Metros close Ft. Lauderdale with win over FIU, 2:1
March 18, 2004 (Official Game Summary)

FIU MetroStars
Williams Nugent
03.18.04 · Preseason

The MetroStars defeated Florida International University (FIU) 2-1 today at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale/Sunrise in Sunrise, Florida. Rookie midfielder Michael Bradley scored the game-winner for the Metro in their final preseason match in Florida.

The Metros were on the attack from the outset of the contest, earning two corner kicks in the game's opening three minutes. On the second of those corners, Amado Guevara swung the ball over the pack of players in front of the net to Jeff Parke. Parke headed the ball back to the top of the 18-yard box where Ricardo Clark struck a shot that FIU goalkeeper Roy Rosenberg was just able to make a diving save on.

Metros goalkeeper Zach Wells came up with big back-to-back saves in the 23rd and 24th minutes. The first came when FIU's Jared Rose broke free of the MetroStars defense and fired a shot that Wells was able to tip over the crossbar. Just one minute later FIU's Carron Williams beat the Metros' offside trap, and fired a shot that Wells was able to knock away with a sprawling save.

The Metro got on the scoreboard first in the 33rd minute when Mike Nugent volleyed a bouncing ball into the back of FIU's net. The play was created when Chris Leitch played a great ball across the box that found Nugent. Nugent settled the ball and fired a shot that was blocked by a Rosenberg. The ball deflected back to Nugent however, and he was able to volley it into the net to give the Metros a 1-0 lead.

FIU evened the score in the 61st minute, when a ball was played over the top of the Metros defense and Parke and Williams got tangled up chasing down the ball, leaving Parke on the ground. Though there was an apparent foul, the referee signaled, "play on" and Williams charged towards Wells with the ball and slotted in past the Metros keeper into the goal to knot the game at 1-1.

The Metro regained the lead in the 69th minute of the contest on a goal from rookie Michael Bradley. Bradley worked in conjunction with Eddie Gaven for a give-and-go from 22-yards out that left Bradley inside the 18-yard box alone with Rosenberg. Bradley skillfully dribbled by Rosenberg and took the ball into the goal for a 2-1 lead.

The game was the second match for the Metros in this, their third leg of preseason training. The Metro will have a light practice tomorrow, and then will return home to New Jersey on Saturday morning. The Metros will be in action next on Saturday, March 27th, when they battle the Colorado Rapids in San Antonio.

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