Metro escapes from LA on Angel's wings
May 10, 2008
If there was one criticism of Juan Carlos Osorio from his days with Chicago, is that his teams would take the early lead, and then become ultra-defensive, trying to hang on for dear life for the rest of the match. We saw that tonight, as a goal from Danleigh Borman gave Metro the lead but tilted the field towards their net; and points seemed lost when the Galaxy's Alan Gordon tied it late. Thankfully, a minute later, Juan Pablo Angel responded, giving Metro a dramatic 2:1 victory.
Another week; another formation; this time, it was a 4-4-2. Claudio Reyna's and Seth Stammler's injuries meant that Luke Sassano started in defensive midfield for the first time in his Metro career. Dane Richards, still not fully recovered, got his first start of the year on the right flank. Jozy Altidore moved back to his customary forward position next to Angel.
Metro looked disoriented early in the match, and looked do go down three minutes in, but a Galaxy goal was correctly called offside. Then, little by little, New York started to collect itself. The goal came off a long Hunter Freeman throw-in in the 21st minute. Angel flicked on the ball to Altidore, whose shot was saved by Cronin, but Borman was on the doorstep to drive home his first MLS goal.
After that, it was LA, LA, LA. Attack after attack, cross after cross, shot after shot, all coming on the Metro end. But the defense stood firm, especially Jeff Parke in the middle, who completely marked Landon Donovan out of the match. On the other side, Metro had three isolated chances, one by Richards, two from Angel, but none breaking through.
With the half-hour-long onslaught, it was the Galaxy who broke through. In the 77th minute, Gordon took a pass inside the box, and slotted it past Jon Conway. It looked to be just like Osorio's Fire scenario: early lead, late tie.
But not with Juan Pablo Angel on the field. As the Galaxy was celebrating, the Cherubic Assassin took a perfect pass from Richards, rounded LA keeper Steve Cronin and couldn't miss the open net for his first of the year. A few minutes later, with the LA onslaught now re-energized, it was Conway's turn to come up big, as he came out of the net and dumbfounded the Galaxy attacker with a terrific save.
Metro earned their first road win of the year and is now undefeated in four straight matches.
Lineup: Conway, van den Bergh, Goldthwaite, Parke, Freeman, Sassano, Borman, Richards, Magee, Altidore, Angel. Subs: Mendes, Wolyniec, Leitch.