Metro holds off Crew to clinch bye, 3:2
October 16, 2016

New York Columbus
Wright-Phillips 2
10.16.16 · League

Dear Jesse Marsch,

First thing first, great job this year. After that 1-6 start, to virtually clinch the East with one game left? Terrific. Here's the thing, though: it's a bit scary, no?

No, Metro didn't blow a two-goal lead this time. That's because they scored THREE. But boy, did they come close to blowing that as well...

Let's recap how we got there: you kept the lineup the same, which made perfect sense. Then, just seven minutes in, the Crew keeper (some guy named Brad Stuver), decided to come to the edge of the box, succumbed to Alex Muyl's pressure, and had to bring the Metro attacker down. A rare sight of a Metro penalty kick ended with a week effort from Sacha Kljestan that was saved by Stuver.

Metro's goals came fast and furious early in the second half. In the 53rd, Muyl and Chris Duvall forced a turnover deep in the Columbus end. Duvall sent the ball to Kljestan, who passed it into the box, where an onrushing Mike Grella one-timed it into the corner. Five minutes later, it was Muyl again, taking the ball up the flank, pausing to let Bradley Wright-Phillips set, and passing to the Englishman. BWP did the rest, fooling a Crew defender with a fancy cutback move and slicing it home from an acute angle.

In the 70th, a Kljestan corner kick was headed toward the goalmouth by Aurelien Collin, and was slammed from close range by BWP. That should have been it, Jesse! The game should have been over.

It wasn't. Three minutes later, the Metro defense fell asleep and let Adam Jahn score. Then, Jesee, you did something inexcusable. You subbed! Read it in the book of "Clever" Hans, Jesse. Don't sub! Ever! It's what smart managers do to win ballgames!

The sub in question was the replacement of Collin with Ronald Zubar in order to give the broken Guadeloupean some in-game action. Alas, Zubar and the rest of the defense fell asleep again, when Harrison Afful made it 3:2 in the 83rd...

Well, Metro hanged on this time, so all ended well. And with a NYCFC loss and a Toronto tie, you clinched a first-round bye and a virtual guarantee of finishing first in the East (the blue poseurs are not flipping a 13-goal difference in one game). So, we're good, Jesse.

Let's just try to be a little less scary next time, OK?

Lineup: Robles, Lawrence, Collin, Perrinelle, Duvall, McCarty, Martins, Kljestan, Grella, Muyl, Wright-Phillips. Subs: Veron, Zubar, Zizzo.

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