Metros win La Manga Cup
March 5, 2004 (Official Game Summary)
The MetroStars won the 2004 La Manga Cup with a 1-0 victory tonight over Viking FK of Stavanger, Norway in the final of the tournament at La Manga Club Resort. Rookie defender Jeff Parke scored the game-winner in the 27th minute, to earn the Metros the preseason trophy. Midfielder Amado Guevara earned Most Valuable Player honors after leading the team to the title with a 3-1-0 record.
"We are very happy to win the La Manga Cup," said MetroStars Head Coach Bob Bradley. "The La Manga Cup is a very good event and the people, who run it do a great job. The competition here is very good and we are very proud of the young players, who stepped in and performed well. We are also very happy with the veteran players like Amado, who took on more of a leadership role."
In the 27th minute, the MetroStars earned a corner kick on the right side. Guevara launched the corner kick into the box to the back post and Parke leaped over the defense and nodded the shot past Viking goalkeeper Frode Olsen to put the Metros up 1-0. The Drexel University product's goal also avenged the Metros' only loss of the tournament, which came at the hands of Viking in the group play round.
"One guy was up on me tight and I was able to get past him after he was holding my arm," said Parke. "I saw the ball going to the back post and I just tried to get there. A few other guys were there, but I was able to get over them."
The Metro had an opportunity to compound Viking's woes, in the 33rd minute. Metro midfielder Eddie Gaven raced up the left wing after receiving a pass from forward John Wolyniec. The 17-year-old was clipped by Tom Sanne, but was able to regain his balance and run in alone on the goalkeeper. As Gaven approached Olsen in the box, he laid off a pass to Olivier Occean, who was running towards the back post. Occean slipped, then cut the ball inside to avoid two defenders and slotted a shot at the net, but Viking defender Thomas Pereira was able to just clear it off the line.
The Metros held onto the lead, but Viking threatened with their best chance, in the 62nd minute. Viking midfielder Jone Samuelsen fired a 20-yard shot to the lower right corner, but MetroStars keeper Jonny Walker dove and blocked it. The ball rebounded in front of the net, but the United States international was able to collect it before Hannes Sigurdsson could get to it.
In the 89th minute, the Metros pressured Viking on another corner kick. Guevara sent in the corner that found the head of a leaping Wolyniec, but his header bounced just wide right of the net.
The MetroStars end their preseason training stint in Spain and will return home tomorrow. The team will reassemble in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on Tuesday, March 9 through Saturday, March 20.