Metro continues spotless start, beats Dallas 1:0
April 26, 2007
It's early in the season. It's early. It's early. It's early. We have to keep telling ourselves that, for it's hard not to be excited over this year's Metro team so far. Breaking all sorts of defensive records, they kept their fourth consecutive clean sheet and earned their third straight victory, topping Dallas 1:0 on a second-half Hunter Freeman goal.
Clint Mathis' suspension led to the resurrection of the 4-5-1 formation that trashed Dallas two weeks ago; Seth Stammler made his return to the starting lineup, with Jozy Altidore again becoming the lone man on top. Lone Metro man that is, for Dallas continued the hack-a-Jozy strategy that didn't work for Houston last week, deployed every time the youngster touched the ball.
The strategy led to Metro's best chance of the first half, as Altidore was hacked down at the edge of the box, with Dave van den Bergh's free kicking being mishandled by Shaka Hislop, but no one was around to pickup the rebound.
Metro had a number of dangerous chances in the second, as Reyna was left all alone in the box and just missed on a tricky one-timer. An obvious handball off a corner kick was missed by a referee, and it looked like the game might end scoreless.
That is, until a perfect van den Bergh cross found Freeman in the 79th minute, with the new Metro right back slamming it into the net and for his first Metro goal and the lead that stood at the final whistle.
Special praise needs to be made to the Metro central defense pairing of Carlos Mendes and Jeff Parke, who were spectacular in handling Dallas' top strikers. At one point of the game, Dallas went over 50 minutes without taking a single shot on goal. With the result, Metro set the league record for most shutout minutes to start the season, and early in the match Ronald Waterreus set the record for most shutout minutes to start a MLS career.
It's early. But it's hard not to get excited.
Lineup: Waterreus, Dunivant, Mendes, Parke, Freeman, Kovalenko, Stammler, van den Bergh, Richards, Reyna, Altidore. Subs: Regan, Laventure, Ubiparipovic.