July 15, 2014
ADDRESSING THE EMPTY SEATS
Cosmos coach Savarese not concerned with recent attendance figures
By Matthew Levine
A packed stadium creates a fantastic atmosphere at any sporting event. It can lift the home team, when it’s not playing well and cheers even loudly when things are. The Cosmos have had Shuart Stadium packed and raucous before, but not nearly enough.
Despite, the dip in attendance, head coach Giovanni Savarese isn’t concerning himself with crowds at the moment.
“My part, my thoughts are always what happens inside the field and the quality of the team and how we prepared for the game. That for me is the priority,” he said on his weekly conference call with the Cosmos media.
However, Savarese noted the benefit of having larger audiences for home games.
“Of course we’d like to see the stadium more like the game against Red Bulls than the game against San Antonio," he said. "I think players react better or are more motivated when fans are supporting them."
The attendance numbers have been declining other than a few upticks in games such the Lamar Hunt/Open Cup match against the Red Bulls. The 3,086 for the fall season opener is not the number the Cosmos are hoping to draw.
But don’t expect a big signing just to draw butts in seats.
“The way we think, we’re never going to make a signing just to bring people. We have to make a signing because he can contribute into the team and the soccer,” Savarese said. “I always said if we sign a name or sign a person from an ethnic community, it’s not based primarily on the people he’s going to bring, but mostly what he can contribute soccer-wise.”
The Cosmos head coach and technical director believed that what the team has accomplished in its brief time after re-booting should be a draw on its own. The club has won two trophies as well as finishing as runners-up in the 2014 spring season.
“If we base the soccer and what this team has been able to accomplish in little time, I think definitely there shouldn’t be any reason why we need to have a new signing to bring fans,” he said.
“We could sit here for hours talking about New York and the fans and I just think what we have going so far and the fact we’ve been able to keep and reward some of the players that were fundamental to us to keep the same base as last year I think that we should continue to have the same support of the fans in the project and in the team as we did against Red Bulls.”
While the Cosmos won’t make a signing just to draw attendance figures upwards, potential signings could be on the horizon.
“There are definitely names and players that we are talking to," Savarese said. "There are definitely players that are interesting we’re talking to.”
One potential signing the Cosmos have been chasing is Raul. The former Spanish international striker is staying on with Al-Sadd as the club remains in the AFC Champions League. However, that contract only runs until the Qatari club is no longer in the competition.
“We’re definitely looking to improve the team, making the team a better soccer team,” Savarese said. “There could be a new signing that might be coming soon or a few months from now, but we’re always working to that.”