Following a nail biting game against the Brooklyn Italians on Saturday evening, Cosmos B lifted the North Atlantic Conference title and earned their spot in the NPSL Northeast Region Semifinals.
The upcoming opponents, FC Frederick, also found success in their weekend match, beating FC Baltimore 2-1 and claiming the Mid-Atlantic Conference championship.
Despite having a perfect regular National Premier Soccer League season, Cosmos B are unlikely going to look like their normal self on Wednesday night. Carlos Mendes’ men have played quite a bit of soccer this past week, needing 120 minutes to get past Elm City Express and 120 minutes plus penalty kicks to beat the Brooklyn Italians.
Cosmos B have looked much better than the opponents they’ve faced this year however with tired legs, Wednesday’s game is sure to be a competitive one.
“We know they’re a difficult team to play against. It’s a team that works hard,” said Carlos Mendes, Head Coach of Cosmos B. We need to match the intensity. We need to be ready. That’s most important.”
One player that his proven himself as of late for Cosmos B is Zaire Bartley. In both of Cosmos B’s previous matches, Bartley has found the back of the net and is surely looking to continue that streak against FC Frederick.
For the second consecutive game, Cosmos B will be without their star striker, Bledi Bardic. The 26 year-old scored an impressive 11 goals this season so far but won’t be able to further that tally as a hamstring injury has him sidelined.
Obviously it’s a big loss, a key player for us,” said Mendes. “But like I said after the game we have guys who have contributed all year. They’ve stepped up and done a great job. We don’t expect anything different.
Wednesday night will also be played without veteran midfielder, Rafa Garcia, who will be suspended due to a red card he received against the Brooklyn Italians.
You can catch this NPSL Northeast Region Semifinal at Hofstra Soccer Stadium on Wednesday July, 18th at 7:30 pm or streaming on the New York Cosmos Youtube channel.