Gearing up for game #1000
March 7, 2023

On Saturday, Metro will play Minnesota in the 998th game in team history. Or is it the 1000th? And what does it have to do with goats?

As of today, Metro has played in 997 games: 857 regular season, 58 playoff, 56 Open Cup, and 26 international competition. But that last number, that 26 would actually became a 28 if you change "has played" to "was involved". Back in 2001, Metro earned two forfeit wins over Chivas Guadalajara (here are the goats) in the first international competition it ever participated in, Copa Merconorte.

Merconorte was a secondary CONMEBOL tournament that, in 2001, decided to invited American teams. Metro and Kansas City were the representatives, with Metro draw into a group with Venezuela's Deportivo Italchacao, Colombia's Millonarios, and the aforementioned Chivas. (Mexican teams first joined in the previous year's competition.) On August 9, Metro easily dispatched Italchacao, 2:0. On August 29, they lost at Millonarios in the first ever competitive game on international soil. Their next game was to be Chivas on October 17... except there was no next game. Citing fears about air travel after 9/11 (but, really, wanting more time to prepare for a game against rival Club America), the Goats pulled out. Metro was awarded a 2:0 forfeit win, and got another forfeit which CONMEBOL kicked Chivas out of the competition. So that's the discrepancy. Those are the two extra games. (Metro ended up losing the return legs to both South American sides, and Merconorte was cancelled forever the following year. Moving on.)

So, unless you count the forfeits as actual games, Metro's 1000th will come in two weeks in Charlotte. So we will go with that.

The Minnesota game could prove to be an individual milestone at least: if he appears, it will be Tom Barlow's 100th career game. So, yes, he has appeared in 10% of Metro's all-time games, give or take.

We'll leave you with that thought.

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