Metro comeback thwarted by late LA goal
July 19, 2008

New York Los Angeles
van den Bergh
07.19.08 · League

For the first time in twelve matches, Metro scored more than one goal. The last time that occurred? Over two months ago, in a win against the Galaxy. Today, playing the same opponent, a similar result looked certain -- 2:1, with a late gamewinner by Juan Pablo Angel. Sadly, it was not to be, as LA struck in injury time to level the game at 2:2.

Jorge Rojas made his Metro debut, starting in central midfield, and becoming the 200th player in club history in the process. He was flanked by Dane Richards and Dave van den Bergh, with Seth Stammler and Carlos Mendes resuming the standard defensive midfield partnership. The three-man backline consisted of Kevin Goldthwaite, Andrew Boyens, and Jeff Parke.

LA got on board in the 29th minute, as former Metro has-been Edson Buddle dribbled deep into Metro's penalty area. Jon Conway came out of the net to deal with the situation, so Buddle flicked a ball onto Carlos Ruiz, who beat Goldthwaite with the header into the empty net.

Six minutes later, Metro replied. A backheel pass by Rojas landed at the feet of van den Bergh, who drilled a long shot from way outside the penalty area, perfectly placing it into the corner of the net.

It was all Metro for most of the second. Van den Bergh was a terror on the left, and Rojas wasted two point-blank chances that would have given Metro the lead. Other than the two misses, Rojas was more than adequate, and the team generated more offense than it had in recent memory.

In the 71st minute, Rojas found Angel on the left flank, and the Cherubic Assassin walked into the penalty area, abused Greg Vanney, and chipped Steve Cronin for the go-ahead goal.

But this season's first comeback victory was not to be. Two minutes into injury time, Landon Donovan floated a cross into the box that Conway dove for and missed. The ball curved around him, went into the net, and just like that, the match was tied.

It could have been worse. Seconds later, a Donovan shot ricocheted off the left post. Soon after, the final whistle sounded.

Juan Pietravallo made his Metro debut as a late sub. In one match, Rojas tallied two more primary assists than Claudio Reyna had during his entire Metro career.

Lineup: Conway, Goldthwaite, Boyens, Parke, Mendes, Stammler, van den Bergh, Richards, Rojas, Echeverry, Angel. Subs: Freeman, Wolyniec, Pietravallo.

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