Depleted Metro drops in New England, 1:0
June 8, 2024

New England New York
06.08.24 · League

We can't even get mad about this one. Playing with a lineup depleted by international call-ups, Metro did its beset to keep New England at bay, but lost on a second-half goal, 1:0. While it's encouraging how well the patchwork defense held up, the complete lack of offense without Emil Forsberg and Lewis Morgan is somewhat concerning, if very expected.

Just look at that patchwork defense: a right back playing left back (Kyle Duncan), a right back playing center back (Dylan Nealis), and a right midfielder playing right back (Cameron Harper). Of course, having Ryan Meara in goal (which might be the case for a while, with Carlos Coronel away with Paraguay) is not exactly a big dropdown. The beloved backup made a fantastic save midway through the first half, stretching his hand wide to deny the Revs the opener.

Alas, Meara couldn't do anything in the 81st minute, when Emmanuel Boateng was left unmarked by that patchwork defense, and one-timed a perfect cross into the net. That was the only goal in the game.

The offense struggled, with Dante Vanzeir continuing ineffective play. A perfect illustration came in the late first half, when Harper made a fantastic run on the right and shot from an acute angle, forcing the save from the Revs keeper. The ball dropped straight to an unmarked Vanzeir, but bounced off his leg. At some point, the Metro brass will need to figure out what to do with the Belgian, for his lack of production is becoming a major concern.

Of course, with Forsberg and Morgan playing well, Vanzeir's finishing shortcomings are often masked. When the two are not available (as Morgan will now not be, as he will be there for Scotland's ride through Euro 2024), the offense has to come from somewhere. Sandro Schwarz even threw reserve player Mohammed Sofo on for a half hour, but it's hard to expect a 19-year-old to produce in his first big league game. Metro ended the match with a lineup that looked like its reserve team. Julian Hall got a rare run-out and was ineffective. Omar Valencia joined Sofo by making his debut, becoming the 399th player in team history.

No, we're not mad. But we will be mad if the brass fails to shore up this offense during the summer transfer period...

Lineup: Meara, Duncan, Nealis, Nealis, Harper, Edelman, Amaya, Carmona, Gjengaar, Manoel, Vanzeir. Subs: Sofo, Hall, Burke, Valencia.

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