The last time a pair of NASL teams from Miami and New York played each other was Aug. 10, 1976, at Yankee Stadium. In that game, the N.Y. Cosmos beat the Miami Toros 8-2 with five goals by Italian star Giorgio Chinaglia and a pair of goals by none other than Pelé — including one with a bicycle kick.
Saturday night’s game at FIU Stadium between the new Cosmos and the brand new Miami FC won’t have that kind of star power. But Miami FC, seeking its first victory in franchise history, is hoping for a good crowd and a lot of scoring to get past second-place New York.
Miami opened its inaugural season with a pair of 1-1 ties but has since dropped three consecutive games and given up seven goals to Jacksonville, Rayo OKC and Ottawa. The first home game drew a crowd of 10,156, but thunderstorms and a 90-minute rain delay to start the second game kept the crowd under 3,000.
With no rain in the forecast Saturday, Miami expects more home support. The Cosmos are coached by Giovanni Savarese, a Venezuelan of Italian descent, and among his assistants is former Miami Fusion and U.S. national team player Carlos Llamosa. New York has three wins over five games, including a 1-0 victory against league-leader Carolina Rail Hawks.
Miami is led by Argentine forward Dario Cvitanich, who is tied for the league lead with three goals in four games, and midfielder Ariel Martinez of Cuba, who is extremely active, had his foot in most of Miami’s scoring chances, has taken a team-high nine shots and scored a beautiful rocket of a goal against Oklahoma City.
The Cosmos’ goalkeeper Jimmy Mauer has allowed only one goal and recorded three shutouts.
Miami FC vs. N.Y. Cosmos
When/where: 8 p.m. Saturday; Ocean Bank Field at FIU Stadium.
Records: Miami 0-3-2, New York 3-2-0.
TV/radio: GOL-TV, ONE World Sports; Caracol 1260 AM.
Tickets: $3-$13 at the gate or at miamifc.com.