Cherubic Assassin strikes down Kansas City, 2:1
October 13, 2007
Going into tonight's match, Metro didn't have much to play for. The playoffs were already clinched, and who knows if the East's third seed would bring more luck this year than it did in years before. But with just one win in their last eight, Metro came to play, and played well behind a reshuffled backline, Juan Pablo Angel's two goals, and a penalty kick save by Jon Conway. By the time the dust settled, Metro had a 2:1 win, clinching the third seed and a first-round date with New England.
Ronald Waterreus' recent bad stretch led to the insertion of Conway in goal. The reshuffling of the backline saw only two starters remain from the last match, as Carlos Mendes and Hunter Freeman finally returned to the starting lineup at the expense of Chris Leitch. Seth Stammler moved to the midfield, as Joe Vide sat out with a red card. Also in midfield, on the left flank, was Jozy Altidore. Clint Mathis went to the bench and Francis Doe started at forward.
Metro broke through in the 19th minute, after the Wiz's Jose Burciaga knocked a Dave van den Bergh cross down with his hand. Angel coolly converted the penalty kick to his left. However, two minutes later Kansas City leveled the score, with the unmarked Jack Jewsbury heading in a free kick.
New York regained the lead just three minutes after, in the 24th. Burciaga tripped over the ball, Dane Richards pounced on it, and passed it to Angel on the ensuing breakaway. The Cherubic Assassin made Kevin Hartman pay again with his fifth goal against KC in only three matches. It was Angel's 19th league goal of the year, and 20th overall, one behind Adolfo Valencia's record for all competitions.
Angel had Metro's two best chances of the second half, first on a glancing header off a free kick that seemed destined for the top corner until Hartman saved it. Then, his shot went barely wide after another Wizard turnover deep in their own half.
On the other end, the Wizards had just two chances, but their were both extremely dangerous. In the 53rd minute, a slight pull of Scott Sealy's shirt by Mendes was called a penalty kick. Eddie Johnson shot to his left, but Conway came up huge, getting his first penalty save as a Metro. Then, in the 75th minute, in a scramble in front of the New York net, Conway made a big save, with van den Bergh clearing the ball off the line on the ensuing rebound.
Metro has one game left in the regular season, a completely meaningless match against the Galaxy in LA.
Lineup: Conway, van den Bergh, Parke, Mendes, Freeman, Stammler, Kovalenko, Altidore, Richards, Doe, Angel. Subs: Mathis, Wolyniec.