For ninth straight year, Metros in ninth circle of hell
October 23, 2004

0:2
MetroStars DC United

Stewart
Eskandarian
10.23.04 · Playoff

If the end of the season seems like a mirror image of last year's, it's because it is. After an end of the regular season eerily flashing back to 2003, the Metros once again dropped the first game of the playoffs at home, 2-0. This time, they have to thank the officials for it, as the first DC Scum goal was scored on a clear obvious ridiculous missed offside call. DC added a second one in the dying minutes, making the return leg almost a formality.

With Craig Ziadie suspended and Mike Magee suffering from concussion symptoms, Pablo Brenes and Tim Regan got the start as the Metros shifted to a three-man backline with the two new additions tracking back on the wings. Cornell Glen started up front as Sergio Galvan Rey sat.

Jonny Walker was on for most of the match, stopping a two-man DC breakaway midway through the first half. He had a key save off a corner kick and the Metro defense held strong until the 67th minute. It was then that Earnie Stewart got the ball on the right flank in a clear offside position, with no Metro players within a 15-yard radius; after the game, Stewart himself admitted that he was offside. Assistant ref Chris Strickland made the mistake of the year; the whistle did not blow, and Stewart was off to the races, beating Walker for the lead. The Metros protested with vigor, but it was for naught.

Glen had the two best Metro chances of the second half, bringing the ball downfield but taking an extra stride and shooting wide. Amado Guevara hit a number of dangerous free kicks that could not find a way past Nick Rimando. But the best Metro chance came with five minutes left in regulation, and once again the referees cost them. The horribly blind Kevin Stott missed a clear penalty as John Wolyniec was taken down in the box, and shortly after that, in the 88th, Alecko Eskandarian put a dagger into the Metros' heart with a goal that made it 2:0.

So just like last year, the Metros are starting down a two-goal hole with a road game left. And just like each one of the eight years before, another season looks to end in disappointment.

And the amazing Metro Playoff Fever? All it got to the stadium was 11,000 fans. But yes, it's pretty hard to care after nine years of this.

Lineup: Walker, Leitch, Pope, Parke, Regan, Clark, Brenes, Guevara, Gaven, Glen, Wolyniec. Subs: Vaca, Lisi, Galvan Rey.

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