Aviator Field, Brooklyn - For the first time ever, Red Bulls and Cosmos fans alike were treated to an afternoon doubleheader of soccer at Aviator Field as they watched the New York Red Bulls Academy U-18 and U-16 teams face their river rival, the Cosmos Academy East.
On a Mother's Day that was beautiful and warm, both Cosmos and Red Bulls fans witnessed each team record a victory over the other. As families ushered themselves to the stands, every mother in attendance was given a yellow carnation in honor of their day.
While the gesture was nice and endearing, I believe the fans in attendance could've used a little more cowbell. Granted there was a fan with his vuvuzela but it's really annoying when it's only one individual literally tooting his own horn. Plus, it's a tool used to disrupt one team's flow.
As crazy as this may sound, one of the best things about watching a soccer game at a place like Aviator Field is that you're gonna want that cowbell on the track. Nothing is more enticing than watching two teams move the ball and hearing the powerful tapping sound of a cowbell every time the ball is passed.
If you enjoy listening to Salsa, you'll understand that the cowbell is basically an audio power point presentation that based on the number of taps, you'll have an idea on the flow of the game. Based on the flow of the Mother's Day doubleheader, I believe both teams made some beautiful music together.
In the first match, the Red Bulls U-18 rallied from a goal down as they scored twice in the second half to defeat the Cosmos Academy East 2-1. Despite leading 1-0 at the half, the Cosmos U-18 was eventually worn down by the Red Bulls as they scored two goals in a 10 minute span.
However, the Cosmos Academy East U-16 team evened the series by trouncing the Red Bulls Academy 4-0 in a much needed victory. Despite the game being close and evenly matched, the Cosmos took a 1-0 lead into the half. In the second half the Cosmos scored three additional goals for the convincing win.
The player of the day was Cosmos Academy East player Janneh Yankubah, as he scored two similar goals as he sprinted 80 yards for the score on both occasions. The only thing that was missing from both goals was the beautiful percussion sound of a cowbell because Yankubah's virtuoso performance would have been music to everyone's ears in attendance.
Whether you're a fan of MLS, the EPL, La Liga or any other league, seeing a player score two similar goals of 80 yards is simply impressive and very difficult to duplicate in the same game. If you combine the score of both games, both teams produced seven goals giving the Cosmos a 5-2 advantage over the Red Bulls.
Just to be clear, the Mother's Day doubleheader wasn't about the scores from both games. It wasn't even about owning the bragging rights that may come with a victory. Honestly, it was simply watching two organizations providing a quality soccer education program for the youth involved in their academies.
While not all of them may ever play professionally, they will be able to say that they represented either the Red Bulls or the Cosmos. When it's said and done, the audience in attendance were treated to games where both teams gave their coaches plenty of reason to smile.
It's understandable for many Cosmos and Red Bulls fans to want the MLS rivalry. However, watching both academies compete against each other isn't a bad alternative.
The weather was fantastic and on occasion, a player from either team would amaze us with his game awareness. As a result, both teams offered their fans and families how competitive this rivalry will be in the future.
The next time both U-18 and U-16 teams meet will be Saturday, June 18, 2011.
Cesar Diaz covers Soccer for LatinoSports.com. He's also a Columnist for 5 Points Press & USSoccerPlayers.com; your source for American Soccer news brought to you by members of the U.S. National Team. Easily accessible, you may reach Cesar at firstname.lastname@example.org and at Twitter at @CoveringSoccer.