It is down to two teams for the North American Soccer League Spring Championship. The New York Cosmos and the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
A victory or a draw for the Cosmos will crown them the champions of the Spring Season, which guarantees them one of the top two seeds in the NASL’s four team playoff format that will start in November.
For Tampa Bay the road is a bit tougher as they will need to earn a victory over Atlanta, but also hope that the Cosmos drop the match versus Jacksonville.
June 13 is when the NASL Spring Season will be decided, and for the Cosmos they will look to continue the formula against the Jacksonville Armada that has propelled them to the top of the standings.
For New York being able to strike early, while having great defensive play has been only two of the many reasons why the team has been successful. How good has the defense been thus far the Cosmos defense has allowed the fewest goals this year (6).
This club has also seen a different player step-up to score in each match, which makes it extremely hard to predict who will be the player to watch.
Leo Fernandes and Lucky Mkosana have both been a brilliant on the offensive side for New York. Fernandes has three goals and two assist, while Mkosana has two goals and one assist-when these two have combined it has just been pure magic for the Cosmos.
Striker Raúl leads the club, while also ranking third in the North American Soccer League with his four goals. The most recent goal for Raúl came in the 90th minute in the match against Minnesota United FC, to earn the club a huge draw on the road.
Sebastián Guenzatti has had goals for the Cosmos in the US Open Cup match versus the Jersey Express and in the match versus the Cuban National team, and could possibly see time on the pitch against Jacksonville.
The Armanda FC has been in a bit of a scoring drought as the club has been held without a goal in the last three matches.
Players to watch for on Jacksonville are Forward Pascal Millien was named to the NASL Team of the Week on Wednesday after leading the Armada FC’s attack in their scoreless draw with Ottawa Fury FC last Sunday. The 29-year-old Haitian is tied for second on the team with two goals scored in 670 minutes of action. Attacking midfielder Marcos Flores, who has been playing center forward for the injured Alhassane Keita, was named the Farah & Farah Man of the Match last Sunday after creating numerous scoring opportunities for the Armada FC.
For both New York and Tampa Bay if either is to win the NASL Spring Championship it will be a first in the franchise, as neither team has been able to win it. The Atlanta Silverbacks won the inaugural edition in 2012 and Minnesota United FC captured last year’s title.
In addition to seeing some great soccer the first 3,000 fans at Shuart Stadium on the Campus of Hofstra University will receive a Marcos Senna bobblehead as a part of the Cosmos Legends Series.
The action between the New York Cosmos and the Jacksonville Armada is set to start at 7:30 p.m. The match is also set to air on ONE World Sports.
For more information on the New York Cosmos and for tickets to the upcoming matches fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here: