Giovanni Savarese: “I have never been that kind of person who wants one time more than another because I think when you become choosy, then things don’t work your way.” (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
By Michael Lewis
UNIONDALE, N.Y. — While a victory by one team will hand the Cosmos a home match, head coach Giovanni Savarese admits he has no rooting interest in the Reading United AC-Clarkstown SC Eagles encounter in the Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup.
Reading United (Premier Development League) hosts Clarkstown SC (National Premier Soccer League) in a first-round game at Exeter Township Senior High School in Reading, Pa. at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
If Clarkstown prevails, the Cosmos will host the NPSL side in a second-round match at Rocco B. Commisso Stadium at Columbia University in Manhattan May 17 at 7 p.m.
If Reading wins, the PDL team will welcome the Cosmos May 17.
Of course, playing at Commisso Stadium would give the two-time reigning North American Soccer League defending champions a home-field advantage.
“I have never been that kind of person who wants one time more than another because I think when you become choosy, then things don’t work your way,” Savarese said after a recent practice. “You just have to let things fall into place.
“We have to watch the game. We have to look at both teams and always as I have said, ‘I think these are the most difficult matches that you have to play.’ Now we have to play two games, not one as we did in the past, in order to play against an MLS club. So, we have to know to look at both teams.”
The third round is scheduled for May 31 with the fourth round scheduled for June 14, when Major League Soccer clubs enter the competition.
“If it is home or away, both will be very difficult matches,” Savarese said. “They both have strengths in different ways. They’re two very different teams made out of different situations, though I think for us either game will be very tough.”
If the Cosmos wind up playing at Columbia, it will be a familiar ground to Savarese. He played there with the MetroStars (now the Red Bulls) against the Dallas Burn (now FC Dallas) in an Open Cup game way back in September 1997. Dallas won in extratime, 2-1.
“I played there back in the day,” Savarese said. “Now, of course it’s a different turf. It was natural grass. Now it is turf. We’ve been there. We know it’s a good field and that was the field that was avaialble for us to be able to play. It made the most sense for us to be there.”