In this addition of Lady Victory and Her Quest for Glory I will be discussing Indy Eleven’s first game of the 2015 NASL fall season against the United States most famous soccer team, the New York Cosmos.

PREVIEW: INDY ELEVEN AT NEW YORK COSMOS

All-time series record: 0-4-0

5/24/14 Indy Eleven and New York Cosmos draw, 1-1 at Shuart Stadium. Brad Ring scored for Indy.

8/30/14 Indy Eleven and New York Cosmos draw, 2-2 at Carroll Stadium. Mike Ambersley and Jermaine Johnson scored for Indy.

10/4/14 Indy Eleven and New York Cosmos draw, 0-0 at Shuart Stadium.

4/11/15 Indy Eleven and New York Cosmos draw, 1-1 at Carroll Stadium. Brian Brown scored for Indy.

The New York Cosmos come into the fall season having already secured a playoff position after clinching the spring championship. During the short break between seasons, the Cosmos have been occupied with US Open Cup play. After their dramatic win over MLS side, New York City FC, on June 17th the Cosmos played the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday. This was the first time the Cosmos played in New Jersey since 1991. However, this time New Jersey was not as kind to the Cosmos as they fell 1-4 to the Red Bulls. This was the Cosmos first defeat of the season despite Jimmy Maurer and Mkosana playing well.

Indy Eleven is coming into the fall season after finishing the spring with two wins over Fort Lauderdale and Edmonton under Interim Head Coach, Tim Regan. During those two games, the Eleven scored 5 goals and only allowed 1. This past week, the Eleven had a tune-up game against Liga MX side, Monarcas Morelia. Both teams displayed an attacking style of play but the game ended in a scoreless draw.

The rivalry between the Cosmos and Indy Eleven brings the best out of both teams. However, neither team has been able to collect three points when these teams meet. Earlier this year, the Eleven came close to their first home win of the season as Brian Brown put Indy up earlier after a goalkeeping mistake by Jimmy Maurer. But Raúl erased any hope the Eleven had as the Real Madrid legend was on the end of a free kick to level the score and the game ended 1-1. Expect this game to be wide open with both teams looking to score quickly.

NEW YORK COSMOS:

Head Coach: Giovanni Savarese

Captain: Carlos Mendes

NASL record: 5-5-0 (W,D,L)

Position in NASL: 1st

Last game: US Open Cup. L, 1-4 at New York Red Bulls.

Formation: (4-2-3-1) GK, Maurer; CB, Mendes; CB, Cáceres; RB, Freeman; LB, Gorskie; DM, Szetela; DM, Senna; AM, Flores; RM, Restrepo; LM, Fernandes; F, Mkosana.

INDY ELEVEN:

NASL record: 3-4-3 (W,D,L)

Position in NASL: 5th

Last game: W, 3-0 v. FC Edmonton

Formation: (4-4-2) GK, Nicht; CB, Miller; CB, Norales; RB, Franco; LB, Hyland; DM, Ring; AM, Mares; RM, Stojkov; LM, Pineda; F, Brown; F, Rugg.

STATS:

Eleven:

Goals: Brian Brown, 2; Dylan Mares, 2; Sergio Pena, 2; Victor Pineda, 2; Kyle Hyland, 1; Duke Lacroix, 1; Erick Norales, 1; Don Smart, 1.

Assists: Dylan Mares, 4; Brian Brown, 1; Charlie Rugg, 1; Wojciech Wojcik, 1.

Goalkeepers: Kristian Nicht is averaging 1.1 goals per game in 9 games. Nicht has allowed 10 goals on 28 saves. Keith Cardona has averaged 2 goals per game in 2 games. Cardona has allowed 4 goals on 6 saves in 180 minutes of play.

Cosmos:

Goals: Raúl, 4; Leonardo Fernandes, 3; Lucky Mkosana, 3; Carlos Mendes, 2; Hagop Chirishian, Andrés Flores, 1; Rovérsio, 1; Marcos Senna, 1;

Assists: Walter Restrepo, 3; Leonardo Fernandes, 2; Ayoze Pérez, 2; David Diosa, 1; Lucky Mkosana, 1; Andrés Flores, 1; Daniel Szetela, 1.

Goalkeepers: Jimmy Maurer has played ever minute for the Cosmos, allowing 0.90 goals per game in NASL play. Maurer has only allowed 9 goals on 26 saves.

INJURIES:

Eleven: Since coming out in the first half in Ottawa on May 23rd, Sergio Peña has not played a single minute of action.

Cosmos: Rovérsio (out). Walter Restrepo (questionable). Rául is not 100%.

Credit for Cosmos injury report: Ej Garr.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Eleven:

Dragan Stojkov: Stojkov has started 7 times for Indy Eleven. Under Tim Regan, Stojkov has solidified his position as the left outside midfielder. While giving a physical presence on the left side of the field, the Macedonian has been able to drift into the middle and cover for Mares and Ring when the Eleven has used a diamond formation in the midfield. In my opinion, Stojkov seems more comfortable in the middle of the field but has done a solid work as an outside midfielder.

Cosmos:

Rául: One of the best strikers to ever play the game signed last October for the Cosmos. Rául has played for Real Madrid, Schalke, Al Sadd, and represent Spain at the international level. But, Rául is known for his time at Real Madrid where he scored 323 goals in 741 games. Rául went on to win 6 La Liga (league) and 3 Champions League titles with Real Madrid. In April, Raul scored the equalizing goal for the Cosmos against Indy Eleven is a 1-1 draw.

REFEREE:

The center referee for this game is primarily a 4th official in the MLS. He has not been a center ref for a game this year.

QUESTIONS HEADING INTO SATURDAY’S MATCH:

Can Indy Eleven continue their momentum after finishing the spring season with two wins?

Will the stellar play of Dylan Mares and Brad Ring continue in the midfield?

Will Tim Regan adjust the starting line-up and formation?

How will the Cosmos respond after suffering their first defeat of the season?

FUN FACTS:

The original New York Cosmos started in 1970 and folded in 1985. In 2010, it was announced the Cosmos would be relaunched. The modern Cosmos did not start playing until 2013 after a new ownership group took over.

The New York Cosmos have won 6 NASL Championships. They won 5 of their 6 championships in the old NASL (1968-1984) and their last championship came in 2013 in the modern version of the league.

Legendary soccer players who have dawned the Cosmos jersey include; Carlos Alberto, Franz Beckenbauer, and Pelé.

Legendary Spanish player, Marcos Senna, who represented Spain during their 2008 UEFA Euro championship, announced he would retire at the end of the Cosmos season.

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