New York soccer fans will be treated to their second derby in less than a month.
The Cosmos did their part to make it happen, recording a 2-0 third-round win over the Jersey Express in the Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night.
Ayoze and second-half substitute Yohandry Orozco provided the scoring in front of 984 spectators at Belson Stadium at St. John’s.
The Cosmos will face NYC FC at Fordham University in the fourth round June 15, the second time City will meet a New York rival. The Red Bulls routed NYC FC a 7-0 at Yankee Stadium May 21.
“I will always say, these are the games that are the most important. These are derbies,” Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese said. “These are games that make this sport grow. You don’t have to motivate the players because they already understand the magnitude of this match.”
In last year’s Open Cup confrontation against City, the Cosmos overcame a two-goal deficit, prevailing in a shootout.
“To be able to play against New York City again is going to be exciting for the players,” Savarese said. “We are looking forward to it. We know it’s going to be a different game. But we’ll prepare accordingly for this match, which will be enjoyable for everyone who will be there.”
The score line didn’t flatter the Cosmos’ utter domination. They possessed the ball for long stretches, keeping goalkeeper David Greczek (six saves) busy. When Jersey gained possession it made use of the skills and speed of Ansger Otto, who tried to outrun and outfox the defense on the counterattack.
Ayoze broke the ice in the 35th minute, powering a free kick from atop the penalty arc into the upper left corner for his first goal of the year.
Despite being the smallest player on the field, the 5-5 Orozco headed home a right-wing cross from Hunter Freeman from four yards at the far post. He said it was his second header of his career.
“It’s funny, right before I entered the match, I was joking with [Juan] Arango that I was actually going to score a goal with my head,” Orozco said.
Before the City confrontation, the Cosmos must take care of some North American Soccer League business against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers Saturday. If they win, the Cosmos will clinch the spring title and a spot in November’s playoffs.