FC Edmonton at Puerto Rico FC, New York Cosmos
A short little road trip by FC Edmonton saw them head to tropical Puerto Rico before they made their way to the big apple for a (rescheduled) midweek match with the Cosmos.
It happens all the time in sports. A team has a date circled on their calendar, but it just so happens not to be the date of the match they are playing. Unfortunately for the Eddies, Puerto Rico wanted to show that they weren’t Edmonton’s whipping boys.
You know when you have a day so bad where you just don’t wanna talk about it. This was one of those days. I won’t even bother doing any match analysis, other than to point out the obvious – Edmonton wasn’t good enough.
The match in New York started just about the same, if I’m being honest. Hell, I had half a mind to tweet out the hashtag #MillerOut at one point. And despite the eventual emphatic victory, I still have some lingering doubts about whether he’s the man to take the Eddies to the next level. But, at least in my mind, the boys bought him some time, and I’ve decided to reserve judgement, for now.
But perhaps the universe (the cosmos hehe) sensed my doubt, and didn’t like that I thought I knew better than it. A header from Nyassi (against the run of play), and what I think might have been the nicest team goal I’ve seen the Eddies score – finished off by Ameobi, and all of a sudden we’re up 2 – 1. Well I’ll be.
This second goal had just about everything I’ve been talking about offensively since I started talking about the Eddies. Nyassi (clearly jazzed up from his goal earlier) had the stones to take on his man one-on-one. He did a shoulder/step-over fake to open up space to whip in a clean, purposeful cross. I’m not sure if Ameobi was trying to get his initial header on target, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that he intended to play it into Eustaquio’s feet. Eustaquio made the unselfish play (many players would have just turned and shot into the defenders boot) to lay it off back to Ameobi, who applied a striker’s finish from close range.
Diakite made a huge goal line clearance after Ingham came out to try and cut off (possibly a little prematurely – but he had a good game overall, so we won’t fault him for one little mistake). Diakite’s been playing excellently – he can be a little reckless at times – but good lord he tackles hard. I like a defender who makes the opposition look over their shoulder at times.
I was pleased to see Jake Keegan get on the scoresheet. Sure, the Cosmos were down to nine men at that point, but after listening to him speak fondly of his hometown of New York (on the Loyal Company of the River Valley podcast). You could tell it meant a little something extra to him. Warm fuzzies all around. That being said, Central Park is a park in a big city – Edmonton is a city in a big park ;).
Ameobi would add another off a header and New York would get a meaningless second goal off an odd second penalty, but the game was essentially done at this point.
Put an emotional one in the books, and lets just turn the page on the Puerto Rico loss. 3/6 points on the road ain’t bad, and now the Eddies come home with the wild roses in full bloom. Bring on Miami.