History of Metro exit scorers
July 7, 2020
If the history of Metro debut scorers is full both of heroes and zeroes, the list of players who scored in their last game seems as random... but is a lot shorter. At this point, 11 Metro players have scored right before exiting (we are not including current members of the team for obvious reasons). The full list can be seen here. Two of the 11, Michael Butler and Sal Caccavale, scored in their only game, so we will exclude them from the listings below. Now for the other nine...
June 24, 1998: MetroStars 5, New England 3; Paul Dougherty
That 5:3 win over New England was epic for early MLS. Mike Petke blasted his first pro goal to put Metro ahead 4:3, and Dougherty rounded the scoring in the 88th minute (he also tallied two assists). By then, the 5'3" "wee man" might have been Metro's 1998 MVP, running the team's midfield to the tune of three goals and nine assists in just 16 games. Alas, it was not to be. The World Cup was over, which meant that Tab Ramos and Marcelo Vega were coming home, and Dougherty's minutes would have to be limited. So, five days after the 10-goal thriller, the Englishman was shipped to Tampa Bay for defender Mike Duhaney.
May 29, 1999: MetroStars 3, New England 3 (SO 0:1); Arley Palacios
A year later, again New England at home, again many goals, but this time Metro lost in the shootout. Palacios' only Metro goal was scored in the 50th minute to tie the game at 2:2. (Some guy name Gio Savarese tallied twice for the Revs in this game.) The loss was Metro's second in a row of what would become six; Palacios would not survive to see the next one, as three days later he was shipped to Miami. In an epic day of trades, Metro acquired Eric Wynalda from San Jose as owned future considerations for Marcelo Vega (who never played for San Jose), Welton from LA for Roy Myers, and then shipped Wynalda, Welton, and Palacios to Miami for a super-duper allocation which was supposed to sign Lothar Matthaus. "These moves are designed to put us in a position where we can build the best possible team while adhering to the league's salary and international player guidelines," GM Charlie Stillitano said at the time. "This is only the first step in a very ambitious plan to shape the MetroStars into the marquee club our fans deserve." Oh, early MLS!
August 25, 1999: MetroStars 1, New England 1 (SO 1:3); Mike Duhaney
No, Charlie did not build that "best possible team". After beating Tampa in a shootout to briefly stop the bleeding, they lost 12 straight, an MLS record (two of those were by shootout, but who is counting). Then 10th loss came once again against New England, with Duhaney opening the scoring in the 14th minute with his second Metro goal. Three minutes later, he injured his knee, ending his season. In January 2000, with Stillitano gone, one of Nick Sakiewicz's first moves was sending Duhaney to Columbus for ancient, German-speaking Thomas Dooley, acquired so Matthaus could have a friend. Somehow it all connects...
October 2, 1999: New England 2, MetroStars 1; Lawrence Lozzano
1999 again? New England again? Lozzano was a good player for Dallas and San Jose, playing everywhere from forward to midfield to defense. With Metro, he was mostly used in defensive midfield, and seemed to be on his last legs when he scored the last goal of that morbid season to bring Metro within one at New England. It was his only goal for Metro, as he was released during 2000 preseason.
October 24, 2009: New York 5, Toronto 0; Matthew Mbuta
We skip Butler (2001) and Caccavale (2007) to land with Mbuta, who has the distinction (if we don't count Butler and Caccavale) to be one of only two Metros to score in their first and last game (those were the only two he ever scored). That last goal was not only the last of the horrid 2009 season, it was the last ever at Giants Stadium, a penalty kick four minutes into injury time. He did not make it out of the 2010 preseason.
November 4, 2010: New York 1, San Jose 3; Juan Pablo Angel
And here is the other player to score on his debut and exit; the one and only Cherubic Assassin. His last, 62nd goal, which oh so briefly tied San Jose in the 78th in the epic playoff disaster... let's not talk about it.
November 3, 2011: Los Angeles 2, New York 1; Luke Rodgers
With Metro losing the playoff opener at home to the Galaxy, it took cult hero Rodgers just four minutes to level the aggregate at Los Angeles with his 10th Metro goal. Alas, an early injury to Teemu Tainio destroyed Metro's chances. After the year, Rodgers overstayed his visa, went back to England, and, after a prolonged saga, could not return. The man who once claimed he would play for RBNY for free had to settle for Scandinavia and England's lower division.
November 29, 2014: New England 2, New York 2; Tim Cahill and Peguy Luyindula
One goal away, one goal away, one goal away. Cahill tied the aggregate in the 26th, Luyindula did once again in the 53rd, which evened away goals as well. It was not to be, of course, ending Titi Henry's storied career, ending Cahill's and Luyindula time with Metro, and ending the big-spending era of this franchise. Cahill, who ended with 16 goals and activated the fanbase, signed in China. Playoff hero Luyindula, with nine goals (but three goals and two assists in that 2014 playoff run), retired. One goal away...