Somehow, Metro drenches Fire, 3:1
June 28, 2019

New York Chicago
Romero Gamarra
06.28.19 · League

"Deserve" is a strange word. Did Metro "deserve" a multi-goal victory over Chicago tonight? By the basic definition, not really. The Fire outplayed Metro on every area of the field, outshot them 26-10, held the ball for almost the entire game... and yet it was Metro who ran out 3:1 winners. "Deserve" had nothing to do with it.

Coming off two games that saw blown leads turn into losses, Chris Armas elected to revert to the lineup of the first such game, the last league match. Of course, with all the Gold Cup absences, he really didn't have much choice.

The Fire dominated from the onset, missing two clear chances within the first six minutes. Then, in the 8th, Fire keeper Kenneth Kronholm received a back pass at the edge of the box, and did not play it cleanly. Alejandro Romero Gamarra pounced on the ball and walked it into the net for the easiest finish of his career.

Late in the first half, a Chicago shot hit both the crossbar and the far post, and somehow rang out. The scoreline remained at the break, when Armas was forced to replace a hurt Tim Parker with Sean Nealis to decimate the backline even further. Then, it was Luis Robles time, as the Metro keeper made two close-range saves, as well as a brilliant one where he stretched his whole body to push out a long-distance shot.

In the 59th, Metro was still up, but it looked like the leaky dam was about to burst. Then, out of nowhere, came a counterattack. Brian White, operating in the middle, found Daniel Royer on the right, continued his run into the box, and finished for his fifth goal of the year. Chicago was stunned.

The shutout was broken in the 81st, when the Fire hit the post, only for the ball to rebound to an unmarked Nemanja Nikolic, who tapped it in. For a while, it looked like Metro would have to hold on for dear life, as Chicago's dominance returned.

Somehow, hold on they did, and even extended the lead, three minutes into injury time. Bradley Wright-Phillips, coming off the bench for his first action in months, kept the ball from going out of bounds, and found Kyle Duncan, rushing up the right flank. Duncan crossed it to Royer, who set the final margin.

A win is a win, deserved or not. But in a game where a former Metro defensive midfield general (Dax McCarty) overran our current set-up, it makes it easy to remember that our last defensive midfield general (Tyler Adams) has still not been replaced.

Lineup: Robles, Lade, Tarek, Parker, Duncan, Davis, Rzatkowski, Muyl, Romero Gamarra, Royer, White. Subs: Nealis, Wright-Phillips, Fernandez.

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