Metro by the Numbers: 15 - 28
January 3, 2015
#15: John Wolyniec, 2003-05, 2007-10
Five years ago, we called it the toughest choice of the whole process. Now, it's clear that we have to go with the Staten Island Ronaldo (note: he wore #22 in 1999 and #9 in 2006). Wolyniec had scored some of the greatest Metro goals ever, including the only one in the MLS Cup. You'll forever be one of our favorites, Rhett Harty, but Woly owns this.
#16: Michael Bradley, 2005
Hmmmm.... This one is pretty tough. The contenders are Richie Williams, Bradley, and Todd Dunivant. At the end, Williams was here at the downside of his career, Dunivant didn't last a full season, and Bradley... [We wrote the above five years ago, before waxing on Bradley's potential.] We're still gonna go with Bradley, since no one has come close since.
#17: Giovanni Savarese, 1996-98
Sorry, Jozy Altidore. Sorry, Tim Cahill. Juan Agudelo? Remember when he was the hot new thing?
#18: Tim Howard, 1998-2003
Did you know that only one non-goalie has worn #18? It was Leo Krupnik in 2009. Now let's never speak of him again. Timmy forever!
#19: Dane Richards, 2007-12
We called it a difficult decision five years ago, with Richards edging out Miles Joseph. It's much easier now, as Richards went down as probably the best right winger in team history. (Again, Lloyd Sam, you might have a chance for that title.)
#20: Amado Guevara, 2003-06
Oomph. Guevara vs Lindpere. Only two of our favorite Metros of all time. Guevara: three official Team MVPs, one MF Player of the Year. Lindpere: one official MVP, two MF ones. Both members of our All-Time XI. Gotta go with Guevara, though: when all is said and done, still the best midfielder in team history.
#21: Daniel Hernandez, 2000-02
It's Hernandez against Dema Kovalenko here. However, since Dema wore #15 during 2006, he only has a single season of #21 to put against Hernandez's two and a half. Did someone say "Brian Nielsen"? No? Thought not.
#22: Rodrigo Faria, 2001-02
Not much competition for Faria here, who is still the only Metro to win MLS Rookie of the Year. Stephen Keel and Jonny Steele weren't half-bad... but the choice here is clear.
#23: Eddie Pope, 2003-04
We know what you're thinking: this is where Juan Pietravallo belongs. No, no it's not. The only option to Pope is Jeff Parke's lone season with this number, 2006.
#24: Eddie Gaven, 2003-05
As we get into the higher numbers, it gets easier. Such is the case here.
#25: Brandon Barklage, 2012-13
17 players have worn #25, the second most popular number behind #9. Our choice five years ago was Gilberto, but "Ninja" Barklage takes over the reigns now. Chris Duvall has the chance to move up.
#26: Taylor Graham, 2006-07
Crap. Taylor Graham? Really? Well, the four other players to wear #26 (Gerson Echeverry, Carlos Ledesma, Fausto Klinger, and Chris Megaloudis) only wore it for one league game (Megaloudis did also wear it in the Open Cup). So... Taylor Graham? Really?
#27: Kosuke Kimura, 2013-14
Kimura had his detractors, but the only other option here is Andrew Boyens. Kimura it is.
#28: Paul Grafer, 2000
Jerrod Laventure might have scored one great goal, but how can anyone go against Grafer, his pants and his amazing 2000 run? (Note: Grafer wore #30 after 2000.)