Metro takes Open Cup seriously, easily wins 4:1
July 1, 2015

New York Cosmos
07.01.15 · Open Cup

As regular readers known, we've been highly critical of the current regime, from questionable offseason moves to stubborn tactics to absentee ownership. However, there is one thing the regime has gotten right. Finally, finally, finally, the team is giving its best effort in the Open Cup.

We've survived seasons with losses to minor league bottom feeders, we've watched our players sleepwalk through matches, we've seen the head coach not show up. Heck, one of the worst Open Cup performances in team history came last year, when an indifferent Metro team let the minor-league Cosmos walk over them. 3:0 was the final result. The outcome was just.

Well, tonight, the Metro team played like it mattered, and took revenge on that same Cosmos, dumping the cross-river upstarts 4:1. And just like last year, the result reflected the play on the field.

Jesse Marsch continued to keep the lineup, while keeping the main group intact. Connor Lade and Damien Perrinelle started for Kemar Lawrence and the injured-again Ronald Zubar. Sean Davis stepped in for Felipe, and Lloyd Sam returned from injury to give Mike Grella a rest. Bradley Wright-Phillips was rested as well, for Sal Zizzo.

And it was Zizzo who got Metro on board early. His first New York goal was scored in the fourth minute as a perfect cross from Sam was met by Zizzo's head.

The Cosmos evened the scored in the 16th minute. After the ball miraculously stayed in play on the right flank, an unlucky Matt Miazga clearance left Lucky Mkosana with an easy chance.

Metro regained the lead in the 42nd minute, when Abang headed in a Kljestan corner kick. Nine minutes into the second half, they made it 3:1 after Chris Duvall was taken down in the box. Kljestan's penalty kick went straight down the middle, but did end up in the back of the net.

The Cosmos had one sequence where they hit the woodwork twice and back-to-back shots, but rarely threatened otherwise. Metro continued to push forward, and Felipe was denied from point-blank range with a terrific save from ex-Metro draft pick Jimmy Maurer. The exclamation point was written by Grella, who danced inside the penalty area, fooling Cosmos defenders to slot one home. The sole blemish on the game was Duvall's late injury after an unnecessary hard tackle from a visiting hack.

So, now to the quarterfinals we go. Now, if we could do something about that absentee ownership...

Lineup: Robles, Lade, Perrinelle, Miazga, Duvall, McCarty, Davis, Kljestan, Zizzo, Sam, Abang. Subs: Grella, Martins, Wallace.

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