John Wolyniec saves 10-man Metro vs Houston
May 16, 2009

New York Houston
Wolyniec Wondolowski
05.16.09 · League

John Wolyniec. Has there ever been a more unappreciated player in Metro history?

We heard it all. Too slow. Too awkward. Too goofy-looking.

Here's something we should hear more often: too clutch.

No, he is not the real Ronaldo, but tonight, our Staten Island Ronaldo saved Metro a point, a point that seemed all but lost. Off a corner kick in the 89th minute, Dane Richards miraculously kept the ball in play as Houston attempted to clear it. The ball went to Wolyniec in the box, who, with Dynamo players surrounding him on all sides, chested it, settled it, and sliced it through the net to tie the game.

Up to that point, it was a dreadful affair. A Jorge Rojas red card in the first half set the tone for a dreadful affair that was interrupted in the 78th minute on a goal that put Houston ahead. On the play, Dynamo's Corey Ashe rushed uncontested up the left side, and centered the ball to an unmarked Chris Wondolowski. Metro, impotent in attack up to that point, seemed all but buried.

But Wolyniec came on four minutes later, and Wolyniec was not denied. The goal is his 30th in all competitions for Metro, which breaks a tie with Adolfo Valencia and moves him to fifth all-time.

For those wondering exactly how Juan Carlos Osorio tinkered tonight... he didn't. The lineup stayed almost intact, with the lone change being the return of Jon Conway into the nets. An early adjustment did have to be made, as Carlos Johson was forced to leave the game after injuring his foot. He was replaced by Jeremy Hall.

Rojas' red card came in the 35th minute. The Venezuelan, consistently abused by Brian Mullan up to that point, first elbowed, and then kicked the Dynamo midfielder. He was sent off, but did not leave easily, getting into a bitchfest with Houston keeper Pat Onstad, before being escorted off the field by captain Juan Pablo Angel.

But tonight, we can't go out without another tribute to Woly. Way to go, John. Way to go.

Lineup: Conway, Pacheco, Goldthwaite, Petke, Johnson, Stammler, Celades, Rojas, Ubiparipovic, Kandji, Angel. Subs: Hall, Richards, Wolyniec.

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