Former Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese is 2-0-1 vs. NYCFC. (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
By Michael Lewis
With his Portland Timbers besting New York City FC, 3-0 Sunday, Giovanni Savarese remained undefeated against City Football Group.
That’s right, the Timbers head coach is 2-0-1 against City.
The first two results came when Savarese guided the Cosmos in the North American Soccer League.
Savarese told a postgame press conference that NYCFC was “a fantastic team and we knew it was going to be a very big challenge.”
“They have been doing very well,” he added. “I was very happy with the discipline, the maturity, of our team – in how they approached the match and especially how they worked through the entire match to get a complete result. Very proud of the guys today.”
In the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the Cosmos rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie NYCFC and force extratime. In the shootout, Cosmos goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer stoned City as the NASL side moved on in the match played at Hofstra University. The result officially went down as a draw, and not a win, in the record books.
In the 2016 Open Cup, Danny Szetela headed in a feed in the 88th minute to boost the Cosmos to a 1-0 win at Fordham University.
And then came Sunday’s rousing result.
“We felt that we needed to change something for this match especially because of the way they play,” Savarese said. “But also we understood that when we had the ball we had to create the things we did well in the past few games. And the guys were able to execute in a very good way. There were some moments in the second half where they threw some different things at us. They pushed their fullbacks higher. The middles defended a little bit deeper. Overall the guys were very disciplined and I was very content and proud of the work they put in.”
Incidentally, Maurer and FC Dallas will visit NYCFC at Yankee Stadium next Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
Here’s Savarese’s full press conference from Sunday night: