Cosmos Copa Group Mega Previews: Group B

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Written By Chris Azzopardi

With just the epic Cosmos Copa kicking off in New York City today, we’re going to run through each of the groups and give you all the details you’ll need to get pumped. This may be an amateur tournament, but the teams, players, communities and the hundreds of fans who flock to every game have turned the Copa make it a staple of summer football in NYC. So if you’re in NYC and thinking about taking in some of the action, or just want to know more, we’ve got you covered.

We asked Copa founders Spencer Dormitzer and Chris Noble some key questions on each team in the tournament. Here are their thoughts on the squads that makeup Group B:

Group B OVERVIEW
– Very interesting group
– Many contrasting styles
– Some great match-ups
– NYC Haiti and NYC England are clear favorites to advance
– But anything can happen in a 1 hour match
– NYC Haiti v NYC England will be a great 1st match
– “Silk vs. Steel”

NYC Haiti
– Not just favorites to advance in the group, but could go far in the competition
– The main rival to NYC Haiti is NYC Haiti (they can be their worst enemy)
– Tactical style reminiscent of the great brazil sides
– Free flowing soccer
– Talent all over the pitch
– They have many ways to punish a team
– Strong forwards and midfield
– Defense seems lackadaisical at times
– They rely on speed and aggression to accommodate for mistakes
– Very deep squad
– But only if the entire roster is available

NYC England
– Very organized group of players
– Keeping their eyes on the prize in 2011
– Match against NYC Poland in 2010 was one of the best of the tournament
– Many ex-pat players
– Mostly in finance
– Might be the “best dressed” team in Cosmos Copa
– Worked very hard in the off season
– Most of the team played club soccer to stay unified
– Have a proven goal scorer and strong goalkeeper
– 2 essentials for any successful tournament run
– Depth of squad was an issue last year
– Fatigue hit them at the worst time
– Has this been fixed?

NYC El Salvador
– Scrappy and direct team
– Have good speed on the wings
– Strikers keep the ball well
– Fitness may be an issue
– Never say die attitude
– Still a work in progress, but could surprise any team

NYC Kosovo
– Great story and have fulfilled a dream to achieve “NYC” status
– Good tactical team
– Very smart and disciplined soccer
– Can be very aggressive, but do not like when they are being treated aggressively
– Their attitude could become their Achilles heel if a team gets under their skin
– They had injuries in qualifying
– Will it hurt them in the group stage?
– They have good leadership on and off the field, but must play composed against such strong competition

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