Metro concussed into yet another offseason
November 3, 2007

New England New York
11.03.07 · Playoff

Predictability, thy name is Metro. Twelve years, twelve disappointing finishes. And for the last five, two and out in the playoffs -- New England, DC, New England, DC, and now New England again. And it's so sad, really. An even match, an even series, and then a catastrophic turn of events -- Juan Pablo Angel's concussion and the ensuing Rev goal as Metro went down to ten men, trying to figure out if Angel was well enough to continue. So sad and so... predictable.

Changes from last week saw Jozy Altidore moving up front for Francis Doe, Dema Kovalenko shifting to the left side, and Joe Vide stepping up in defensive midfield. But that lineup only lasted 26 minutes, as Claudio Reyna had to be taken out due to a hamstring injury. Clint Mathis came on, as the captain's night of "doing the little things" ended early.

Mathis had Metro's best chance of the half, late in the period, with a fake-out in the box of a Rev defender, but he then hit the side netting. On the other end, a couple of dangerous balls hopped in front of Jon Conway, but sailed harmlessly wide.

So this brings us to the 57th minute, with Metro playing well. No goal on either end seems imminent, but Metro seems to carry most of the play. This is when Angel goes up for a ball with Jay Heaps, gets knocked in the head, and then, coming down, gets whacked with a knee into his chin. And we're treated to the view of the Cherubic Assassin, fallen onto the ground.

And as Angel gets carried off, and Bruce Arena tries to decide if he is fit enough to return, a Metro turnover deep in the Rev end leads to a Shalrie Joseph pass that beats the offside line, and now Steve Ralston is off to the races. He passes it to Taylor Twellman on his left, and the latter's shot sails into Jon Conway's hands.

Into his hands and out of them, for the killer wind that was playing tricks all day does Metro no favors, combining with the turf for a rebound that trickles over the line. 1:0. On this day, that was enough.

So as we stare into this, the twelfth offseason in Metro history, the twelfth offseason of failed expectations, the twelfth offseason of big-name rumors, the twelfth offseason of unfulfilled promises, the twelfth offseason of rebuilding the team, the twelfth offseason of squashed hope, we ask for one thing only: for the predictability to stop.

Lineup: Conway, van den Bergh, Parke, Stammler, Freeman, Vide, Reyna, Kovalenko, Richards, Altidore, Angel. Subs: Mathis, Wolyniec, Ubiparipovic.

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