Metro keeps pace in Shield, slams San Jose 3:1
October 7, 2018

San Jose New York
Wondolowski Muyl
10.06.18 · League

In stark contrast to last week's heavyweight battle with Atlanta, tonight's match in San Jose was expected to be a foregone conclusion. Buried late at night on regional television, the game lived down to expectations; Metro cruised to a 3:1 victory over the hapless Earthquakes. Alex Muyl, Bradley-Wright Phillips, and Aaron Long scored for the visitors before a garbage-time goal narrowed the final margin.

At this point in the season, squad rotation is out the window as well it should be. With Wright-Phillips returning from suspension, Chris Armas fielded his first eleven save for Derrick Etienne deputizing in place of Daniel Royer.

Metro started the game on the front foot with Derrick Etienne rattling the woodwork three minutes in. That set the tone for the rest of the first half, the breakthrough inevitable. When it came in the 29th minute, it was through an awkward Muyl finish that would have done Metro legend John Wolyniec proud. Pouncing on a rebound spilled by San Jose keeper James Marcinkowski off a Michael Murillo shot, Muyl partially whiffed on the ball and saw it lazily slide off his calf into the net.

Three minutes later, Wright-Phillips added his 20th goal of the campaign. Marc Rzatkowski sent in a delicious free kick that the Englishman was happy to feast upon. Wright-Phillips' glancing header bounded off the far post and back to his feet, where he confidently fired the ball in despite being at a very narrow angle.

Five minutes into the second half, Long solidified the result with a powerful header off a tidy Tim Parker flick in a well-choreographed corner routine. With nothing left to play for, San Jose has been reduced to the sideshow of Chris Wondolowski chasing Landon Donovan's all-time goal record. After being substituted on in the second half, the Californian gave the paying customers what they came for with a poacher's effort off a free kick.

Let's be honest with ourselves: this isn't just the best team in New York, or the Eastern Conference. Barring injury, this is the best team in the league and arguably the best in this organization's history. The Supporters' Shield is a nice prize but no matter what happens in the next two games, Metro is the favorite to capture MLS Cup and nothing less will suffice.

Lineup: Robles, Lawrence, Long, Parker, Murillo, Rzatkowski, Davis, Muyl, Etienne, Romero Gamarra, Wright-Phillips. Subs: Ivan, Casseres, Lade.

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