MLS Cup: so close, and yet so far
November 23, 2008

Columbus New York
11.23.08 · MLS Cup

For a minute, it was all right. For 87 seconds, actually. 87 seconds, the time between 50:35 and 52:02. 87 seconds, when John Wolyniec's game-tying goal looked to have tipped the momentum in Metro's failure. 87 seconds, until it all came crashing down.

So, at 52:02, when Chad Marshall's head rose to head in a corner kick, and the scoreboard turned from 1:1 to 2:1, the 87 seconds were over. And with them, any kind of Metro momentum, any kind of positive play generated up to that point. The last 40 minutes of the match are a blur; there was a third goal by Columbus, but at that point, it was all but academic. The fate was sealed at the end of those 87 seconds.

But it all started so well; Juan Carlos Osorio once again kept the lineup intact, and Metro attacked, attacked, and attacked. Three times Dave van den Bergh set up himself in perfect position for a cross; three times his efforts went for naught.

Then, in the 31st minute, right as it looked that the ball has crossed the sideline, the referee said play on, and Columbus went up the right wing. Alejandro Moreno beat Diego Jimenez, and hit a low ball to the far post that Danny Cepero got a hand on, but could not keep out of the net.

But Metro stayed composed, and five minutes into the second half it finally paid off. After a great run, Dane Richards sent a low pass through the box that Wolyniec got a foot on, directing it into the net. We were tied. We had momentum. We had life.

And then, it all came crashing down.


Oh well. It hurts. It hurts despite the fact that these playoffs were an unexpected, unforgettable run. We didn't expect Metro to get in; we didn't expect them to beat Houston or Salt Lake. Today, our expectations caught up with us.

So where do we go from here? Is this a team on the brink of greatness or a flawed squad that went on a lucky run? Who will return? Who will be axed?

Sigh. Another offseason begins... on a different note than one we were hoping for.

So close... yet so far.

Lineup: Cepero, Goldthwaite, Jimenez, Mendes, Leitch, Sassano, Richards, van den Bergh, Ubiparipovic, Wolyniec, Angel. Subs: Rojas, Kandji.

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