Danny Szetela: “I’m a tough guy. I’m not going to get off the field for a little bit of blood.” (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
Danny Szetela says he will be ready to play against Chattanooga FC Saturday night despite taking a hit on his head earlier this week.
The Cosmos team captain says that he suffered a minor cut on the top of his head in the scoreless draw against Detroit City FC Wednesday.
“I’m feeling ok,” he said. “Fortunately, it was the top of my head and not my forehead. Everything’s good. No concussion, just a little cut with some blood. It was all good. I didn’t have to get stitches. You know me, I’m a tough guy. I’m not going to get off the field for a little bit of blood.”
After colliding with Ibrahim Conteh, Szetela required a bandage in Cosmos green wrapped around his head for the remainder of half. He returned to play without it in the second half.
“Danny is tough. He is a tough character,” Cosmos head coach Carlos Mendes said. “It takes a lot to get him off the pitch.”
Szetela is entering Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. encounter at Chattanooga (streamed on www.Mycujoo.TV) with the mindset that the Cosmos are in the postseason. The National Independent Soccer Association tournament is right around the corner.
If the Cosmos (1-0-2, five points) win and a couple of other results go their way, they will win the Eastern Division fall division and help them secure a higher seed in the NISA Fall Tournament. That competition is scheduled to run from Sept. 21-Oct. 2.
“We want to finish the No. 1 seed,” Szetela said. “If we finish as the No. 1 seed, the group can be a little easier. But again, there is going to be no easy games. Every team wants to win. So, it’s going to be tough. We’re going to be focused on this game against Chattanooga and get three points and try to finish in first place.”
Chattanooga FC (1-1-0, 3) has two games remaining in the shortened regular season and is still in contention for the division title.
In their only trip to Tennessee, the Cosmos recorded a hard-earned 1-0 victory in their 2019 NPSL Members Cup opener on a Junior Burgos goal in the heat and humidity.
“Every team that comes out against us wants to play to win and it’s the biggest game of the season,” Szetela said. “Coming down to Chattanooga, it’s going to be hot and humid again. So, we’ve got to make sure we’re doing the right things off the field, hydrating, eating well and getting prepared for that part of the game
“It’s going to be a tough one. We want to make sure we finish on a positive note going into the playoffs. It’s going to be fun, hot and humid. New York hasn’t been so cold, so we’re ready for it.”