Metro vs KC, 2004
Three straight games, same lineup
May 3, 2011

In case you haven't noticed, Metro has used the same lineup in three straight games. And, with those games all turning into shutout victories, over San Jose, DC, and Kansas City, there is no reason to change things (if everyone is healthy, that is). So, this made us wonder, how often did the above happen in team history? And yes, we looked through 15 years of lineups to figure this out.

The first time came in 2001, and, strangely, came with bad results. Metro was coming off a five-game win streak at home, and was to play four straight on the road: at San Jose, Kansas City, New England, and DC. They lost the first two, 2:0 and 1:0, and tied the Revs 1:1. The lineup was: Tim Howard, Orlando Perez, Mike Petke, Steve Jolley, Mark Chung, Pedro Alvarez, Richie Williams, Petter Villegas, Tab Ramos, Clint Mathis, Alex Comas. Metro made three changes for the DC game, a 2:1 loss: Alvarez got a red card, so he was replaced by Mark Semioli, Adolfo Valencia returned from injury to bench Comas, but the cruelest of them all was Mathis' torn ACL, that saw Rodrigo Faria start and that promising team doomed to mediocrity.

The results were somewhat better the next time this happened, in 2004. The lineup was: Jonny Walker, Chris Leitch, Eddie Pope, Jeff Parke, Tenywa Bonseu, Joselito Vaca, Eddie Gaven, Mike Magee, Amado Guevara, Cornell Glen, John Wolyniec. Metro got three straight wins, topping Chicago at home and Kansas City on the road 2:1, and trashing LA at home 3:0. But Pope and Guevara had to go on international duty, were replaced by Kenny Arena and Ricardo Clark, and Metro lost at home to Dallas 1:0 to end the streak.

Three years later (notice the trend?), in 2007, Metro used the same lineup in three straight 2:2 draws: in Chicago, and at home vs New England and Salt Lake. The lineup was: Ronald Waterreus, Dave van den Bergh, Jeff Parke, Seth Stammler, Chris Leitch, Joe Vide, Claudio Reyna, Dema Kovalenko, Dane Richards, Francis Doe, Juan Pablo Angel. But Reyna got injured (what else is new?), Mathis took his place, and Jozy Altidore returned from his own injury to displace Francis Doe. Metro lost at Toronto 2:1.

Finally, the final occurrence happened last year, again after a three-year gap. Metro lost to LA at home 1:0, but beat Toronto away 4:1 and San Jose at home 2:0. The lineup was: Bouna Coundoul, Roy Miller, Tim Ream, Carlos Mendes, Chris Albright, Rafael Marquez, Tony Tchani, Joel Lindpere, Dane Richards, Thierry Henry, Juan Pablo Angel. A massive overhaul was needed as international duty called Coundoul, Miller, Marquez, and Richards. Greg Sutton, Danleigh Borman, Seth Stammler, and Mac Kandji stepped in, and Metro lost at Salt Lake 1:0.

So no four straight games with the same lineup has never happened. We'll see if Metro will enter uncharted waters this weekend in LA. And, for the record, the lineup is: Bouna Coundoul, Roy Miller, Tim Ream, Rafael Marquez, Jan Gunnar Solli, Teemu Tainio, Joel Lindpere, Dwayne De Rosario, Dane Richards, Luke Rodgers, Thierry Henry.

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