10-man Metro holds off incompetent Toronto
August 17, 2008
Coming into the homestand, Metro knew that wins were vital. So far, so good, as New York put on a defensive clinic against a morbid Toronto side. Even losing starting defenders Jeff Parke and Gabriel Cichero, the latter to a red card early in the second half, did not matter. Mike Magee scored the game-winner and Juan Pablo Angel added one in garbage time.
Juan Carlos Osorio trotted out the same lineup that trashed DC a week ago, but was forced to make an early change by putting in Andrew Boyens for the injured Parke just 25 minutes in. We usually trash on Boyens in this space, but the Kiwi behemoth had an unusually strong game tonight.
Metro dominated the entire first half; a give-and-go between Angel and Magee led to Toronto keeper Greg Sutton making a big save on the former and the on the follow-up by Dave van den Bergh. 37 minutes into the game, Metro broke through. With play deep in the Metro end, Seth Stammler cleared the ball a good 50 meters upfield. Angel, seeing he would have been offside, held off his run, but Magee didn't. Metro's longest serving citizen ran onto the bouncing ball, abused former Metro draft pick Marco Velez, and slotted the ball from the top of the box past the helpless Sutton.
The game changed just a minute into the second half, as Terry Vaughn gave a ridiculous straight red to Cichero for what looked to be a simple elbow on a jump ball. That there was no malice was obvious from any replay, but Vaughn did not have the benefit of that. And seeing how the game ended, we could give Terry the benefit of the doubt... but no. It was a terrible call.
So Metro bunkered for a bit. Kevin Goldthwaite went in the middle, van den Bergh and Luke Sassano shifted to become outside backs. Soon after, Dane Richards, who was supposed to be out 4-6 weeks but came back much earlier after rehabbing in his native Jamaica, would come in for Sassano, with jack-of-all trades Stammler taking the right back spot.
Toronto had a couple of chance, the most dangerous off a long Chad Barrett shot of a corner kick, but this patchwork Metro defense made easy work of the obtuse Canadians. Two minutes into injury time, Richards broke through all alone and could have easily scored, but instead elected to pass to Angel, who tapped it in for the easiest of his Metro goals.
As we said above, so far, so good. Now let's keep it going.
Lineup: Conway, Goldthwaite, Cichero, Parke, Sassano, Stammler, Pietravallo, van den Bergh, Rojas, Magee, Angel. Subs: Boyens, Richards.