The New York Cosmos are one of the most iconic names in American soccer and on Saturday, they stand in the way as Boston City FC looks to bounce back from a first defeat of the new National Premier Soccer League season.
Michael Bustamante’s Lions (0-1-1) travel to the Mitchel Athletic Complex on Long Island looking to upset the form book and the conference leading Cosmos (2-0-0) who have won both their opening matches 2-0, seeing off the challenge of New York Athletic Club and Kingston Stockade. Boston City FC opened with a 3-3 draw away to Hartford City on April 27, but then crashed 6-0 at home in the return fixture.
History at least is on the Lions’ side. Last season, the club recovered from a home defeat by the same score with a win against an unbeaten opponent, and the only time Boston City has visited the Cosmos, the team earned a stunning 3-2 upset in New York. That victory came back in the club’s inaugural 2016 season when Bustamante starred in the midfield and scored the game’s second goal with a 20-yard strike. This season’s leading scorer Jhonata Batista (2 goals) opened the scoring in that win.
“We have to come ready to compete and work as a unit,” said coach Michael Bustamante. “We need to be more dangerous and decisive and our overall performance has to be better. We know the Cosmos are a historically strong team and they have very talented players, but we need to make sure they are concerned about us and our style and compete with them.”
Last season’s conference champions, the Cosmos boast a professional squad preparing to enter the NPSL Founders Cup competition in the fall. Their ranks include former U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Danny Szetela and Albanian national team captain, left back Ansi Agolli. The hosts will also be roared on by a noisy crowd and had 3,750 fans in attendance for their last home match.
Boston City returns to New York on Wednesday of next week, May 15, to take on NY Athletic Club (0-1-0).