Chris Wingert: “In both boxes we weren’t good enough. … We probably could have finished a couple of more. Any time you give up three goals, you can’t expect to win.” (Photo courtesy of MLS)
By Michael Lewis
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — One by one, players from a forlorn Cosmos B team walked out of its locker room at the Wellness Center at Long Island University Brooklyn Sunday night.
They had just been denied entry into the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, dropping a 3-2 decision to National Premier Soccer League rival Brooklyn Italians at the LIU Brooklyn Athletic Facility.
Cosmos B had several players with professional soccer experience, including defenders Chris Wingert, Danny Szetela, Jonathan Borrajo, Wojciech Wojcik and Rafa Garcia, among others.
The Italians were stocked with college players from the area, including LIU, St. Francis Brooklyn and St. John’s University.
“As you can imagine, super disappointed in the performance,” said Wingert, who played at center back. “It just wasn’t good enough for us. Too many mistakes in the back.”
Those mistakes allowed forward Rasmus Hansen, who plays for LIU, to score twice in the second half, including the game-winner in the 85th minute.
“We knocked the ball around fairly well, but that’s football,” said Wingert, whose pass set up Cosmos B’s first goal, by Bledi Bardic in the 37th minute. “We’ve got to be better in the box. In both boxes we weren’t good enough. … We probably could have finished a couple of more. Any time you give up three goals, you can’t expect to win.”
Giuseppe Barone, who tallied the opening goal, and Hansen gave Cosmos B’s right flank fits with their speed.
“I think we weren’t on the same page as a backline,” Wingert said. “The first half they only got in twice and one of them was a goal. The second half, things opened up a little bit more and we were chasing the game a little and got caught a couple of times where our line wasn’t as good as we needed it to be and they punished us for it.”
Wingert praised the Italians, who have won the Open Cup twice (1979, 1991).
“They did a great job,” he said. “Credit to them for winning the game but any time you’re on the other side you’re focused on what we could have done better.”
Cosmos B, which won its NPSL season-opener at Boston City FC last week, 4-0 will have some time to focus on what it could have done better. It doesn’t play against until Tuesday, May 15, when the team is scheduled to host the Italians at Hofstra Soccer Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y.