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Recovering Hans Denissen hopes to help Cosmos soon

Carolina Railhawks defender Daniel Scott heads the ball

Carolina Railhawks defender Daniel Scott heads the ball in front of Cosmos forward Hans Denissen #20 during the second half of a game at Hofstra University's James M. Shuart Stadium in Hempstead on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014. Credit: Brad Penner

Forward Hans Denissen will try to rediscover his form as the Cosmos will try to snap a two-game home losing streak against FC Edmonton at Shuart Stadium Wednesday at 7:30. The Dutch-born Denissen, who joined the NASL champions in the offseason from San Antonio, has been sidelined most of the year with a knee injury.

How vital is it for the team to win at home?

It's very important. We haven't started well this fall season. Coming up short in the spring season by just a point affected us a little bit more than we thought. But now we have to bounce back. The season goes through ups and downs all the time. It's the way you react on it and hopefully we'll find our identity again in winning games, playing well and be the Cosmos team that we know and we can be.

How does the team find its identity again?

It will happen in a game. You will find things that you are comfortable with. Saturday wasn't a good game for us. We can't be desperate and thinking that we have to change so many things to be better. It comes in getting a series of wins under our belt and the confidence will grow.

How tough was it for you to recuperate?

It took longer than I thought. Coming back you always have the feeling: will you be the player you were before the injury? Will you be the player that the coaches think you are? You always have expectations of coming here and playing with these guys who you think highly of because they won a championship, thinking about how you would fit into the team.

How did you find your way to San Antonio?

My friend in Germany, who I played with in Cyprus, was in contact with Tim Hankinson, the coach in San Antonio at that time. He managed to get me a contract because they needed a whole new [expansion] team. Me and my wife talked it over and she said, 'Yes, let's do it. Let's go to the states and look how it goes there.' Now, two years later in New York, it's been a good ride so far. In the end, we can't be satisfied yet with what we achieved. The road is long ahead of us.

How does a country the size of the Netherlands do so well, reaching the World Cup final in 2010 and finishing third this year?

We're 16 million people, obviously a great achievement. I'm very proud of being a Dutchman. There's a lot of opportunities in Holland for kids to play. There were tons of space in the grass fields of my backyard. Playing with friends, that's a mentality we grew up on the streets playing-wise. There are very young kids getting the pro time that they need at 16, 17. That's a big achievement for Holland because it will let us grow even better and bigger in the future.

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