Cosmos Top Jersey Express, Set A Date With NYC FC

NYCosmos_v_Jersey_Express_2016The New York Cosmos have set a date with New York City FC thanks to their 2-0 win over Jersey Express in the third round U.S. Open Cup match played at Belson Stadium on the campus of St. John’s University.

Meeting for the second consecutive season in the annual tournament, the defending North American Soccer League champions took the lead over the Premier Development League side in the 35 minute on a goal from Ayoze Garcia Perez. The fullback placed his straight-on free kick from 20 yards inside the upper left corner of the net, beating Jersey Express goalkeeper David Greczek.

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Fullback Hunter Freeman and substitute winger Yohandry Orozco combined to provide the second-half breakthrough for New York in the 72nd minute. Orozco shook off his defender in the 18-yard box and charged unmarked to the far post. Freeman’s cross was perfect, and the 25-year-old Venezuelan blasted in his header from four yards.

“The first match is always the toughest,” said Giovanni Savarese, Cosmos head coach. “If we didn’t have the right mindset to respect our opponent, we might not have gotten the job done. But because we came here mentally prepared, we were able to control the match.”

The Cosmos and Express also met in the Third Round of the 2015 U.S. Open Cup, with New York winning 3-0 at Belson Stadium.

With this result the Cosmos move on to face Major League Soccer side New York City FC in the Fourth Round on Wednesday, June 15, at Fordham University’s Coffey Field. The Cosmos defeated NYCFC at this stage a year ago in thrilling fashion, coming back from two goals down in the second half to triumph in a penalty shootout.

“I always say that these are extremely important games,” said Savarese of the impending rematch. “These are derbies. These are games that grow the sport. Being able to play against New York City FC again will be exciting. We know it’ll be a different game, and we’ll prepare for that.”