10-man Metro survives Fire for scoreless draw
April 13, 2024

New York Chicago

04.13.24 · League

Andres Reyes is a good player. He reads the play very well, wins more than his share of battles, and can often make up for mistakes with his speed and reaction time. It's just that... sometimes he does something very, very stupid. Such was the case today, when an idiotic, pointless red card turned Metro dominance into a fight for their lives. At the end, Metro scraped with a point after a scoreless home draw with Chicago.

With Sean Nealis not fully healthy, Sandro Schwarz elected to insert Noah Eile to partner Reyes. That being the only change from the game last week. And that looked to be spot on, as Metro absolutely dominated the first 40 minutes of the match, knocking the ball freely through Chicago's half and rarely giving it up. Unfortunately, they could not get through, with a Lewis Morgan header of a set piece that bounced off the keeper and the post being their best opportunity.

Then, on a rare Fire foray into the Metro half, the game changed. The visitors earned a free kick on the right side of the box. With the ball not yet in the air, Reyes threw an elbow at the head of a Fire player. They play was blown dead and he earned a yellow that VAR changed into a red. Thankfully, since it was a dead-ball foul, no penalty was given.

This was in the 42nd minute, so Metro would now have to play a man down for the majority of the match. Nealis returned, but the game's flow completely changed. Metro was now the one under the gun, with Chicago controlling the run of play. But, as often this year, the defense held, with Peter Stroud doing massive work in midfield to keep the Fire at bay. He had to leave the match late after picking a non-contact injury.

Late in the game, the insertion of Elias Manoel actually produced quality chances. He first forced a tough save from a tough angle, then hit a post in injury time from a long long shot. Sadly, Frankie Amaya's follow-up hit the other post. Moments later, a ball dropped on Carlos Coronel's doorstep, only for the Fire attacker to fall down, and the game ended scoreless.

(Here you ask about Tom Barlow. He came into the 75th and did absolutely nothing. Aren't you glad you asked?)

Metro now faced a daunting task with a cross-country trip to LAFC. At least figuring out the starting central defense should not be a problem for this one... Or for any games after, unless Reyes grows a brain.

Lineup: Coronel, Tolkin, Eile, Reyes, Nealis, Stroud, Amaya, Carmona, Forsberg, Morgan, Vanzeir. Subs: Nealis, Edelman, Manoel, Duncan.

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