Juan Guerra, who scored the lone goal against North Carolina FC last weekend, will miss the return home match with a red-card suspension. (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
After suffering their second home defeat of the North American Soccer League spring season, the Cosmos’ depth will be tested this weekend.
They limp into Saturday’s home encounter with North Carolina FC without six players.
Forward Juan Guerra and defender Darrius Barnes are suspended for the 4 p.m. match after accruing red cards in the Cosmos’ 4-2 loss to FC Edmonton. That result snapped New York’s seven-game unbeaten streak going back to its other home setback — to Miami FC April 1.
Four other players — defenders Dejan Jaković (Canada), David Ochieng (Kenya) , midfielder Richard Menjivar (El Salvador) and forward Irvin Herrera (El Salvador) — are away on international duty.
The Cosmos, who have won only once at MCU Park in Brooklyn, N.Y. this season with a 1-2-2 mark and only five points out of a possible 15, are in third place with a 4-2-4 record and 16 points. North Carolina FC (4-4-2, 14) is in fourth place.
New York will complete a congested three-game in seven-day schedule Saturday, because of its trip to Saudi Arabia for a friendly match last match. The May 21 game against FC Edmonton was moved to Wednesday and Friday’s match vs. North Carolina FC was pushed to Saturday.
After playing last Sunday, the Cosmos meet North Carolina FC once again. New York has had the better of the matchup, winning six straight games against its foes, including last weekend’s 1-0 result as Guerra scored the winner.
North Carolina’s attack had been brimming with confidence, but the club’s run of scoring in each game to start the year came to a halt against the Cosmos.
It’s defense and goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre were called into action. Sylvestre kept North Carolina in the game, making five saves to add to his league-leading total of 45 this season.