Metros put one foot in grave with 2:0 loss
November 1, 2003

MetroStars New England

11.01.03 · Playoff

Well, the season is not over yet, but it's close. The MetroStars got the worst possible result out of Game 1 of their first-round playoff series, losing to New England 2:0. The result would have been very different if the referee didn't miss a clear Metro goal early in the second half. With MLS switching to a total-goal system for the first time, the Metros now have a huge mountain to climb.

After poor results the last few weeks, Bob Bradley switched to a 3-5-2 formation with Jonny Walker in goal, Eddie Pope sweeping between Steve Jolley and Craig Ziadie, the midfield of Joey DiGiamarino, Ricardo Clark, Mark Lisi, Amado Guevara, and Chris Leitch, and Andrzej Juskowiak partnering Clint Mathis in attack. Unfortunately, the new lineup didn't click, with the Revs striking first blood in the 17th minute, Dario Fabbro sticking a foot out to redirect a shot past Walker.

The Metros couldn't do much for the rest of the first half, but the insertion of Eddie Gaven at the break helped to re-energize the team. Eddie Pope scored what looked to be the equalizer in the 49th minute, but the referee didn't see the ball go under the crossbar and the game never stopped.

After a few more spirited minutes by the Metros, the air was taken out of them as Pat Noonan jumped on a ball in the box that Metro defense couldn't clear. Walker had no chance and suddenly the mountain became that much steeper.

The underside of the crossbar was hit again late in the game, this time by Mike Magee, and again to no avail. The game ended 2:0 and the season will likely end next Sunday in New England. But who knows, maybe this team has another miracle left in it.

Lineup: Walker, DiGiamarino, Pope, Jolley, Ziadie, Leitch, Clark, Guevara, Lisi, Juskowiak, Mathis. Subs: Gaven, Magee, Bartolomeu.

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