Curse of Caricola? Metros lose opener on last minute goal
April 12, 2003
Just like 1996 all over again, but this time no Italian defenders were involved. The Metros lost their home opener on a last-minute goal as Jeff Cunningham scored in the 90th minute, giving Columbus a 1:0 win. The MetroStars outplayed the Crew for the first 89, but the dismal play in the last third of the field allowed the Crew to sneak out with the win.
The Metros came out in a 4-4-2 with Tim Howard in goal, Joey DiGiamarino, Eddie Pope, Steve Jolley, and Craig Ziadie in the back, Ricardo Clark, Richie Williams, Jacob LeBlanc and Clint Mathis in midfield, and Jaime Moreno and Mike Magee up front. The revamped defense looked like a great improvement from last year (except for the last two minutes), as Pope and Jolley combined to thwart numerous attacks.
On the other side, the attack did not look potent, as Magee showed flashes of brilliance but could not finish, and Moreno spent most of the game far from the Columbus net. The Metros controlled the play for most of the game, but had very few quality scoring chances. With the game scoreless, it was Cunningham who finally slit the Metro defense, ran onto a Frankie Hejduk cross, and put in the game winner as time was about to expire. Talk about the Curse of Nicola Caricola haunting this franchise...
Overall, not a bad performance, but an improvement of team's offense is definitely necessary. Amado Guevara is coming next week!
Lineup: Howard, DiGiamarino, Jolley, Pope, Ziadie, Clark, Williams, LeBlanc, Mathis, Magee, Moreno. Subs: Wolyniec.