Bruce's reign starts with scoreless tie against DC
August 16, 2006
Ten coaches into this franchise's history, and we're yet to see one whose reign starts with a three-point win. In their first game under Bruce Arena, the Metros got exactly the same result as they did in the first game under Richie Williams, a scoreless draw, this time tying DC United. However, unlike that previous result, a drab affair against the Crew, Metro dominated for long stretches of the game and was unlucky to not come out with a win.
With Seth Stammler and Danny O'Rourke suspended, lineup changes were necessary. Newly-signed Dema Kovalenko stepped in in defensive midfield, and Mike Magee slotted to the right midfield spot, Youri Djorkaeff taking his place up front. The other change was in goal, where Tony Meola took his starting spot back from the undefeated Jon Conway.
The Metros had a great chance early into the game, but Djorkaeff was denied from close range. They carried the play most of the match, not allowing the supposed best team in the league many chances; the addition of Kovalenko in a destroyer role played dividends right away. Like O'Rourke, he can stop the opponent's progress, but unlike O'Rourke, he can actually hold the ball and move it forward, which really helped to hold possession and spring the Metro attack.
A lot of that attack went through Chris Henderson, who had a number of quality runs up the left wing. Unfortunately, his crosses went for naught, although he almost scored for a tough angle (seems to be his specialty). Late in the game, a horrible refereeing decision cost Metro the three points, as a DC defender blatantly handled the ball close to the Scum net. No penalty was given, and the game ended scoreless.
A scoreless tie, but a scoreless tie where Metro dominated. We'll if that's an omen for the club's tenth coach.
Lineup: Meola, Dunivant, Mendes, Parke, Wynne, Kovalenko, Henderson, Magee, Guevara, Djorkaeff, Buddle. Subs: Vide.