Costly turnovers spell doom in 2:1 loss to Fire
September 3, 2006

Chicago New York
09.03.06 · League

Two mistakes, two costly mistakes. A bad pass by Seth Stammler that Amado Guevara failed to hold, and a bad pass by Stammler that was intercepted by a Fire player was all Chicago needed. A late rally by the Metros still saw them fall short, 2:1. John Wolyniec scored the lone Metro goal, his third in as many games.

Injuries and suspension caused Metro to switch to 4-5-1 (and everyone who remembered Bruce Arena's success with that at the World Cup let out a loud gasp). Wolyniec remained the lone man on top, with wing midfielders Chris Henderson, back to the starting lineup, and Joe Vide, making his first start. Dema Kovalenko and jack-of-all-trades Stammler covered for the suspended Danny O'Rourke in holding midfield.

The lone good chance of the first half for either team led to the lone goal of the stanza. In the 13th minute, Chris Rolfe stripped Guevara and went downfield, sliding the ball past Tony Meola, where else -- to the short side.

A monotone second half was broken up by the second costly Metro turnover in the 60th minute. This time, a Stammler back pass was jumped on by Diego Gutierrez, who beat Meola, where else -- to the short side. But somehow, that goal woke Metro up. The offense, limp and lifeless up to that point, came alive, with the first real chance coming from a perfect Vide pass into the box that Fire keeper Matt Pickens got his hands on just before Dema Kovalenko could. Then, it was Pickens denying Kovalenko from close range.

In the 78th minute, another Vide pass found Kovalenko, with Pickens once again parrying the shot. Wolyniec was on the doorstep, and halved the lead. A few minutes later, it was Woly at his best, fighting at the edge of the box, not going down, somehow holding on to the ball, and... passing it off to Edson Buddle, who proceeded to weakly shank it directly at Pickens.

Late Metro flurries went for naught, as Blake Camp, making his first team debut, almost converted off a mad scramble in the box. Hopefully, next week Metro will wake up sooner rather than later.

Lineup: Meola, Dunivant, Mendes, Parke, Wynne, Stammler, Kovalenko, Guevara, Henderson, Vide, Wolyniec. Subs: Buddle, Camp.

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