Inept Metro shutout in playoff opener, 1:0
October 21, 2006
Pardon us for fooling ourselves. Pardon us for coming into this week thinking that we have a chance; DC is in a slump, Metro is on a minor roll, and we got the best coach in America patrolling the sidelines. But we are Metro fans; we should have known better. And an inept offense and one mistake on defense did Metro in, as they now stare down the wrong end of a 1:0 scoreline for next week's return leg in DC.
Bruce Arena elected to make one change from last week's playoff-clinching lineup, as Markus Schopp came in for Chris Henderson (Dema Kovalenko shifted to the left to accommodate the one-million-dollar Austrian). Marvell Wynne was usually lined up in midfield, and with Schopp roaming, that left Metro's right flank wide open for a number of DC runs up their left wing.
The Metro offense was invisible, creating perhaps two good chances through the entire match. The first came when Schopp missed high with an easy header in the first half. The second came from a Todd Dunivant run midway though the second; the Metro left back did very well to get himself in position, but shot wide, and Schopp couldn't get on the end to tuck the ball in.
That was in the 72nd minute, and five minutes after that, Christian Gomez walked through the Metro defense, received a pass from Jaime Moreno, and chipped the ball over Jon Conway into the net. It was probably DC's only good chance of the entire game.
Jeff Parke's header went off the crossbar in injury time, and that was it for Metro. At least it wasn't 2:0 like two years ago, but the task they face heading into DC is if not impossible, then improbable.
Lineup: Conway, Dunivant, Mendes, Parke, Wynne, Stammler, Kovalenko, Schopp, Guevara, Djorkaeff, Altidore. Subs: Wolyniec, Henderson, Graham.