Andres Flores and his Cosmos teammates could not solve the Jacksonville defense. (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The Cosmos continued to have problems securing points at home, dropping a 2-0 decision to Jacksonville Armada FC in North American Soccer League action at MCU Park Sunday night.

New York remained in seventh place in the eight-team league in the fall standings with 1-3-3 record and only six points. The team remained in fourth place in the overall standings with a rather shaky 7-6-9 mark and 22 points.

The Cosmos are also a rather mediocre 3-3-5 at home this season. If they keep that pace up, they could jeopardize their shot at the playoffs. The top four teams will qualify for the postseason.

Jacksonville improved to 9-7-8 and 26 points and overall and 3-3-2 and eight points in the fall season.

“I think [the Armada’s] first goal took away momentum,: Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said. “At the beginning of the game, we were doing things the right way, finding spaces and moving forward. We had the right energy, but I think [the first goal] was difficult for us, and then the second goal was tough to come back from.”

The visitors turned the game on its head within a four-minute span in the first half, scoring both goals.

Haitian international Mechack Jerome swung in a free kick from the right wing and put the ball into a dangerous area as Cosmos midfielder Juan Guerra, trying to clear the ball, accidentally put it into his own goal past goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer in the 29th minute.

Jacksonville’s Ciaran Kilduff doubled the lead four minutes later  as Maurer came out to grab a corner kick, but missed the cross. That allowed Kilduff to clean up the loose ball in front of the goal.

Kilduff, a towering forward signed from Irish side Dundalk FC a few weeks ago, tallied his first NASL goal.

Armada FC nearly scored a third goal shortly before halftime when Kilduff saw his close-range header fall inches wide of the post.
The Cosmos struggled to trouble the Armada FC defense all night, and it was really Jacksonville that created the scoring chances. Derek Gebhard’s effort in the 61st minute forced a save from Maurer, as did Jerome’s long-distance strike 10 minutes later.

Former Venezuelan international midfielder Juan Arango made his 2017 debut for the Cosmos, replacing the injured David Diosa in the 83rd minute.

It certainly was a physical match as eight yellow cards were awarded — four to each team.

“We tried, we put everything that we could going forward, but we needed a little bit better quality inside the box to be able to be more dangerous,” Savarese said. “I feel at the end, that’s what we didn’t bring in the second half.”
“It’s a tough game for us at home. We just have to continue to work. We have more matches to play, and we have to continue moving forward.”