Metro survives late Orlando onslaught, 1:0
July 21, 2019
Metro started wonderfully out of the gate. The vaunted press was back, crisp passing, attack after attack, chance after chance. A 1:0 outcome at the half seemed underwhelming; Orlando had no chance to keep up. And then, the second half started, and did the tables turn. It was the home team's turn to dominate, as Metro held on for dear like, with Luis Robles and the woodwork bailing them out to preserve that 1:0 score.
Chris Armas made a number of changes from midweek, with Kemar Lawrence and Alex Muyl not making the trip. Marc Rzatkowski, Vincent Bezecourt, and Tom Barlow exited, for Sean Davis, Derrick Etienne, and Brian White. Amro Tarek also returned to the lineup, alternating with Aaron Long at center and left back throughout the game.
Tarek proved to be Metro's best attacker in the first half, coming close on on scoring off two set piece headers. Then, in the 32nd, he intercepted the ball on the left flank and found Alejandro Romero Gamarra. Kaku immediately played a through pass to White, who slid the ball off Orlando keeper Brian Rowe and into the net.
Second half was all Orlando, as Metro barely crossed the midfield. (Have we mentioned that Tyler Adams hasn't been replaced yet? We think we have.) Not only did Robles have to make point-blank saves, Orlando hit the woodwork three times. The last of those was from old friend Sacha Kljestan, with the ball rebounding back in play, only for Robles to follow up with a save. A follow-up was blocked, before Robles smothered the fourth attempt.
What happened at the break? Armas seems to be very good with halftime adjustments, but here it seems that the exact opposite happened. Oh well, we will take the three road points.
But, after seeing the midfield overrun for an entire half, we need to reiterate that THEY HAVE NOT REPLACED TYLER ADAMS!
Lineup: Robles, Tarek, Long, Parker, Murillo, Davis, Casseres, Etienne, Royer, Romero Gamarra, White. Subs: Rzatkowski, Fernandez, Wright-Phillips.