Lindpere scores, defense shuts down Toronto
August 11, 2010
Since MLS plays some games during international windows, teams are often hurt by players missing for national team duty. For Metro, that has not been a problem recently, as few of our players have been good enough to get national call-ups. But with the growing stature of this year's squad, New York was faced with four regulars missing the match: Bouna Coundoul, Roy Miller, Rafael Marquez, and Dane Richards. And it could have been five, for Joel Lindpere elected to stay home rather than travel to Estonia to face those massive Faroe Islands. Estonia won with two late goals; Lindpere's lone tally was enough as Metro shutout Toronto 1:0.
Greg Sutton started his first Metro league match for Coundoul; Danleigh Borman went back in at left back for Miller; Tony Tchani was pushed in Marquez's d-mid spot, and Mac Kandji moved to left midfield and Seth Stammler entered on the right.
Metro looked inept for the first ten minutes of the match, as Toronto controlled all of the ball. But the storm was weathered, and slowly but surely, possession started to turn Metro's way. Then, in the 23rd minute, Thierry Henry was taken down by Stefan Frei inside the box. No foul was called, Metro complained, but the ball was kept in play, and New York got it back. It was Henry again, hacked down again, this time outside the box, but not before he got the ball to Stammler, who flicked it to Lindpere, who walked in on Frei and placed the ball over the keeper and into the net.
That was all Metro needed. The defense clamped down on Toronto just like it did on Chicago three days prior; until the last ten minutes of the match, it's hard to remember quality chances that the visitors got. They had some opportunities late in the game, but all harmlessly sailed wide... way wide. Sutton wasn't forced to make one tough save the entire match.
Metro had a chance to double the lead, with Chris Albright's cross finding Juan Pablo Angel's head, but the captain put it just wide from a tough angle. Halftime sub Sinisa Ubiparipovic had an excellent chance following a clever Tchani through-ball, but his one extra touch led to a shot that sadly hit Angel.
But Metro did not need the second tonight. Thanks to Lindpere, who tonight put his club over his country, one was enough.
Lineup: Sutton, Borman, Ream, Mendes, Albright, Tchani, Kandji, Lindpere, Stammler, Henry, Angel. Subs: Ubiparipovic, Ibrahim, Robinson.