New York, June 17 2017 - The New York Dutch Lions FC All Star Team played New York Cosmos B last night at MCU Park. It was a game between experienced but also retired former National Team players vs a young, fit and talented Cosmos team. The game ended in a 3-0 win for the Cosmos with the All Star team missing several open chances (especially in the 2nd half) in front of the Cosmos goal. They simply could not find the back of the net.
The "Dutch Heritage Night" started with a fun soccer clinic for kids in the stadium in partnership with Dutch Total Soccer New York. Over 75 kids were divided in smaller groups and trained by the former Dutch National Team players in several aspects of the game while switching stations. After the game around 30 of the kids were allowed to walk onto the field through the New York Cosmos tunnel with the players.
Coaches Wim Rijsbergen (former Ajax and New York Cosmos player and World Cup finalist in 1974 in the legendary Dutch team with Johan Cruijff) and John de Wolf (former Feyenoord and UEFA Cup winner) haf the team play in a traditional Dutch 4-3-3 style and after the kick-off by former Ajax player and Champions League Trophy Winner Sonny Silooy the game was on the way. The Lions were trying to build up from the back with former Borussia Monchengladbach player Marcel Meeuwis as center back. But New York Cosmos was putting pressure on early. At some times the "class" was still there with some good combinations and switching of the field with former PSV player Orlando Engelaar showing his quality passing skills. In the first half the New York Cosmos had the better chances with former Liverpool goalkeeper Sander Westerveld coming up big twice to prevent the Cosmos from scoring. Just when the Lions were creating more threat with former Ajax and Feyenoord player Denny Landzaat and former PSV and Liverpool player Jan Kromkamp providing more depth, the Cosmos took the lead when a player was taken down in the penalty box and the referee awarded a pk. Westerveld had no chance and the Cosmos took a 1-0 lead.
In the second half the Lions put more pressure on the Cosmos defense resulting in several chances. Landzaat almost scored the equalizer but his perfectly placed shot hit the post and former Heerenveen winger Jeffrey Talan came up a little short in the rebound. Instead of the 1-1 the Cosmos scored the 2-0 when a deep ball behind the Lions defense was finished nicely. Former Houston Dutch Lions FC and Sparta player Thomas Verhaar had the chance to score the 2-1 after good pressure and pass by Landzaat and Verhaar put the ball nicely past the Cosmos goalie but the ball went a few centimeters next to the right post. Landzaat and former Heerenveen player Romano Denneboom also had a good chance but their shot also just missed goal. The Lions had more possession now with former Feyenoord player Rene van Dieren moving more and more into the midfield with good distribution and former Ajax player Tim de Cler making several runs on the left wing. Instead of the 2-1 a cross from the right wing was deflected into the feet of a Cosmos player who had a good shot in the top left corner: 3-0. The last chance of the game was for the Lions when guest player Arjan Verhagen went one on one with the goalie but his shot went just wide as well keeping the score 3-0.
Despite the loss it was definitly a fun game with a lot of nostalgia and high level soccer in a unique stadium overviewing the ocean and Coney Island Amusement Park. After the game the team watched the New York Cosmos vs Puerto Rico FC in the NASL from the "Wim Rijsbergen VIP deck".
Dutch media giant De Telegraaf had a nice report on the game. Click here to view their footage.