After a charmed opener earlier this month, the Cosmos return to Hofstra Saturday night against the San Antonio Scorpions, hoping to reclaim the good vibes and winning ways that seemed to evade them the longer they strayed from home.
The Cosmos are coming off a scoreless draw against the Tampa Bay Rowdies and a 3-0 loss to the Carolina RailHawks -- a frustrating, rain-soaked match that resulted in the ejections of starting midfielders Joseph Nane and Sebastián Guenzatti.
Nane, who was tossed after earning his second yellow late in the first half, and Guenzatti, who was shown a red after a dangerous tackle in stoppage time, are ineligible to play in Saturday night's game, creating a major hurdle for a team that's had trouble creating scoring chances to begin with and shifting even more of the responsibility on the 37-year-old legs of La Liga veteran Marcos Senna.
The Scorpions, though, have their own problems.
They've lost the first three games of the fall season (the NASL functions on a split-season format), including a 2-1 loss to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers last week -- the team the Cosmos defeated on Alessandro Noselli's stoppage-time goal in their home opener. There certainly have been bright spots with striker Tomasz Zahorski, a new addition to the team who's scored in all three games, and Borja Rubiato, but their defense has been a liability.
The Scorpions, who allowed a whopping seven goals to the Rowdies in the first game of the fall, might be just the thing to kick-start a dormant Cosmos offense that has nonetheless shown signs of life with Noselli, formerly of Italy's Serie B, who had another stoppage-time goal against the Rowdies called back for offsides. Forward Peri Maro?evi, who also scored against Fort Lauderdale, is another threat.