New York Cosmos Become Fall and Combined Season Champions, Earn Top-Seed Playoff Spot

Following their 4-2 win against the Jacksonville Armada this past weekend, the New York Cosmos sit on top of the Fall Season table with 41 points (12-3-5) and the Combined Season table with 59 (18-7-5). This puts the team 8 and 9 points clear respectively with just two weeks of the season remaining, making the New York Cosmos the NASL Fall Season and Combined Season Champions.

The NASL Playoffs consist of the Spring and Fall Season Champions along with the two best-placing Combined Season teams outside of those that have already qualified. By claiming the Fall Season title, the Cosmos join Spring Season title-winners Indy Eleven in the post season as the top-seeded team.. This is the Cosmos’ second-straight Combined Season title and fourth-straight post-season appearance.

The game that clinched the title for the Cosmos was an away win against the Jacksonville Armada. Three late goals brought New York back from behind to get the better of Mark Lowry’s team. Trailing 2-1 in the 83rd minute, the Cosmos earned a free kick outside the box. Juan Arango took the kick, which hit off the cross bar and bounced down behind the line and then out. The Armada argued that it was not a goal, and Alhassane Keita got his second yellow of the night for kicking the ball in protest. Just five minutes later, Arango scored again on a free kick, this time less controversially. The ball flew clear over the wall and dipped down beautifully past Miguel Gallardo to make it 3-2. This was Juan Arango’s 14th goal of the season, beating out Marcos Senna’s record for the Cosmos single-season goal scoring leader. But New York kept pressing and found one more goal in stoppage time when Jairo Arrieta blasted a ball from outside the box to get the final score of 4-2. The match was Giovanni Savarese’s 50th win with the Cosmos.

With each time still to play two or three matches before the end of the season, some of the seeding is still up in the air for the post season. As the Spring Season title-winners, Indy Eleven will be the 2nd seeded team and will host FC Edmonton who are locked in at 3rd whether or not the place higher than Indy on the Fall or Combined Season table. The fourth spot, which will face off against the Cosmos, could end up being a number of teams. Minnesota United are currently fourth on the table, but the spot could end up in the hands of Rayo OKC, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Miami FC, or the Carolina RailHawks.