Ten Best: Metro vs Galaxy
Faria and Valencia, 2001
July 14, 2008
New York vs Los Angeles should have been MLS's marquee matchup. When the Metros and the Galaxy marched out at the Rose Bowl for both teams' inaugural game, it sure looked that way. But when close to 70,000 people were treated to the sight of Ken Hesse, Danny Barber, and Edmundo Rodriguez in a Metro uniform, the word "marquee" quickly vanquished. Metro lost that game 2:1, the lone goal (obviously, the first in franchise's history) scored by Giovanni Savarese.
For the next four years, the Galaxy dominated the matchup. They won nine of the twelve matches, including three in a row to start the series and then five in a row, ending in early 2000. Then, a certain Galaxy player became a Metro, and everything changed. As it stands now, Metro turned around that 3-9 record and are 15-14-5 against LA in league play, one of the few MLS teams that they have a winning record against. So here is the rundown of the best ten matches between the two teams... that ended in Metro's favor.
10) August 17, 2003: Los Angeles 1, MetroStars 1
It wasn't a victory, but it sure felt like one. Metro gave up one early, and then the game turned into the Jonny Walker Showcase. The newly-signed keeper stood on his head, turning the Galaxy away time after time. John Wolyniec tied the game for Metro with just five minutes left in regulation.
9) May 10, 2008: Los Angeles 1, New York 2
An early goal by Danleigh Borman gave Metro the lead, and they bunkered for the rest of the match. LA finally broke through with a late goal, but Juan Pablo Angel immediately replied to rescue the three points.
8) September 4, 1997: Los Angeles 1, MetroStars 3
Metro's first win in Los Angeles saw them go down just nine minutes in, but Antony De Avila evened the score. Then, a trademark Branco free kick won the match -- the Brazilian's lone league goal for Metro. Shaun Bartlett had the other Metro goal.
7) June 19, 2004: MetroStars 2, Los Angeles 1
A last-minute winner by Mike Magee? Memorable, certainly. But a goal scored by Kenny Arena's butt? One in a lifetime.
6) August 8, 2004: MetroStars 3, Los Angeles 0
In 2004, Metro owned the Galaxy, sweeping them in three matches. This victory, a complete trashing, cost LA's Sigi Schmidt his head coaching job. In the match, Schmidt sent out his players to hack, but Metro held strong. An Amado Guevara penalty kick opened the scoring, and Eddie Gaven and Wolyniec added goals to complete the rout.
5) June 15, 2002: MetroStars 5, Los Angeles 0
For a moment, Mamadou Diallo wasn't so evil, as the hated Mamadouchebag scored four in his second game with Metro (he had to fight off Rodrigo Faria to take a last-second penalty kick), abusing Alexi Lalas in the process. Brad Davis has the other Metro goal in what stood for more than four years as the biggest win in club history.
4) June 3, 2000: Los Angeles 0, MetroStars 2
The game that turned Metro's fortunes in the rivalry was the first for Clint Mathis in a NY uniform against his former team. He scored his second goal for Metro, the game-winner (Adolfo Valencia had the other). But, most importantly, playing in front of the Rose Bowl crowd, Mathis lifted his jersey, revealing a "I LOVE NY" t-shirt. The legend was born that night.
3) June 23, 2004: Los Angeles 0, MetroStars 3
The MetroStars play an incredible first half, dominating the supposed best team in the league on their home field. Guevara scores one and Gaven adds two as the Metros completely put on a clinic against the Galaxy. The second half turns into a clinic too, a defensive one. As good a 90 minutes as we've ever seen the Metros play.
2) September 26, 2001: MetroStars 4, Los Angeles 1
Coming off a tie in their playoff opener, the MetroStars score four goals in an 11-minute span, starting in the 72nd minute, to beat the Galaxy. Faria gets two, and Mark Chung and Valencia also figure in the scoring. The Metros take a series lead which would vanish three days later.
1) August 18, 2007: New York 5, Los Angeles 4
A record-breaking crowd comes in to see LA's David Beckham, and leaves seeing a thriller. Angel's free kick opens the scoring early on, but the Galaxy quickly goes up 2:1. Just before halftime, Mathis' rocket ties the game and gives him a Metro record of 45 goals in all competitions. Jozy Altidore undresses the LA defense twice to make it 4:2, but the Galaxy reply to make it level once again. Then, in the 88th, a long shot by Mathis is saved, but Angel knocks home the rebound for the victory.