Frustrating season ends in Los Angeles
November 4, 2011
Hope can take many shapes, like that of a diminutive bald Englishman, whose early dagger seemed to turn it all around. Metro wasn't supposed to break through the vaunted Galaxy defense, but here they were, four minutes into the game and even on aggregate. Joel Lindpere started the play, getting the ball to Thierry Henry. Titi sprung Luke Rodgers, who deftly placed the ball under Josh Saunders' arm to give us all hope.
Transition can take many shapes, like that of a red-headed Finn's hamstring. Metro was dominating the play early on, taking it to the Galaxy, and Teemu Tainio was a beast in midfield, stopping everything Los Angeles threw it at him. But just 16 minutes in, the defensive midfielder injured his hamstring, and "Clever" Hans Backe was forced to use an early substitution on Stephane Auvray. And the results weren't good.
Calamity can take many shapes, like that of a former Metro who spent six long years with the club, living through countless regimes until an old coach decided to take him west. Mike Magee, who didn't sniff a playoff goal during his time in New Jersey, yet got his second in two games, on a header, nonetheless, off a corner kick -- off a corner kick, yet another goal Metro allowed this year off a corner kick! And just like that, three minutes before the half, tied game, and more importantly, down on aggregate.
Annihilation can take many shapes, like that of an arm of a Costa Rican. Roy Miller, who, after imploding in last year's playoffs, had put together a rather solid season. Yet in the 75th minute, he wrapped up David Beckham just inside the penalty area, and Landon Donovan did not miss the ensuing penalty kick. The result became all but academic, as Metro sleepwalked through the last 15 minutes, unable to find answers.
Frustration can take many shapes. For the 16th straight year, it's the shape of Metro.
Lineup: Rost, Miller, Ream, Keel, Solli, Tainio, McCarty, Lindpere, Richards, Rodgers, Henry. Subs: Auvray, Agudelo, Ballouchy.