Cosmos Copa Group Mega Previews: Group D

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Written By Chris Azzopardi

With just a couple of days until the epic Cosmos Copa kicks off in New York City, 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 every team some key questions and had Copa founders Spencer Dormitzer and Chris Noble chime in with their thoughts.

Group D OVERVIEW
– Considered the most technical group in the tournament
– Any Team could conceivably make it through
– 1st Match for each team is crucial and could dictate who advances
– Could be the most consistently competitive matches from the group stage

NYC ITALY
President’s Name: Fabrizio Carrer
Captain’s Name: Jeff Matteo
Neighborhoods you predominantly represent: Manhattan and Brooklyn
What Cosmos Copa means to you: It is our World Cup, one of the most important tournaments in the NYC area
Team Strengths: Tactics

Spencer & Chris say:
– Very composed team
– 3-4 ex professionals on the roster
– Can control possession for long periods of time
– Great goalkeeping talent
– Older squad
– Can be exposed defensively
– Depth of talent on the roster could be an issue

NYC COLOMBIA
President’s Name: Guillermo Lillo
Captain’s Name: Guillermo Lillo
Neighborhoods you predominantly represent: Queens
What Cosmos Copa means to you: It would be a big honor to win and to be the best of the city
Team Strengths: Young team, fast, good ball control and team play

Spencer & Chris Say:
– Have tremendous individual talent
– Great mixture of experience and youth
– Play a possession game
– Very good at dictating the pace of a match
– NYC Japan exposed a weakness to a counter-attack
– Should have a home-town crowd
– Many Colombians live and play in Flushing Meadows
– Could be a dark horse to advance
– Led by ex-Colombian international and world cup 98 midfielder Andres Estrada

NYC IRELAND
President’s Name: Tommy Smyth
Captain’s Name: Declan Reilly
Neighborhoods you predominantly represent: Queens and Bronx
What Cosmos Copa means to you: It’s a proud moment for everyone to represent their country
Team Strengths: Team spirit, work ethic

Spencer & Chris Say:
– Have a quality coach and management team in place
– Always come into the group stage focused and motivated
– Have dominated group stages in the past Copa’s
– Great midfield and strike-force
– Adapt well to opposing tactics
– Fight until the final whistle is blown
– May have some surprises on the roster
– Always a bridesmaid but never a bride (Finalist in 2009, semi-finalist in 2010)
– Vulnerable to speedy wingers/strikers

NYC GREECE
President’s Name: Mike Iordanou
Captain’s: Billy Antoniou
Neighborhoods you predominantly represent: Astoria (Queens).
What Cosmos Copa means to you: It’s an opportunity to highlight the Greek-American player talent pool
Team strengths: Player cohesiveness, national pride, team unity

Spencer & Chris say:
– Historically, the best amateur soccer clubs in the USA come out of the Greek community in NYC
– Extremely disciplined
– Great player unity (most the team have played together since children)
– Strong on the ball, great movement off it
– Team work ethic is their main strength
– Can get caught up with referees and gamesmanship
– If NYC Greece treat Cosmos Copa with the priority they treat their club teams, they could be a real threat to the title

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