Metro puts away feeble Toronto, 2:0
September 22, 2018
At this point, the formula seems set. The eleven that will see this season out seem obvious. Stay firm defensively, press when necessary, and convert the chances. Did we mention stay firm defensively? It worked tonight, as Metro took care of Toronto, 2:0. With the win, at least third place in the East is guaranteed.
For the second straight game, we had the same starting eleven, but, unlike the last two games, the defense showed up. This same backline that was so porous against the Scum was absolutely terrific, and Tyler Adams did his usual cleanup duty in front. Luis Robles did make a couple of quality saves in the second half, but that side of the game always seemed under Metro's control.
As for the offense, the freewheeling press of Jesse Marsch is clearly gone, replaced by a more composed structure that might be a tad less pretty, but does get the result. And when things are not working, Chris Armas is not afraid to mix it up early. Tonight he inserted Alex Muyl and Derrick Etienne early in the second half, and the latter changed the game.
The first goal came in the 70th, after Etienne took it to the endline and had his cross deflected. With Bradley Wright-Phillips pressing the goalkeeper, the ball eventually ended in front of the net with Alejandro Romero Gamarra, whose shot went off Michael Bradley's feet and in. The clincher came in injury time, with a BWP through ball that found Etienne. Toronto's Eriq Zavaleta comically fell down, and Etienne sent a lovely chip from the left side over the goalkeeper and into the net.
The only blemish of the match was BWP receiving a yellow card for talking to the referee late in the game after he missed a clear foul. The record-breaking striker will now miss the crucial game against Atlanta with card accumulation.
Let's hope the formula keeps working...
Lineup: Robles, Lawrence, Long, Parker, Murillo, Adams, Davis, Rzatkowski, Royer, Romero Gamarra, Wright-Phillips. Subs: Muyl, Etienne, Escobar.