The New York Cosmos are one of the most iconic names in American soccer and on Saturday, they stand in the way as Boston City FC looks to bounce back from a first defeat of the new National Premier Soccer League season.

Michael Bustamante’s Lions (0-1-1) travel to the Mitchel Athletic Complex on Long Island looking to upset the form book and the conference leading Cosmos (2-0-0) who have won both their opening matches 2-0, seeing off the challenge of New York Athletic Club and Kingston Stockade. Boston City FC opened with a 3-3 draw away to Hartford City on April 27, but then crashed 6-0 at home in the return fixture.

History at least is on the Lions’ side. Last season, the club recovered from a home defeat by the same score with a win against an unbeaten opponent, and the only time Boston City has visited the Cosmos, the team earned a stunning 3-2 upset in New York. That victory came back in the club’s inaugural 2016 season when Bustamante starred in the midfield and scored the game’s second goal with a 20-yard strike. This season’s leading scorer Jhonata Batista (2 goals) opened the scoring in that win.

“We have to come ready to compete and work as a unit,” said coach Michael Bustamante. “We need to be more dangerous and decisive and our overall performance has to be better. We know the Cosmos are a historically strong team and they have very talented players, but we need to make sure they are concerned about us and our style and compete with them.”

Last season’s conference champions, the Cosmos boast a professional squad preparing to enter the NPSL Founders Cup competition in the fall. Their ranks include former U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Danny Szetela and Albanian national team captain, left back Ansi Agolli. The hosts will also be roared on by a noisy crowd and had 3,750 fans in attendance for their last home match.

Boston City returns to New York on Wednesday of next week, May 15, to take on NY Athletic Club (0-1-0).

Saturday’s match facts:
New York Cosmos (2-0-0) vs. Boston City FC (0-1-1)
Saturday, May 11, 2019
Kickoff 7pm
Mitchel Athletic Complex
1 Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Uniondale, NY
Boston City FC head coach Michael Bustamante (first season)
NY Cosmos head coach Carlos Mendes (second season)

Boston City FC vs. New York Cosmos match notes: Boston City FC and the New York Cosmos have met four times previously with the Cosmos having won two, the Lions one and one game ended in a draw… The only time the clubs met in New York, Boston City triumphed 3-2 with goals from Jhonata Batista, Michael Bustamante and Homero Morais… The win was the second in a nine-match winning streak that propelled the Lions to the 2016 NPSL playoffs… The win was the first time the Cosmos had lost over 90 minutes in their NPSL history, having won the championship the previous season, 2015… The Cosmos won the first ever meeting between the clubs, which was also Boston City’s first-ever match, 3-1 at Malden Catholic in 2016… The sides drew 1-1 in 2017 with Jhonata Batista again on target for the Lions… Goals from Darwin Espinal (2), Alejandro Penzini and Danny Szetela propelled the Cosmos to a 4-0 win in Boston to open the 2018 NPSL season… Both coaches Michael Bustamante and Carlos Mendes played for the NY Red Bulls during their professional careers… Both coaches have also played for the teams they now manage… Lions striker Jhonata Batista is to second on the all-time club goal scorers list with 11, one ahead of Homero Morais (10) and trailing Isaac Addai (17) by six goals… Eleven players have made their debuts for a new-look Boston City FC this season: D Jeremy Pachter, D Willian Bonora Santana, M Charlton Muhlauri, M Tommaso D’Agostino, M Samuel Deossa, M Mateus Araujo, D Keith Dixon, GK Jason Katz, D Peter Borboh Kargbo and F Zion Balogun… Lions defender Jeremy Pachter hails from Long Island, NY… Boston City forward John Dumbuya, who is yet to play for the club other than in a 2016 friendly match, was a member of the Cosmos’ NPSL squad in 2017… Boston City’s overall record playing competitive matches in the state of New York is won 3, lost 4, drew 1.

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