Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese and his team face another important game. (Joy Rubenstein/FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Another game, another must-win situation for the Cosmos.
With only three games remaining in the North American Soccer League season, the Cosmos must find a way to secure three points against Puerto Rico FC at Central Broward Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Wednesday night.
Entering the match, the Cosmos (8-7-14, 38 points) are in fourth place in the combined standings, which would be good enough at the moment to secure one of the four postseason berths. They are tied with Jacksonville Armada (9-9-11, 38), but would get the nod due to better goal differential (minus one to minus two).
Puerto Rico FC is in last place in the eight-team NASL with a 3-15-10 mark and 19 points.
The original Puerto Rico-Cosmos match originally was scheduled to be played at Juan Ramón Stadium in Puerto Rico Saturday, Sept. 9. Due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, it was announced on Oct. 10 that the Caribbean club would finish its schedule on the U.S. mainland while Puerto Rico recovers.
The Cosmos are unbeaten in six all-time games against Puerto Rico FC (5-0-1) since the latter joined the league for the fall 2016 season. This season, New York is 3-0-1, outscoring PRFC, 9-5. Their most recent meeting was last Saturday at MCU Park in Brooklyn, N.Y. as the teams battled to a scoreless draw.
The visitors have played one previous game at Central Broward Stadium, a 0-0 draw against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers Sept. 3, 2016 when the venue was the home of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. In that game, the Cosmos outshot the Strikers 19-5, including 8-1 in shots on goal.
Regardless what transpires Wednesday, the Cosmos will jump from the frying pan into the proverbial fire as they will visit Jacksonville Sunday.
Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese earned his 60th NASL regular season victory in the team’s 1-0 win over Puerto Rico Oct. 1. Only North Carolina FC’s Colin Clarke has more wins (78) than Savarese in the Modern NASL. Savarese is looking to become the first coach in NASL history to lead his club to three consecutive championships.