By Michael Lewis
UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Danny Szetela made no excuses. The Cosmos captain took full responsibility for his team’s 3-1 loss to Miami FC in the National Premier Soccer League final Saturday night.
“I feel I let the guys down,” he said, referring to losing the ball twice at midfield that led to Miami FC’s first two goals within a two-minute span at the Mitchel Athletic Complex.
Szetela was stripped of the ball in the 24th and 26th minutes as Miami FC captain Dylan Mares scored twice to boost the visitors into a 2-0 advantage.
“I made two mistakes in the first half when they scored both of their goals, giving the ball away in the middle of the field, which I never make or if I do make it, I never do it twice.”
He added that he was “disappointed in myself, disappointed that we couldn’t pull it off. I feel like those mistakes I made in the middle is where they scored the two goals … I feel I let the guys down, but we’ve got to move forward.”
Szetela indicated that the result might have a determination on whether the 32-year-old midfielder retires or continues to play.
“It’s going to hurt for me especially,” he said. “I’ve been thinking a lot about my career about when it’s time to retire. There’s a lot of thinking to do. I don’t want to go out like this. So, I know we have the Members Cup. This one was important to me. We’ll see how it goes and go from there.”
The Cosmos will play their first match in the inaugural Members Cup at Chattanooga FC Saturday at 7 p.m.
Head coach Carlos Mendes refused to single out Szetela.
“Of course, Danny can do better,” he said. “For me, it starts with the entire group and the chances that we also missed. We put ourselves in good spots a lot and when you don’t finish your chances, the game becomes complicated. I don’t think it falls on Danny. It’s on the group.
“When you don’t do things well on both sides, in the attacking third, you’re not sharp, then you’re going to pay the price. It’s a lesson. We said we have to keep our heads up high. We did a lot of good things. We’re in the final, playing a good team. Those little things were the difference tonight.”