Best season ever: not good enough
November 6, 2013

New York Houston
Wright-Phillips Davis
11.06.13 · Playoff

The play is going to go down in Metro lore. Ibrahim Sekagya, with the ball, close to his own net... sends the ball across the goalmouth. Ex-Metro Brad Davis jumps on it, and with no defender around him, scores the easiest goal of his career.

No, it wasn't the decider, and for a while, it looked like Sekagya's blunder could be forgiven. Metro completely dominated the match from the opening kickoff. Houston could do nothing, could not hold the ball, could not put anything forward... this was a game for Metro to take.

They didn't take it.

It all started so promising, with Houston keeper Tally Hall mishandling Lloyd Sam's cross in the 23rd. The ball dropped on the ground to Bradley Wright-Phillips, and the Englishman did not miss. Alas, the lead would only last 13 minutes as Sekagya helped the visitors level.

Metro poured it on in the second half. Houston looked gassed. The question seemed to be not if, but when... except that all of Metro's shots ended in the hands of Hall. Then, with minutes left in regulation, a David Carney free kick was brilliantly bicycled by Titi Henry... The hopeful rose to their feet, only to see the ball sail barely wide.

So to overtime we went, and late in the first session, on their rare trip upfield, Houston had a cross sent back across the goalmouth. It was then redirected by Omar Cummings into the bottom right corner of the net. And that was that.

That was that...

Well, we got the Shield. Nothing can take that away. The proverbial monkey is off Metro's back. The Cup will come -- not this year, obviously -- but it will come. What's another few years if you waited 18?

That being said, it doesn't get easier. To see Tim Cahill barely walk out there, but still giving it all. To see Markus Holgersson collapse after the final whistle. To see Henry trying to will his team to victory, only to once again come up short at the end...

It was Metro's best season ever.

It was not good enough.

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

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