Really, what did you expect? Metro, RSL tie 2:2
September 29, 2007

New York Salt Lake
09.29.07 · League

Perhaps there is no need for Metro to play Salt Lake. Yes, there was that freak blowout last year, but for five of the six meetings, one could have penciled in a draw and move on with it. Sad, really, for in each one of their matches, Metro outplayed RSL, but be it the monsoon, or terrible penalty calls, or whatever, saw the score end level. The case was the same tonight, but it was New York who got the late penalty, which Juan Pablo Angel converted to knot the game. It was his 17th league goal, breaking the single-season team record held by Adolfo Valencia. The match was also Metro's third straight 2:2 draw.

With the lineup the same as the last two weeks, Metro looked to build on recent good offensive play, and Francis Doe placed a shot on goal just seconds into the match. New York's rhythm broke down, however, in the 22nd minute. A Chris Wingert cross was headed into the ground by Chris Brown, and the ball sailed over the late-reacting Ronald Waterreus.

Metro piled on the pressure for the rest of the half, but was not able to deliver the final strike. Then, four minutes into the second, a pass up the left flank by Dave van den Bergh was headed forward by Angel, and pounced on by Doe, who hesitated, then calmly placed into over his guarding defender and past Nick Rimando into the Salt Lake net.

In the 74th minute, RSL's Willis Forko pushed down Dane Richards in the box, but no penalty was called. Then, two minutes later, Metro defense fell asleep, leaving Kyle Beckerman alone in the penalty area, as he blasted the ball into the net to restore Salt Lake's lead. The Utahans' two goals came on their only two shots up to that point.

But Metro did not play dead. Clint Mathis, who entered the game at halftime, beat Rimando with an up-close knuckler, only to have it saved off the line. Seconds later, it was Angel's turn to have his shot cleared by a defender, and the chance for a point looked bleaker.

That is, until the 80th minute, when, after a lot of contact in the box, Seth Stammler was brought down, and a penalty was called. Angel roofed his record-breaker, his fourth penalty conversion in as many chances.

Both teams had their chances during the remainder of the match. For Salt Lake, it came when Chris Leitch hesitated, and Fabian Espindola received a breakaway as a result. Thankfully, Waterreus came up huge for his only save of the night. For Metro, second-half sub Jozy Altidore just missed wide from a tough angle, and Angel looked to have scored the winner in injury time, only to be correctly (but sadly) called offside.

Claudio Reyna left the game early in the second after spraining a toe.

Lineup: Waterreus, van den Bergh, Parke, Stammler, Leitch, Vide, Reyna, Kovalenko, Richards, Doe, Angel. Subs: Mathis, Mendes, Altidore.

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