Danny Szetela scored the second goal for the Cosmos in their Open Cup loss. (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)

READING, Pa. — The Cosmos crashed out of the Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup Wednesday night, losing to a Premier Development League team in the process.

The two-time defending North American Soccer League champions endured a nightmare six-minute span in late in the opening half in which they dug their grave by allowing three goals to Reading United AC en route to a devastating 3-1 loss at Albright College’s Shirk Stadium.

The Cosmos perform in the second division NASL, while the PDL is the fourth division of the American soccer pyramid structure.

They never could recover and were bounced by a lower league side in the national competition for the first time in the four years they have competed in the cup.

Kalif Alhassan gave the Cosmos an 11th-minute lead before New York imploded late in the half.

First, Paul Marie equalized for the hosts in the 38th minute past goalkeeper Jimmy Mauer. Only three minutes later, Marco Micaletto gave Reading a 2-1 advantage it would never relinquish and Frantzdy Pierrot gave United some breaking room by connecting in the 44th minute off a Hugo Delhommell feed.

Veteran midfielder Danny Szetela, the only Cosmos to play in every one of their Open Cup matches, pulled the visitors back to within 3-2 in the 63rd minute, scoring pass goalkeeper Benjamin Beaury.

United’s Mohammed Adams was sent off with a red card two minutes into second-half stoppage time.

The Cosmos leave Thursday for an exhibition game against Al-Hilal FC in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Saturday.

New York will return to MCU Park, hosing the San Francisco Deltas Saturday, May 27 at 7 p.m.


Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Guardian.com. Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of BigAppleSoccer.com. He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at Amazon.com.