COSMOS COPA NYC / 2014 GROUP STAGE PREVIEW: GROUP B

2014 GROUP STAGE PREVIEW: GROUP B

By Ben Tetelman
 
For more information on game times and location, please view our schedule.

Group B is sure to bring some excitement to the Cosmos Copa. While the Group features a pair of Copa stalwarts, teams from Central America and West Africa will join in on the race for a spot in the quarterfinals. 

 
NYC Senegal:
 
If any team is hungry to capture their first ever cosmos copa championship it is NYC Senegal. Last year’s finalists were forced to watch NYC France hoist the cup after suffering a difficult loss in penalty kicks. However 2013 was not the first time the Senegalese of NYC had earned a chance to cement their name in copa history. The team made an appearance in the finals back in 2011 but were overpowered by a strong NYC Poland team that would go on to win back to back championships. A loss in the finals is not something you just forget about, and with two losses in championship matches, NYC Senegal will enter the 2014 cosmos copa hoping to write a new ending.
 
NYC Senegal will take the pitch this weekend with the youngest team ever assembled. President Sadibou Sylla said that this year’s team would feature three or four high school players in the starting line up.
 
Let us remember though, that NYC Senegal has brought some of the best talent to the cosmos copa in recent years. From elite college players, to professionals who have appeared in Major League Soccer, the Senegalese seem to breed footballing talent.
 
Although the African side is dominated by its youth, Sylla made it his job to incorporate some experienced players to the roster.
 
In an interview with Sylla, the president was eager to express the importance of youth development.
 
“It is important to have a veteran presence” Said Sylla, who uses the Cosmos Copa tournament to expose his young players to some of the best talent in the five boroughs.
 
“I try to push for the angle of education” Said Sylla. In football, instilling a desire in young players is vital. It could be the difference of being an average player, and reaching that next level of performance.
 
 
 
NYC El Salvador:
 
Earning a bye into the group stage of the sixth annual cosmos copa, La Selecta NYC will look to stun the opposition with a trip to their first ever knockout stage.

Joined by group favorites NYC Senegal, and qualifying round victors NYC Mexico and NYC Ivory Coast, NYC El Salvador will look to become the first Central American nation to ever win a Copa championship.
 
 
 
 
NYC Mexico:
 
Emerging as one of the strongest teams in the qualifying round of the 2014 Cosmos Copa, NYC Mexico definitely possess the ability to make a run deep into the knockout stages of the copa tournament. Exiting their group with the maximum nine points, NYC Mexico failed to let up a goal in all competitions during the qualifying stage. El Tri have a number of essential qualities that make them a nightmare for any opposition.
 
As we saw in the qualifying rounds, players on NYC Mexico are not afraid to strike the ball from distance. Yes it is one thing to hit the ball from long range, but it is entirely another to put the ball on frame consistently. NYC Mexico also showcased their ability to control the midfield, which could be a deciding factor in a competitive Group B.
 
Finishing has not been an issue for NYC Mexico.  As the group stage approaches, Victor Hernandez and Steven Velasquez will look to continue their goal scoring spells as NYC Mexico takes on NYC Ivory Coast on Saturday, July 19th at Pier 40.
 
 
 
NYC Ivory Coast:
 
Paired in a group with their West African neighbors NYC Senegal, NYC Ivory Coast will strive to become the first African nation crowned as champions of NYC.
 
Squeaking past Togo on goal differential to take the top spot in the qualifying round’s group F, NYC Ivory Coast will have to continue their clean sheet streak if they want to advance into the knockout rounds.
 
Les Elephants of NYC will look to Jethro Dede for continued success in the attacking front. Dede, a former superstar at Martin Luther King high school in Manhattan, moved to New York from his native Ivory Coast in 2008 and is just one of the many immigrants who hope to pursue a future in New York City’s football scene. New York Cosmos midfielder David Diosa also graduated from MLK High School. The school has produced a number of professional players in its history and will feature a large group of current players in this year’s tournament.
 

COSMOS COPA 2017