Obscure Metro Files: Martin and Fausto Klinger
June 30, 2005
Octavio Zambrano sure liked his Klingers. We don't why; perhaps what he saw in them goes beyond the soccer field, for what happened on it gave no reason for those two to wear Metro colors. But they did; one for two seasons, one for one game; and the last 14 minutes of that match saw two Klingers on the field for the first and last time in Metro and MLS history.
When Martin Klinger was drafted in the fourth round of the 2001 SuperDraft, the collective response was "Who"? When Metro fans saw that he was labeled a Project-40 player, some hope arose; perhaps, this was some hidden gem discovered by Zambrano? Martin did have some pedigree, a son of an Ecuadorian international; but sadly, pedigree was the only thing he had. Straight out of high school (where, we are told, he was not an automatic starter), Klinger was completely overmatched on the MLS stage. But that didn't stop Zambrano from giving him a lot of time in 2001 (12 total games in all competitions, three starts) and keeping him on the roster in 2002. Listed at 5'11", 140 lbs, Martin was pushed around like he was a matchstick. Completely hopeless both on the ball and off, he contributed and amounted to nothing. Well, he did manage to score in two friendly matches and add an assist in a Merconorte game. Merconorte, remember that one?
Five minutes of an Open Cup match were the only time he played in 2002 (an injury kept him out for a large part of the campaign, or we are afraid Zambrano would have put him in), and Martin was cut soon after the season was over. He then briefly played for Atlanta of the A-League and participated in the MetroStar-run amateur Copa Budweiser. Pedigree indeed.
Thankfully, we saw much less of his older brother. Fausto Klinger spent some time with the MetroStars during the 2001 preseason, but even the Zambrano connection couldn't secure him a spot on the team. He played for the Rough-Riders, and was called up in midseason when the Metros were shorthanded. And on June 30th, in a game famous for Billy Walsh (almost traded to Chicago that same week) scoring into both the Fire and Metro nets, a game his brother Martin started and played the full 90, history was made in the 76th minute, as Fausto made his one and only Metro appearance. Two Klingers. Two very crappy Klingers.
Zambrano attempted to bring back Fausto in 2002, as he once again joined the Metros for preseason. Again, he just wasn't good enough. Just as well; 14 minutes of two Klingers is more than enough for anyone's lifetime.