Carlos Mendes: “Brooklyn’s struggling right now for number. The spring season sometimes for college teams is tough ” (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
By Michael Lewis
UNIONDALE, N.Y. — The Cosmos’ preseason game against LIU Brooklyn is off.
Scheduled for Friday at Mitchel Athletic Complex here, the match was called off because LIU did not have enough players.
“Unfortunately, Brooklyn’s struggling right now for numbers,” Cosmos head coach Carlos Mendes said after training Thursday afternoon. “The spring season sometimes for college teams is tough. We’ll see if we can make that up or reschedule.”
Mendes was disappointed that he could not get another game in for his squad two days after the Cosmos dropped a 3-0 decision to Red Bull II in Hanover, N.J.
“Yeah, obviously, just to get more guys to play and with one group playing more minutes against Red Bull and another group playing. But it happens. We understand. We still have for sure two more games.”
Also disappointed was midfielder Giuseppe Barone, who last fall completed his fourth season at LIU Brooklyn.
“I was looking forward playing with them,” he said. “I spoke to the guys during the week and there was a bit of excitement just to go against them.”
Barone said the game was the Blackbirds’ final spring season match, which would have been the last game in program history. The Brooklyn program has been merged with the LIU Post program and the team will play out of the Long Island campus in Brookville, N.Y. next fall.
Disappointment seemed to be the word of the day for the Cosmos, who came off that loss to Red Bull II.
Mendes said he was disappointed with the result, but not with the team’s effort.
“I don’t think the result showed fully how the game went to be honest… not that we were fantastic, but I think we showed a lot of improvement in a lot of areas. Tactically, we were more aware.”
The Cosmos were called for two penalty kicks, one via a hand ball.
“They took advantage of some set pieces,” Mendes said. “Two PKs against us and that was the difference in the game.
“A learning process.”
Asked if anyone or anything stood out, Mendes replied, “The fight and attitude was there. I thought Matt [Lewis, defender] was very good. Boca [Ricardo Bocanegra] in the middle, we played him as a No. 10 underneath, had a good relationship with [Jochen] Graf. I thought Graf did really well, worked hard, got himself in good spots. Just didn’t finish opportunities. He’ll be the first one to tell you that when he gets two or three opportunities, he wants at least one. I think disappointed there. Good to get Darwin [Espinal] back into the rhythm. he missed a chance.
“Overall, a lot of positives. We just have to be a little more dynamic in taking advantage of the opportunities.”
The Cosmos have two more preseason matches left this month — at Fordham University Wednesday, April 10 and at St. John’s University April 16.
They open their National Premier Socccer League season, hosting the New York Athletic Club at Mitchel Saturday, April 27.