Bizarre own goal dooms Metro in New England
August 25, 2007

New England New York
08.25.07 · League

You can blame Carlos Mendes. You can blame Jon Conway. You can blame a divot on the field. Or you can blame bad luck. At the end, it doesn't matter who you blame. For tonight, what seemed like a harmless long back pass by Mendes fooled Conway and trickled into the Metro net, giving the Revolution a 2:1 win over the now-struggling New York side. Jozy Altidore had the lone Metro goal of the match.

After the debacle on Wednesday, only one defensive starter kept his spot: Jeff Parke. Chris Leitch moved over to the right as Hunter Freeman was benched, and Kevin Goldthwaite took Leitch's place on the left. Seth Stammler came back into the lineup for Mendes and Conway returned to the net as Ronald Waterreus did not make the trip for "personal reasons". Elsewhere on the field, Claudio Reyna came back to the middle, Clint Mathis shifted a bit left as Dave van den Bergh sat, and Altidore replaced John Wolyniec up front.

Altidore almost made it 1:0 early, but his header goal was judged to offside. A few minutes later, Reyna almost had his first Metro goal, but hit the ball directly at Matt Reis as the game remained scoreless.

It remained scoreless in the 19th minute, after an obvious dive by the Revs' Adam Cristman on the edge of the box was somehow called a penalty kick. Thankfully, Shalrie Joseph missed the net to the left.

In the 30th minute, Altidore was not to be denied, starting a give-and-go with Juan Pablo Angel and finishing it with a cool shot that sliced through the penalty area and the Revs net. Metro was lucky to keep the lead through the rest of the half, as the Revs piled on the pressure, but Conway and the rest of the defense held firm.

Sadly, Metro's luck ran out barely seconds into the second half, as Reis' goal kick was received by Taylor Twellman, who was somehow not marked, and just like that, the game was tied.

Francis Doe, signed just hours before the match, made his Metro debut in the second half. Angel had New York's lone good chance of the second stanza, on a breakaway off a Dane Richards pass, but Reis stuffed him, and the game remained level. And then, Mendes came into the match to shore up the defense, only to serve up the own goal in the 80th minute. And that was that.

If Metro is to make the playoffs, their road will likely go through New England or DC. And if this week is any indication, they are ill-prepared to handle either.

Lineup: Conway, Goldthwaite, Parke, Stammler, Leitch, Vide, Reyna, Mathis, Richards, Altidore, Angel. Subs: Doe, Mendes, Magee.

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