Metro wins the battle of New York, 2:1
June 28, 2011
For two minutes, the ghosts of Metro past swept into Red Bull Arena, covering it in a chilling wind. FC New York, a barely professional team in the middle of its first campaign, took a lead over the supposedly mighty MLS side. Was this to be another early Open Cup exit at the hands of an inferior opponent? Well, not tonight. For Corey Hertzog and John Rooney quickly responded with their first Metro goals, and RBNY left 2:1 victors. They will face Chicago in the quarterfinals.
"Clever" Hans Backe... wait, Backe wasn't even on field level, enjoying the game from a suite. But presumably Hans made the lineup for Jan Halvor Halvorsen and Mike Petke to manage the game. Tim Ream and Juan Agudelo returned from Gold Cup duty to head a side consisting of bench players... and players who never even make the bench. In all, four Metros made their competitive debut: Marcos Paullo and Teddy Schneider started the match, with Sacir Hot and Tyler Lassiter came in as second-half subs. Other starters were Greg Sutton, Mike Jones, Stephen Keel, Matt Kassel, Austin da Luz, and the two goalscorers.
The entire game was played on a field tilted towards FCNY. Metro clearly outclassed their minor league opponent, with Agudelo having a field day darting through the overmatched defense. But the first half ended goalless, and a sense of doom started lingering.
And doom it was. In the 56th minute, Owen Morrison hit a rocket from outside the box that burnt a hole in the Metro net. Doom. It was all too familiar.
Or so we thought, for Metro quickly recovered. Two minutes later, FCNY failed to clear the ball, and Agudelo found Hertzog on the right side in the box. The striker, positioned at a sharp angle, fired at goal, past the dumbfounded Steven Diaz. We were tied.
And in the 65th, we were tied no longer, when Rooney took a long whimper of a shot that somehow trickled through the box and tucked into the bottom left corner. Diaz looked completely lost on the play, proving that at least tonight, Sutton wasn't the worst goalkeeper in the New York area.
So embarrassment avoided, and to Chicago we go. Will this organization continue stop treating the Open Cup as a waste of time, or see it as a chance to win its first real trophy (sorry, La Manga Cup)? We're obviously hoping for the latter.
Lineup: Sutton, Jones, Ream, Keel, Kassel, Schneider, da Luz, Rooney, Paullo, Hertzog, Agudelo. Subs: Hot, Lassiter.