Angel rises above the seagulls in Toronto
June 6, 2007

Toronto New York
Cunningham Angel 2
06.06.07 · League

Sometimes, you play just well enough to win. This time wasn't one of those. Metro played horribly, where even a tie would have been some welcome points. Yet two moments of brilliance from Juan Pablo Angel gave them a vital 2:1 victory over Mo Johnston and Toronto under the circling seagulls at BMO Field.

Clint Mathis' suspension led to Dema Kovalenko returning to the midfield, and Markus Schopp, another converted midfielder, made his first start of the season at right back. Jozy Altidore returned to the starting lineup as John Wolyniec sat. Taylor Graham also got his first start of the year as Jeff Parke's hamstring sidelined him until a late appearance in the second half.

To say that Metro started horribly is an understatement; in a continuation of last week's debacle in Kansas City, they couldn't hold any possession in midfield, as Toronto's attacks came in waves. Especially exposed was Schopp on the right flank, as his prowess to play on the backline was nothing to write home about. In the 23rd minute, Mo's pupils made his old team pay, as Andy Welsh beat Schopp on the flank, Jon Conway came out of the net on almost a 90 degree angle, and the ball was centered to a strangely unmarked Jeff Cunningham for a deserved early lead.

The rest of the first half was much of the same, as one fails to remember any decent goalscoring opportunities for Metro, other than Angel did just missing the net off a header from a corner kick; he would hit the goalpost in the second in a similar situation. But the Cherubic Assassin was just warming up. In the 69th minute Altidore was fouled a couple of meters from the box, and Angel curved the ball over the wall to tie the game. Then, two minutes later, a Dave van den Bergh cross was deflected by a Toronto defender, and Angel knocked it home for an improbable turn of events.

As Parke went in right after the second goal, Metro reverted to five in the back, and withstood the Toronto pressure the rest of the way. And here, we will not complain about the win; three points is three points. As for Mo, yet another lead blown. At least he looks sharp in his suit... until those seagulls get to him.

Lineup: Conway, Stammler, Mendes, Graham, Schopp, Reyna, Kovalenko, van den Bergh, Richards, Altidore, Angel. Subs: Parke, Wolyniec.

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