One more for 63
July 26, 2016
When Giovanni Savarese was unceremoniously traded after the 1998 season, he left the MetroStars having scored 44 goals. (Here, and everywhere below, we're talking about goals in all competitions: league, playoffs, open cup, and international tournaments.) Ever since he scored the team's first ever in the inaugural opener loss to the Galaxy, Savarese has been Metro's leading all-time scorer. At the time of his departure, second place belonged to Antony De Avila. He was at... 17, and had already left the team a year prior.
So the bar was set high, and it wasn't until 2000 when a gunslinger named Clint Mathis was acquired that it seemed the record was in danger. Unfortunately, injury and loss of form meant that Mathis couldn't get it going for long stretches. He left after 2003 with 39 goals to his name, five behind Savarese.
When 2007 rolled around, Amado Guevara tied Mathis on 39, but was sent packing to Chivas USA. But Mathis returned, a little slower, a little bulkier. He needed six to break the record; he got exactly six, the last on a fantastic strike in an incredible Giants Stadium-filling 5:4 win against the Galaxy. It happened on August 18, 2007. Mathis would never score for Metro again.
The gamewinner in that game was scored by Juan Pablo Angel, a memorable last-minute strike. It soon became clear that the Cherubic Assassin would find a way to write his name into Metro record books. A little over two years from Mathis' goal, it happened. Metro was playing out the string on a horrible season, playing at Chivas USA. Down 1:0, Angel headed in a perfect Sinisa Ubiparipovic cross to tie the game. That was his 47th goal; he would depart after the 2010 season with 62. The record-breaking day was September 26, 2009.
(Interestingly, an important figure in that Chivas game was Sacha Kljestan. He scored the opening goal for the Goats and then missed on what would have been a game-winning penalty. Strange how it all ties together...)
Now, Bradley Wright-Phillips has a chance for immortality. Last weekend's brace against NYCFC tied him with Angel and 62. The next one will be historic. Will it be as incredible as Mathis' strike or as immaterial as Angel's? Whatever the case is, it will definitely be memorable...