a tough one to swallow, it hurts a lot but tomorrow we’ll wake up and get back to work.” It was an immense missed opportunity for the New York Cosmos but sometimes the beautiful game can be painful. The storied club will definitely be looking to break their fifth round curse next year in the U.S. Open Cup.
Below is some footage of clips I took of the match.