NASL Soccer Bowl Sees Cosmos Return to Glory

New York concludes triumphant return to league with Soccer Bowl victory
by Danny Morales   |   Monday, November 11, 2013

NASL Soccer Bowl, NY Csomos, NASL, Atlanta Silverbacks

ATLANTA — “The New York Cosmos are back” were the words manager Carlos Llamosa uttered shortly after his Cosmos were crowned 2013 NASL Soccer Bowl champions.

Marcos Senna scored the lone goal of the game, while helping the New York Cosmos defeat the Atlanta Silverbacks 1-0 in front of an announced attendance of 7,211 in the NASL Soccer Bowl at Atlanta Silverbacks Park on Saturday.

“It’s an exciting day for sure,” said Llamosa following his team’s championship win. “We worked very hard this season. We had to come in in the second part of the full season, so we didn’t have that much time to work.”

The Cosmos made it to the Soccer Bowl after dominating the NASL’s Fall season with a 9-4-1 record during the club’s reboot. New York hadn’t lost a match since Aug. 17 against the Carolina RailHawks.

This year’s Soccer Bowl marked the first with the league’s split-season format, in which the winner of the Spring and Fall season’s meet in a championship game at the end of the year.

Senna’s goal came early in the second half when the Brazilian put the ball past Silverbacks’ goalkeeper Joe Nasco and into the back of the net, giving the Cosmos a 1-0 lead in the 50th minute, while also queuing the fireworks from the club’s supporters.

“First of all I’d like to thank them for the effort, it wasn’t easy, I think it was a 12- or 14-hour car ride,” said Senna about the Cosmos’ supporters who traveled to Atlanta for the game. “They’ve supported us since the beginning, I consider them our 12th player.

“They also deserve it,” added Senna about the fans and their championship.

Atlanta seemed to have all the momentum early in the first half, as they managed to outshoot 7-6 for the game, but only two of the Silverbacks shots were on net compared to the Cosmos’ four.

The Silverbacks would have their chances to tie the game, including a header from Pedro Mendes that went begging over the crossbar in the 63rd minute.

Shane Moroney had another opportunity to tie the game when he broke away from the defense and had a one-on-one with the keeper in the 77th minute, but couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net.

New York was able to hold on to the one-goal advantage and kept their 12-match streak without a loss alive thanks to the club’s biggest win of the season.

This year’s Soccer Bowl set a few NASL records including highest attendance (since 2011) with 7,211, while also marking the coldest Soccer Bowl played dating back to the original NASL days. The temperature at kickoff was 50 degrees and it continued to get colder as the game went on.

Now the Silverbacks and the Cosmos have all the makings of a rivalry, as many Atlanta fans believe that the Cosmos are only half season champions.

“I’m the kind of person that don’t really forget very easily,” said Silverbacks head coach Franklin McIntosh following the game. “I can’t wait to play them again, I don’t care if it’s in a bowl or wherever I just can’t wait to play them again.”

It is worth noting that following the game NASL commissioner Bill Peterson said that he has no plans of changing the new split-season format, but did say that the league will evaluate it to see how they can improve.

“We’re happy with that right now,” said Peterson about the new format. “But we’ll absolutely evaluate everything. We’re not finished developing as a league.”

Danny MORALES

Nationality:
USA
College:
Valencia College
Club Domestic:
Orlando City
Club Foreign:
Real Madrid
Former athlete turned journalist who remembers the days of the Miami Fusion and Tampa Bay Mutiny, Danny now writes Orlando City news while chronicling the clubs move to become an MLS franchise.
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