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Leagues: MLS

Cosmos And Red Bulls Both Have Opportunity to Win Silverware For New York

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These days New York’s baseball, football, basketball, and hockey teams are as blah as a slice from one of Manhattan’s now-ubiquitous 99-cent pizza joints.

The Yankees have missed the playoffs for the past two seasons and have a roster older than Wilford Brimley’s Cocoon crew. The Mets have been selling hope longer than President Obama and haven’t won a title since President Reagan was denying involvement in Iran-Contra. The Jets are defined by two Hall-of-Fame Youtube videos – the buttfumble and their NFL draft supercut. The Giants have delivered two miracle postseasons over the past seven seasons but in between have been as mediocre as MetLife Stadium’s looks. The Knicks have made it as far as the second round exactly once this millennium; only the Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets have been more inept in that span. The Nets are careening toward a first-round exit with Deron Williams’ achy ankles, Brook Lopez’ frail feet, and Kevin Garnett’s 38-year old scowl. St. John’s basketball hasn’t been relevant since the days of Ron Artest. The Rangers made their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance since 1994 this past spring but look poised to return to the middle of the pack. The Islanders have John Tavares and little else save for dusty VHS tapes of their early ‘80’s heyday. The Devils are back to being what they were before Marty Brodeur played between the pipes for them – anonymous.

But New York’s two soccer clubs? They’re winning, and doing it with Broadway pizazz.

Last season the Red Bulls secured the first piece of silverware in the club’s history – the Supporters’ Shield. This year’s regular season campaign wasn’t nearly as successful, but they showed they’re serious about the real prize in last week’s 2-0 stomping of DC United. Thierry Henry showed why he’s still has the beauty that thrilled Highbury for so many years with his brilliant backheel pass set up Bradley Wright-Phillips for the opener.

All the Cosmos did last season was win the NASL Soccer Bowl in their debut. This year, led by Norwegian striker Mads Stokkelien and midfield maestro Marcos Senna, they’re primed to repeat the feat.

Both are in action in crucial playoff matches this Saturday, thankfully with staggered start times. First the Red Bulls will be bringing more than 1,000 supporters down to D.C. United’s historic RFK stadium for the second leg of their Eastern Conference semi-final. A win, draw, or even a 1-0 loss would see them through where their likely opponent will be the club from up north – the New England Revolution. Do you think MLS would play up the NY-Boston beef?

The Cosmos travel deep into the heart of Texas to face the San Antonio Scorpions where they’ll have a chance to avenge the Knicks’ painful ’99 NBA Finals loss to the Spurs. Unlike MLS, NASL’s playoffs are single-elimination so a win here and the Cosmos would immediately advance to Soccer Bowl ’14 where they’d either travel to Minnesota United and face their 20-goal striker Christian Ramirez or host the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, wearers of the brightest and boldest shirts of any club in North America. Would a second consecutive championship convince Steven Gerrard to join new signing Raúl on Strong Island?

Saturday’s Red Bulls-DC United match coverage kicks off live on old-fashioned over-the-air NBC at 2:30 EST, on NBC’s Sports Live Extra app, and at partner pubs like midtown’s Football Factory.

Saturday’s NY Cosmos-San Antonio Scorpions starts at 8:30 EST. You can catch the match on WatchEspnNASL Live, and on the Cosmos’ broadcast partner One World Sports. The Cosmos will also be hosting an official viewing party at Smithfield in the Flatiron District.

If both the Cosmos and Red Bulls advance on Saturday, it may be time to remake Jesse Jaymes’ seminal 1994 Knicks anthem “Go NY Go.”

Aram lives in Santa Monica, CA where he plays a balanced diet of handball, stickball, basketball, and Aussie Rules football when he’s not blearily catching Prem matches at Ye Olde King’s Head. He can be reached at @aghease.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Aram

    November 8, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    With New York’s teams as bad as they are, we’ll take wins from wherever in the tri-state they come from at this point.

    • CTBlues

      November 9, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      I’m sure New Yorkers were stoked when the Devils were winning titles and the Rangers and Islanders weren’t.

  2. CTBlues

    November 8, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    One for New York and one for New Jersey.

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