Valencia vs New England, 2001
Twelve seasons, twelve openers
April 2, 2008

Are you excited for opening day? Yes? No? Whatever your answer is, perhaps you need to remember the previous twelve opening days in Metro history... the results have been mixed.

  • April 13, 1996: Los Angeles 2, MetroStars 1
    Almost 70,000 at the Rose Bowl see the first game in MLS history for the home Galaxy and the visiting Metros. LA goes up 2:0 after goals by Cobi Jones and Arash Noamouz (the latter could have been credited an own goal to Nicola Caricola, who of course will get his a week later). Metro responds with a short-range header from Giovanni Savarese, but it's not enough. New players: 14 (or everyone, including one-game wonders Ken Hesse and Danny Barber).

  • March 22, 1997: San Jose 0, MetroStars 0 (4:3 SO)
    The league opener sees the MetroStars and Clash play a dour match that has to be settled by a shootout. The tie-breaker goes eleven frames before San Jose prevails 4:3. New players: 4 (Kerry Zavagnin, Andrew Lewis, Carlos Parra, Braeden Cloutier).

  • March 28, 1998: Los Angeles 3, MetroStars 2
    For some reason, Metro opens two weeks after the league does. An exciting match in LA sees Metro go down early but goals by Jim Rooney, on his debut, and Savarese, give the underdogs an unexpected lead. Sadly, Cobi Jones' brace, in the 70th and 79th, dooms the good guys to defeat. New players: 6 (Rooney, Arley Palacios, Alexi Lalas, Diego Sonora, Paul Dougherty, one-game wonder Wellington Sanchez).

  • March 20, 1999: Miami 2, MetroStars 2 (1:2 SO)
    One of seven games Metro would win all year, this "win" belongs in quotations, for it came in the shootout. Eduardo Hurtado, who would add just five the rest of the way, opened the scoring with the double, before Miami responded through Roberto Gaucho and Jay Heaps. Metro prevails in the shootout, their first "victory" on opening day. New players: 2 (Mike Ammann, Mark Chung).

  • March 26, 2000: Miami 3, MetroStars 1
    The long-anticipated debut of Lothar Matthaus is trivial at best, as Metro goes down early to Roy Lassiter, responds through debutant Alex Comas, but is put down on two second-half goals by Eric Wynalda and Diego Serna. New players: 6 (Matthaus, Comas, Thomas Dooley, Steve Shak, Adolfo Valencia, Orlando Perez).

  • April 7, 2001: MetroStars 2, New England 1
    Metro's first opener at home is also their first opener regulation victory. The game is tied after 90 minutes: Clint Mathis opens the scoring on a deflected free kick, but the Revs equalize through Leonel Alvarez. Then, two minutes into stoppage time, Adolfo Valencia heads in a rebound for the exciting win. New players: 2 (Richie Williams, Pedro Alvarez).

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