Soccer

Miami FC still winless after 3-0 home loss to the New York Cosmos

Miami FC is six games into its inaugural season and still awaiting its first taste of victory.

The New York Cosmos kept Miami winless for another week, beating the league newcomers 3-0 on Saturday night at FIU Stadium. Miami dropped to last place in the NASL standings with the loss, and New York moved into first.

“This was the worst game we played; and I am to blame, of course, because I am the coach,” said Miami FC coach Alessandro Nesta, the former Italian legendary defender. “I have to rebuild the situation, the confidence, everything because tonight we touched the bottom.”

Asked what can be done to turn the team around, Nesta said “for sure we made some mistakes” in some of the players they signed. He also said he and his front-office partners need a better understanding of the league and the American approach to the sport, suggesting some of his players don’t have the finesse or aggression he is used to from Italy.

“We didn’t score one goal, defense was no good, midfield no good, everything no good,” Nesta said. “[The Cosmos] were a different level, and when you play like we did, no chance. We have to restart, and that’s it.”

Nesta said at halftime he gave his players an earful, but after the game he said “nothing, because it was embarrassing.”

Juan Arango, a 36-year-old Venezuelan midfielder, gave the Cosmos a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute when he headed a long Hunter Freeman cross past Miami goalkeeper Daniel Vega. The play began with a New York corner kick.

Miami fell behind 2-0 in the 34th minute after Cosmos defender Gabriel Farfan pounced on an errant headed clearance from Miami defender and captain Jonathan Borrajo. New York held the 2-0 lead at halftime but wasn’t done yet.

In the 50th minute, Costa Rican forward Jairo Arrieta slipped past three Miami defenders and knocked in the third New York goal of the night.

“This game was a disaster,” said Miami midfielder Wilson Palacios, who was replaced at halftime. “We have really fallen into a hole and it’s worrisome, but we hope to rebound from this. We have lost some confidence; and we have some young players, so it is up to us, the more experienced players, to lift this boat.”

Arrieta, who previously played with MLS club D.C. United, found himself in front of the net again in the 71st minute and almost made it 4-0. But Vega made a big save on a close-range shot.

Six minutes later, Cosmos substitute Lucky Mkosana was unlucky as his angled shot from 5 yards out went wide right by a few inches.

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 Pelé, including one with a bicycle kick.

Saturday night’s game at FIU Stadium didn’t feature international stars or circus shots, but once again it was the Cosmos celebrating at the final whistle and the 3,432 Miami fans went home disappointed.

Miami opened its inaugural season with a pair of 1-1 ties but has lost four games in a row and given up 10 goals to Jacksonville, Rayo OKC, Ottawa and New York.

Next Saturday, Miami is on the road against second-place Carolina, which lost 3-1 at home to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Saturday night.

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