[NASL SOCCER BOWL 2013]Only three months after they began play, the New York Cosmos are NASL champions. A goal by former Spanish international Marcos Senna was the difference as the Cosmos beat the host Atlanta Silverbacks, 1-0, before 7,211 fans in Atlanta.
The Cosmos, who ran away with the fall title and finished 15 points ahead of the Silverbacks, the spring champions, dominated the first half but did not score until Senna's goal in the 51st minute when he hit a ball cleared that had been by the Atlanta defense to the far post past goalie Joe Nasco.
The Cosmos had most of the best chances in the first half, as Diomar Diaz and Stefan Dimitrov both came close on several occasions.
Goalie Kyle Reynish, who had been a backup at Real Salt Lake for six seasons, got the shutout.
“It’s an exciting day for sure," said Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese. "The New York Cosmos are back. We worked very hard this season to play in the NASL. We had to come in in the second part, the fall season, so we didn’t have that much time to work. We are very proud, very proud of the players, because they accomplished great things. Week in, week out they were able to do very well, and tonight to bring a championship back to New York, something that hasn’t happened since 1982 is a proud moment for us.”
The Cosmos' season isn't over, however. They head to Spain to face Villarreal Wednesday in a testimonial game for Senna.
When they return in 2014, the NASL should have at least three more teams: Indy Eleven, Ottawa Fury FC and Virginia Cavalry FC will begin play next year.
Nov. 9 in Atlanta
Atlanta 0 New York 1.Goal: Senna 51.
Atlanta --Nasco, Moroney, Navarro, Reiss, Randolph, Menjivar, Paulini, Carr (Cruz 58), Barrera, Mendes, Stisser (Luna 83).
New York --Reynish; Freeman, Mendes, Roversio (Nane 86), Ayoze; Senna, Szetela, Diaz, Mendes, Guenzatti; Dimitrov (Noselli 77).