The Cosmos won only once in 10 games in 2020. (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
In terms of Cosmos success stories, 2020 was far from being any of the team’s most memorable seasons.
In fact, it was one of the club’s least successful ones, pre- and post-reboot.
The Cosmos never found their rhythm or scoring touch, whether it was the NISA Independent Cup, a shortened National Independent Soccer Association regular season or going winless in the NISA Fall Tournament.
They won only once in 10 matches, finishing with a 1-3-6 mark. They scored only 11 goals and conceded 13.
Very un-Cosmos like.
The COVID-19 pandemic might have had something to do with that, but to its credit, the team never used that as an excuse.
In wake of an underperforming, particularly in Fall Tournament, the Cosmos plan to make some changes for the spring season.
A day after the Cosmos were eliminated from the competition Chief Operating Officer Erik Stover expressed the club’s dissatisfaction with the team’s performance.
“This was a very disappointing fall season,” he said. “We didn’t live up to our expectations and the expectations of the fans and we will have to maStover did not say what specific changes that might be made or talk about the future of head coach Carlos Mendes, who has directed the team for the past three years.
Stover did not say what specific changes that might be made.
The Cosmos have enjoyed a storied history, winning eight North American Soccer League titles, three after their reboot in 2013. A level of excellence is expected by the team, players, coaches and fans. Anything less than a championship is considered failure.
“We will use that extended offseason to analyze everything and set out a plan for moving forward,” Stover said.
“We’re only partway through the 2020-21 season, so the good news is that we have time to get things corrected to compete for a championship.”
There was little doubt that several players did not play up to expectations.
New York scored only once in the Fall Tournament – Shavon John-Brown’s stoppage-time score in the 2-1 defeat to the Los Angeles Force Monday. During the regular season, the team tallied five goals.
Forwards Isaac Acuna, Bledi Bardic and Aly Hassan did not play up to their potential. There was no great playmaking force in the midfield. The future of former Albanian international defender-midfielder Ansi Agolli, who turns 38 on Oct. 11, must be determined.
While every team in each sport has been forced to deal with the pandemic, some clubs and players thrived while others didn’t. The Cosmos took the pandemic seriously, working closely with the Nassau University Medical Center to test players on a regular basis.
Tomorrow: Local storyy No. 5