Metro barely beats 9-man Salt Lake, 1:0
June 24, 2015
In what must have been one of the strangest games in club history, Metro defeated Salt Lake, 1:0. It wasn't the result that was strange, it was how it was achieved. Metro scored four minutes in, Salt Lake got two early red cards, and yet, somehow the lone goal stood the entire match. As disheartening as it was to see Metro fail to miss chance after chance to fail to capitalize on the two-man advantage, the win did stop a four-game losing streak. We'll take it, strange or not.
Jesse Marsch made numerous changes, some optional, others mandatory. The defense had three new starters, as Kemar Lawrence, Matt Miazga, and Connor Lade replaced Roy Miller, Ronald Zubar, and Chris Duvall. In midfield, Sean Davis stepped in for Sacha Kljestan, and Marsch decided to make the league record-holding scorer into a winger, moving Bradley Wright-Phillips to the left for Sal Zizzo. Anatole Abang got his first start up front.
Four minutes in, Wright-Phillips sent the ball up the flank that was received by Lawrence. The Jamaican centered it into the box, where it was deftly redirected by Davis. Mike Grella ran onto the free ball and tapped it in from close range.
The two ejections came on either side of the half. In the 40th minute, both teams were caught in the Metro side of the field following a free kick. Luis Robles grabbed the ball and threw it into RSL's half, where it found Felipe. Javier Morales' tackle took out the Brazilian, but also earned the RSL player a straight red card. The second ejection came in 55th, when Demar Phillips laid out Lade. It looked like a soft call, but we're not gonna be ones to complain about the rare two-man advantage.
Somehow, in the 35 minutes that followed, Metro failed to extend the lead. RSL saw very little of the ball, but Metro's continued possession only brought up finishing woes. A terrific run by Lawrence up the flank saw him set up Abang in front of the net, but the shot was saved from close range. After what looked like a two-minute possession around the box, Zizzo scored, but was correctly called offside. Grella sent a short-range header over the bar... there were many, many more chances, but the ineptitude of Metro attackers reared its ugly head.
Oh well. It's a win... be it a strange one.
Lineup: Robles, Lawrence, Perrinelle, Miazga, Lade, McCarty, Martins, Davis, Grella, Wright-Phillips, Abang. Subs: Zizzo, Duvall, Sanchez.