Angelic moment steers Jozyless Metro past Goats
June 5, 2008

New York Chivas USA
06.05.08 · League

Consider the Jozy Altidore era over. They might call it an injury, but the reality is obvious -- the 10 million dollar man has played his last game as a Metro. Tonight, he was not needed, as Metro beat Chivas USA 1:0 on a late goal by Juan Pablo Angel. The victory ends a three-game winless streak.

Altidore's pending transfer meant that Angel was the lone starting forward in a 4-5-1. Dave van den Bergh returned to take Luke Sassano's place in central midfield, and Mike Magee started as an attacking midfielder.

The five-man Metro midfield failed to hold any possession for most of the first half. Thankfully for them, the best the Goats could do was firing long shots, that Jon Conway easily handed. Just before the break, Andrew Boyens let his man loose for a breakaway, but Conway came out of the net, making a vital save at the last moment. Metro's best chances of the half came off the foot of Dane Richards -- a low shot that went just wide of the far post, and a cross that Chivas' Brad Guzan bobbled before safely collecting it at the edge of the box.

Metro had a good chance early in the second, as van den Bergh's free kick was put just wide of the goal by Magee. The Goats' best opportunity came when the Metro defense fell asleep on a long goal kick by Guzan; thankfully, Jeff Parke immediately recovered and knocked the ball away from Ante Razov.

The lone goal came in the 75th minute. A perfect Richards cross found the head of Angel, who knocked the ball into the ground and into the net. That was all Metro would need, as the Goats failed to produce any meaningful chances the rest of the way. Angel finished the game in visible pain, limping off the field as Metro had used up all of its available subs prior to his injury.

A win is a win, but Metro is clearly lacking in attacking midfield. They failed to hold the ball; all of supposed creativity came from the wings. Magee is still not 100% and is inexperienced at the position, van den Bergh is better as a left-sided player, and Claudio Reyna, when not hurt, is not exactly a prototypical attacking midfielder, to put it lightly. Something has to be done, and one hopes that Jeff Agoos and Juan Carlos Osorio address the situation sooner rather than later.

Still, a win is a win.

Lineup: Conway, Goldthwaite, Parke, Boyens, Leitch, Stammler, van den Bergh, Borman, Richards, Magee, Angel. Subs: Wolyniec, Sassano, Mendes.

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