Magical Magee leads depleted Metros over LA, 2:1
June 19, 2004

MetroStars Los Angeles
06.19.04 · League

Mike Magee assisted on Kenny Arena's opening goal and then scored himself in the last minute of regulation to give the MetroStars a 2:1 win over league-leading Los Angeles. The win puts the Metros into a tie with Chicago atop the East, pending the results of other games today.

If you thought last week's lineup was lacking in names, this one's was even worse. Mark Lisi and Joselito Vaca were forced to sit out the game with injuries. Ricardo Clark moved back to the midfield, Chris Leitch switched over to the right side, and Tim Regan got his second start of the year at left back. Pablo Brenes started his first game as a Metro, in left midfield. It was the youngest starting lineup in MLS history, beating the previous record by two years.

After some early pressure by LA, the Metros settled down and played an even first half. In the 42nd minute, Arena scored his first career goal. Magee took a corner kick, which the much-maligned defender redirected with his posterior and into the Galaxy net to give the Metros a lead at the half.

Los Angeles switched goalies at the half, with Dan Popik coming in for the injured (and overrated) Kevin Hartman. But when a ball hit off Jeff Parke's shoulder was called a handball just two minutes after stoppage (but after last week's allowance of hand uses, that's only fair... right?), the game became tied after Andreas Herzog converted the ensuing penalty kick.

And then the Metros woke up. Time after time, these substitutes and no-names created dangerous chances in the Galaxy's half, only to be denied by bad bounces or LA's defense. But in the 90th minute, Gilberto Flores sent a ball into the box that Magee deftly redirected with his head and neatly into the corner of Galaxy's net. The Metros had a terrific win, and the young striker proved once again why he deserves a spot on this team even when all the international absentees come back next week.

Seth Stammler, the lone healthy player on the substitute bench, made his Metro debut in the dying minutes of the game.

Lineup: Wells, Regan, Arena, Parke, Leitch, Brenes, Gaven, Clark, Flores, Magee, Wolyniec. Subs: Stammler.

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