Ten Best: Preseason victories
La Manga Cup, 2004
January 21, 2016
So, this has been an exciting offseason! No? OK, no. But preseason is just around the corner, which means Metro has the chance to match up with some great teams... oh? We're playing Jacksonville twice? Well, what about the top 10 Metro preseason victories of all time? OK, then!
10) February 26, 2009: River Plate 1, New York 2
Metro went down to Argentina in 2009 and ended up beating giants River Plate. Dane Richards opened the scoring, but the home team replied on an own goal. Andrew Boyens headed in a Sinisa Ubiparipovic corner kick for the win. Juan Carlos Osorio won four games during the 2009 preseason... twice as many as he would win during the regular season.
9) February 22, 2014: Montreal 0, New York 3
What makes this Mickey Mouse Cup game so special? Roy Miller scored! Enough said.
8) March 19, 2001: Dallas 0, MetroStars 5
Did you know the first ever trophy the MetroStars won? The 2001 MLS Preseason championship! They opened the South Florida tournament with a 1:1 tie with Columbus, ended with a 3:2 triumph over San Jose, but it was the middle game that was the most emphatic. Metro put five past Dallas: Petter Villegas scored two and assisted on another, and Clint Mathis, Mark Chung, and Rodrigo Faria tallied in a fantastic romp.
7) February 27, 2010: Toronto 0, New York 4
Speaking of Florida romps and preseason trophies, who can forget the Mickey Mouse Cup title in 2010? Juan Pablo Angel scored three times and Conor Chinn added another, as Metro destroyed Toronto. The only down point was a very dangerous tackle by Canadian thug Julian de Guzman that took down Angel.
6) February 24, 2002: Rot-Weiss 0, MetroStars 7
Why is a lowly Swiss side listed? Because we cannot forget this trashing in 2002, Metro's biggest victory of all time. Played in Italy, Tab Ramos scored two, Villegas, Faria, and Birahim Diop got one each, but the star was trialist Byron Alvarez. The Mexican scored twice and turned heads all preseason... before becoming known as one of the worst players in team history once games that actually counted started.
5) March 19, 2003: Boca Juniors 0, MetroStars 1
Metro made a trip to Argentina during the 2003 preseason, and got a fantastic victory at La Bombonera. Eddie Pope scored midway through the second half and Tim Howard stopped a penalty kick late.
4) February 27, 2001: Benfica 0, MetroStars 2
Metro stepped onto the fabled grounds of the Stadium of Light and won 2:0, behind goals from the Colombian duo of Adolfo Valencia and Alex Comas. Howard stopped a penalty kick to preserve the shutout.
3) March 20, 2010: New York 3, Santos 1
The only home game on our list, and what a game it was. Metro opened Red Bull Arena in a tremendous fashion, romping over the Brazilians. In the 11th minute, Joel Lindpere scored the first goal in the new stadium, converting his own rebound. Metro hero Mike Petke got the eventual game-winner, and Richards scored the third. Santos pulled one late to avoid the shutout.
2) March 1, 2004: Dynamo Kyiv 2, MetroStars 3
As special as the Emirates Cup was, it all started with La Manga. During the 2004 preseason tournament in Spain, Metro made it out of group stage after losing one and winning one, making the semifinals as the best second-place team. There, they met Champions League participants Dynamo Kyiv... And somehow won. Amado Guevara scored the first from the spot and Olivier Occean, who would be poached by a Norwegian team after the tournament, put Metro up two. The Ukrainian giants answered to even it up. Then, in the 73rd, Dynamo's Goran Sablic knocked an Occean cross into his own net, and Metro was on its way to an improbable final.
1) March 5, 2004: Viking 0, MetroStars 1
After beating Dynamo, Metro would play Viking in the final of La Manga. The Norwegians accounted for Metro's lone defeat in the tournament at the group stage. This time around, it was Metro who came out on top, as then-little-known Jeff Parke, the very last pick of the SuperDraft, headed in a Guevara corner kick in the 27th minute. Metro became the first MLS team to win a trophy outside of North America... and now have the chance to match that in the Emirates Cup. Oh, if it only wasn't so pointless!