Elusive road goal too little, too late in Toronto
June 13, 2009

Toronto New York
06.13.09 · League

What do you know... Metro scored a road goal. It took them seven games and 54 minutes, but by golly, they scored! No, it wasn't enough, as they succumbed to Toronto 2:1, but, as the losing streak reached five (six if you count the Open Cup), we'll take all the small gains we can get.

What? Not good enough? Yeah... we weren't exactly sincere above. This team is feces; this season, now at its halfway point, is shot. But hell, at least they kept it close this week.

The 3-5-2 was scrapped; 4-4-2 was the new flavor of the day for Juan Carlos Osorio. Danny Cepero made a start in the nets as Jon Conway was benched. Alfredo Pacheco returned from international duty to reclaim his left back spot, and Kevin Goldthwaite was held out with an injury as Carlos Mendes partnered Mike Petke in the middle. Another international returnee, Jorge Rojas, was at the left wing for Danleigh Borman. Luke Sassano sat in the reduced midfield, and Mac Kandji returned from injury to start up front, as Dane Richards, with his own injury, did not make the trip.

It all went to hell three minutes into the box. Seth Stammler, on the ground, was called for a handball inside the box. Former Metro great Amado Guevara took the penalty kick, not to the left as he always did, but to the right -- Cepero made the save, but no Metro was in the box to clear the rebound. Toronto's Sam Cronin pounced on it, and just like that, the game was over moments after it began.

The Canadians made it 2:0 late in the first half, in a collapse that has become predictable. Dwayne De Rosario beat the offside trap, and walked in all alone on Cepero. The goalkeeper came out of the box and made a brilliant play, poking the ball from the attacker. But once again, no Metro was in sight, so Danny Dichio drilled one in into the empty net.

Seven minutes into the second half, the miracle of miracles happened. Metro finally got their road goal, on a long low shot by Albert Celades that went through the penalty area and sunk by Stefan Frei into the left corner of the net. Metro had life... in theory.

And they had life for the rest of the match, as Cepero came up big again and again. A number of huge saves, one on a short free kick by de Rosario, kept Metro in it. But on the offensive end -- the story of this year -- they just did not have enough. Kandji, who can create something out of nothing, more often created nothing out of something. Juan Pablo Angel had his chances, and might have scored the equalizer if not for a terrible offside call. (He was even. The call goes to the attacker in this case.) And in the dying moments of the match, John Wolyniec, again a late sub, again fighting and creating chances, was pushed down in the box, but somehow was called for the foul himself.

15 matches down. 15 left to go. Can't we just fast forward to 2010?

That said, if Osorio stays in charge, who is to say 2010 will be better?

Lineup: Cepero, Pacheco, Petke, Mendes, Hall, Stammler, Celades, Rojas, Zimmerman, Kandji, Angel. Subs: Wolyniec, Mbuta.

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