Morbid Metro fails in Houston, 1:0
May 31, 2008

Houston New York
05.31.08 · League

No Claudio Reyna. No Dave van den Bergh. No Juan Pablo Angel. No problem? On the contrary. Metro, coming in short-handed to face a short-handed Houston team, were dominated in every facet of the game. Although they only lost 1:0, the defeat looked determined from the onset.

Juan Carlos Osorio switched the team to a 4-4-2; Chris Leitch started for Hunter Freeman at right back. Seth Stammler returned from his injury to partner Luke Sassano in central midfield. Jozy Altidore and John Wolyniec started up front as Angel missed the game with a virus.

From the get-go, it looked like Metro was playing for a draw. Obviously, with the aforementioned players missing, a lot of the creative flair was gone. But they were facing a Houston team without their starting keeper, best defender, and best field player. Both teams were handicapped; only one seemed so.

Metro had a total of three chances the entire match; in the first half, Altidore, his shirt grabbed, had his close-range shot saved by Tony Caig. Then, Wolyniec was pulled down inside the box, but somehow the foul was called outside of it. Finally, in the dying moments of the match, Danleigh Borman collected a perfect long pass, but misfired.

And that was it. On the other end, Houston poured it on. Jeff Parke and Kevin Goldthwaite both made huge first half tackles inside the box, and the second period saw Jon Conway come up huge twice in a row. But soon after that second save, the Metro defense fell asleep on a free kick, and a pass sliced through, with Brian Ching knocking it into the net.

That was in the 68th minute; ten minutes before, Wolyniec was removed for Freeman. A forward for another defender; Metro was essentially playing for a draw. They didn't get what they wanted; they got what they deserved.

Sassano had to leave the game late in the first half with an injury, and was replaced by Sinisa Ubiparipovic.

Lineup: Conway, Goldthwaite, Parke, Boyens, Leitch, Stammler, Sassano, Borman, Richards, Wolyniec, Altidore. Subs: Ubiparipovic, Freeman.

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