Cosmos head coach Carlos Mendes said the bus trip to Chattanooga was “the safest way” to travel during the pandemic. (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
By Michael Lewis
The Cosmos will travel to Chattanooga in a rather unconventional way.
They are set to take a bus trip beginning Thursday that will last two days.
Taking precautions with the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping the players in a bus should keep the players in a traveling bubble. After a stopover in Virginia Thursday night, the team will arrive in Chattanooga, Teen. Friday. They play at Chattanooga FC Saturday.
After their regular season finale, the Cosmos will return to the metropolitan area via a two-day bus ride.
“It’s the safest way,” Cosmos head coach Carlos Mendes said. “That’s obviously the top priority. It makes the travel much longer. It’s something that everybody is dealing with and were prepared for.”
After not playing for 19 days, the Cosmos will compete in two matches over two days. They wound up in a scoreless home draw with Detroit City FC Wednesday night and then, of course, Saturday’s encounter.
After returning home early next week, the Cosmos will start preparing for the NISA fall playoffs, which is scheduled to run from Sept. 21 through Oct. 2.
Cosmos Chief Operating Officer Erik Stover told MyCujoo.TV announcers that the playoffs could be similar to a World Cup style competition in which there will be two groups of four teams playing each other. The top two teams in each group would reach the semifinals.
If the Cosmos reach the final, they could play five matches over 12 days.
That would mean they and any other team, would need a lot of depth to get through the tournament in one piece.
Mendes said that he plans to use a rotation so no player would be burned out.
“Guys will have opportunities to play,” he said. “It’s going to be a lot of travel, a lot of games, something that everybody will have to deal with.
“Everyone is excited to be back on the field and playing competitive games and preparing now for the most exciting part of the season. Everyone is looking forward to it.”