Metro dumps Rapids 3:0, qualifies for Open Cup proper
May 26, 2010
Earlier this year, the Open Cup looked like an impossibility. Metro had to defeat three MLS teams just to qualify for the Round of 16. And when "Clever" Hans Backe announced that he will field a reserve lineup throughout the tournament, it looked like New York will be spit up and chewed out faster than you can say "Sinisa Ubiparipovic". But now, after dismantling Colorado 3:0 behind two goals from John Wolyniec and one from Conor Chinn, the qualifying phases behind them. The Open Cup seems a tad more tangible. A tad.
The Metro starting eleven looked similar to those of Open Cup qualifiers past -- Canadian giant Greg Sutton replaced the erratic Bouna Coundoul between the sticks, with a four-man backline of Roy Miller, Carlos Mendes, Luke Sassano(!), and Chris Albright in front of him. Much to Juan Carlos Osorio's chagrin, Jeremy Hall continued to get the nod on the left flank, with Tony Tchani and Ubiparipovic sandwiched between he and Irving Garcia on the right. The physical forward tandem of Chinn and Wolyniec once again paired together up top.
The uncomfortable, humid conditions likely played a role in the game's slow start, but Metro supporters only had to endure a short period in the heat before they were rewarded for making the trek to Harrison tonight. And just eleven minutes in, Open Cup hero Wolyniec, energetic as ever despite the weather, managed to corral an excellent centering pass from Garcia in the box and slotted it past the Rapids' Ian Joyce. Garcia was set up to make the incisive pass through an excellent ball from Ubiparipovic, who was productive throughout the match.
Hall, looking more comfortable at left midfielder than he ever has as a right back, had a couple near-misses three minutes apart in the middle of the half. The Maryland product first headed right at Joyce on the short side, then followed with another point-blank headed chance that went wide left.
Before the half was over, the tired legs of Colorado's players conspired to allow yet another goal. Wolyniec again was the recipient of an superb pass, this time a well-placed through ball from the ever-improving Tchani. The Staten Island Ronaldo didn't waste the opportunity and confidently added to his tally. It was Wolyniec's second multi-goal game after playing 161 consecutive matches without achieving the feat.
After a well-needed break, both sides resumed their lethargic play before Metro broke through for a third time. This time it would be Chinn in a poacher's effort as Drew Moor botched intercepting Ubiparipovic's forward pass. Chinn climbed over the diving Moor and chipped the ball past the onrushing Joyce to solidify Metro's grasp on the match.
In truth, there is little else that needs to be said about the match; the best illustration of the effort Colorado provided on the night was found in the actions of head coach Gary Smith. The irate Smith spent most of the first half gesturing madly along the touchline at his side's inept play. By the start of the second half, the animated Englishman had seemingly resigned himself to defeat and stoically sat on the end of the bench.
With that, Metro moves on to Open Cup proper against a non-MLS side; perhaps Estonian fan favorite Joel Lindpere can add to the list of states he has visited during his American soccer odyssey, in an exotic location such as Rockville, Maryland or Des Moines, Iowa.
Lineup: Sutton, Miller, Mendes, Sassano, Albright, Ubiparipovic, Tchani, Hall, Garcia, Wolyniec, Chinn. Subs: Petke, Borman, Stammler, Richards.