Trash team finishes Florida with a pathetic 2:0 loss
July 22, 2020
Two weeks ago, we were happy. Our Metro came back, our Metro played well, our Metro won. Surely, it wasn't perfect (none of the current situation is), but it was a welcome return from months of slumber.
Flash forward to today. A week after being absolutely outclassed in every area of the field by Columbus, Metro crashed out of the MLS is Back tournament by losing to a supposedly terrible Cincinnati team, 2:0. As bad as the performance was versus Columbus, this was worse.
It was obvious what Cincinnati's plan is: a tie was good enough to advance from the group, so they would pack it in and counter-attack. Chris Armas knew that going in (he had to, right?), but his team had no answers. It also had no forwards, as the lone change from the Columbus humiliation was the insertion of midfielder Omir Fernandez for Tom Barlow.
And so it began. Metro held the ball, passed it around, Cincy packed the box, Metro couldn't get through, rinse, repeat. Rarely did Cincinnati get the ball; that was not their game plan. (Armas had to know that, right?) They did get a rare chance in the attacking third in the 43rd minute, when a bad giveaway from Amro Tarek led from a shot from outside the box by Yuya Kubo that left David Jensen flat-footed. The supposedly terrible Cincinnati had the lead.
And then, in the 56th, they doubled that lead, when their only corner of the game was accidentally redirected by Florian Valot's head past Jensen. And that was that, because Metro returned to its fruitless strategy of kicking the ball around and not breaking through.
Metro, who famously did not register a shot on goal versus Columbus, failed to do so here for 81 minutes. They did end up with five, but none of them really threatened.
Where does it leave us, as Metro waits for the more successful team to end the tournament? A limited team with a limited coach, a limited budget, and a limited strategy, on and off the field. We might welcome a return to slumber...