Matt Lewis sinks a shot in his duel with teammate Ansi Agolli. (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — A trash bin was the center of attention, but there was no trash talk involved.

After the Cosmos completed their Monday practice session at Mitchel Athletic Complex, a couple of teammates went one-on-one with each other in a sport where they could use their hands — basketball.

Defenders Ansi Agolli and Matt Lewis faced off in their own little competition on Monday, taking somewhere in the range of 15-foot shots at the empty bin with their hands and not their feet.

“A small one, like penalty kicks,” Agolli said of the mano a mano confrontation.

“Sometimes it’s good it’s not only soccer,” he added. “Change the air. Sometimes it’s good to play other sports.”

He got no argument from his foe.

“It’s good for us. He’s a funny guy,” Lewis said. “I asked him if he liked do basketball? We started shooting some hoops. Funny stuff like that takes your mind off the soccer aspect of it after a tough session or a session at all. It’s just fun for us to do that.”

Cosmos head coach Carlos Mendes liked what he saw because it was after practice as his team trained for their match at the Michigan Stars on Saturday at 7 p.m.

“It builds chemistry,” he said. “It’s good for the guys. We have a good group. They’re always joking around in the locker room, on the field. It builds camaraderie and I think that helps in the big picture. Some of them may think that they’re better at other sports than they are. But the most important thing is mentally that your focus is on training and afterwards you disconnect.”

Agolli, the former captain of the Albanian national team, followed the NBA from afar when he performed in his native country and Azerbaijan.

When he took his shots Monday, Agolli proclaimed, “Michael Jordan,” trying to emulate his favorite player who starred for the Chicago Bulls back in the day.

“Not only mine, but my generation,” the 36-year-old Agolli said of Jordan. “I used to support before the Bulls when Jordan was playing. I don’t watch so much [anymore’. The Lakers sometimes.”

The 6-2, 165-lb. Lewis played basketball his first two years at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Mo. before he decided to concentrate on just soccer.

As for the winner of this little competition, Lewis won, 3-2, as each Cosmos player took five shots.

“It came down to the last shot to tie it and he hit the rim,” Lewis said. “I’ll take it.”

Both teammates agreed there probably will be a Round Two, and Agolli will be able to get his “revenge,” perhaps as early as this week.

“Of course, I will get my chance again,” Agolli said with a smile.