Metro demoralizes Houston, edges closer to Shield
October 20, 2013

Houston New York

10.20.13 · League

Remember two weeks ago, when we urged to forget about the Supporters Shield? Hold that thought.

A string of favorable results elsewhere meant that Metro could win the first Shield in team history by winning its last two matches. It wouldn't be easy, however: first was a trip to Houston, where the Dynamo is not only formidable at home, but is fighting for their playoff lives.

Nope. This part was easy.

Tim Cahill scored the fastest goal in league history, and Ibrahim Sekagya and Bradley Wright-Phillips tacked on their first Metro goals in a delightful 3:0 rout. Metro now stands just one victory away from its first major hardware.

Mike Petke was forced to reshuffle the defense. David Carney, injured while playing for Australia, was replaced by Brandon Barklage. Markus Holgersson was shifted to the right, pushing Kosuke Kimura to the bench. Sekagya started in the center. The midfield was altered as well: Eric Alexander came in for Lloyd Sam, and Peguy Luyindula entered in the middle, leaving Cahill to partner Titi Henry up front.

The changed lineup clicked immediately. Off the opening kickoff, Luyindula passed back to Dax McCarty. The red-haired midfielder sent a ball straight to Cahill, who made the run into the Houston half. The Australian hero chested the ball, then sent a thundering rocket into the net. It was 1:0 Metro, less than eight seconds in.

Houston's attempts to score were rather feeble. Metro did need a big Luis Robles stop off a corner to go into halftime with the lead, but other than that, the home team couldn't muster much.

Their best chance of the second came from an uncharacteristic lazy backpass by Jamison Olave. Fortunately, Robles was fast to react, removing the ball from danger. He would tie Bouna Coundoul's team record with his 11th shutout of the season.

Sekagya's goal came in the 65th minute, off a corner kick. After Tally Hall punched the ball out, it ended up with Luyindula, who sent to the head of the Ugandan, parked closed to the net. Wright-Phillips' tally came ten minutes later. The ball rebounded off a Houston defender, and the Englishman pounced to open his Metro tally.

So, how about that thought...

Lineup: Robles, Barklage, Olave, Sekagya, Holgersson, McCarty, Steele, Alexander, Luyindula, Cahill, Henry. Subs: Wright-Phillips, Sam, Lade.

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