Altidore powers 10-man Metro over Dynamo
April 21, 2007
If Clint Mathis is Metro past, Jozy Altidore is Metro future. And the present, where they meet, we see Metro on top of the league, undefeated and not scored on. But unlike last week, when Mathis and Altidore combined to lead the team to a victory, this time it was Jozy himself, as he scored the only goal in a 1:0 triumph over Houston. Mathis, on the other hand, missed a penalty kick and then was thrown out of a game in the 36th minute for a foul in midfield.
With Claudio Reyna's return from his bruise, the New Jersey native finally made his Giants Stadium debut, and Seth Stammler sat. Mathis moved into attack as the team reverted to a 4-4-2 to accommodate Reyna. Metro started the game pressing Houston, and got rewarded when Dwayne De Rosario was whistled for a hand ball in the box. Mathis, without any discussion, stepped up to the ball, did a fake, which Pat Onstad didn't buy, and then hit it weakly down the middle as Onstad easily grabbed it to keep the game scoreless.
Then, in the 36th minute, Mathis tripped up Ryan Cocharane in the center circle, and somehow was shown a red card. He argued in vain, but all the sudden Metro was down to ten men for the rest of the game.
But all is ok, for we have Jozy. The teenage sniper was getting the rough treatment from Houston, as Dynamo defenders tried to be physical with him time and time again, often throwing him to the ground, with referee Baldomero Toledo more often than not turning the blind eye. But in the 60th minute, Jozy was not to be denied. Hunter Freeman fed Altidore at the top of the box, and Jozy, with his back to the goal, turned around, fought off Eddie Robinson and roofed the ball over Onstad and into the net.
Metro held on firm for the last 30 minutes, with the defense coming up big time and time again and Ronald Waterreus patrolling the penalty box with calmness and coolness. Three games, seven points, no goals against; yes, it early, and yes, we were in a similar situation just three years ago, but maybe, just maybe, this is the year the ghosts of Metro past go away and we see a bright Metro future. And hopefully, Altidore will lead the way. Hell, we'll take Mathis along for the ride too.
Lineup: Waterreus, Dunivant, Mendes, Parke, Freeman, Kovalenko, Reyna, van den Bergh, Richards, Mathis, Altidore. Subs: Stammler, Wolyniec, Vide.