The Cosmos made the biggest player signing in modern NASL history when they inked Raúl for the start of the 2015 season. They also were able to sign former Scorpion, Walter Restrepo, as well as others that have played themselves to the top of the league. They are in prime position to win the Spring title, and with a win against San Antonio, they will eliminate the Scorpions from the Spring title mathematically. The Cosmos made a miraculous come back win last week at Carolina to keep their unbeaten start alive. They were down 0-2 to the Railhawks and scored two goals, both in stoppage time, to secure a point for their efforts.
San Antonio, on the other hand, is on a two game winning streak after losing three of its first four games and seem to be gelling together. They have the league's leading scorer in Omar Cummings but have the league's second worst goals against record having already given up 11 goals in six games. On Tuesday, San Antonio's defense took another hit when Sporting Kansas City recalled Saad Abdul-Salaam from his loan. Keeping New York's attack at bay will be crucial for a San Antonio victory in New York.
Last season & Outlook.
San Antonio leads the all-time series against the Cosmos, 4-0-2, including a victory in last years Championship semi-final. New York and San Antonio were very familiar with each other in 2014. The Scorpions swept the season series in 2014, including two wins in New York and two in San Antonio; the first win in San Antonio came by a stoppage-time goal from captain Adrian Cann to secure the Fall Season title. They would meet the following week in the Championship semi-final where the Scorpions were victorious after the game went into added time.
2015 has gone quite well for the Cosmos. They are on track to win the Spring, but even if they don't, they have set themselves up nicely for a good Fall in order for them to qualify for the playoffs. San Antonio is technically still alive in the Spring race, but if they lose to New York this week, they will be eliminated from Spring title contention. San Antonio needs to continue to improve, accumulate as many points as possible so that they can have a change to qualify for the post-season in the Fall.
Players to watch.
Raúl. It's pretty simple. While the team has plenty of quality players, none are on the level of Raúl. It's a big test for all of our players as many of them have seldom, if ever, played against such a soccer legend. Any nerves the Scorpions have need to be left in San Antonio.
For San Antonio, the players I'll be watching are Billy Forbes and Adrian Cann. Forbes has had two solid back-to-back games. His presence in the attacking third adds another dimension that can either free up Omar Cummings, or allow him to score on his own. On the back line, I'll look to Cann for his leadership in making sure that the Cosmos stay out of Daryl Sattler's net. The Cosmos have four players with two goals each this season, meaning their scoring chances will likely come from many places. This will be a big test for the Scorpions' defense.
San Antonio is 2-0-1 when playing the Cosmos in New York. The Scorpions are playing much better than at the start of the season, but still have questions to be answered on defense. I predict a 2-2 draw for the visitors. The Scorpions need to focus on getting as many points as possible for the remainder of the Spring. Stealing a point from the league leaders will be a decent result.
The game is this Saturday, May 23 in Hempstead, New York at 6pm CST. #NYCvSAS
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