Barcelona routs tentative Metro 6:2
August 6, 2008

2:6
New York Barcelona
Stammler
Rojas
Xavi
Eto'o 2
Marquez
Suarez
Pedro
08.06.08 · Friendly

In the interests of full disclosure, we here at MetroFanatic were not looking forward to this game in the slightest. And apparently we were not the only ones, as less than half the number of spectators that came out for the previous meeting between these two clubs in 2006 was present tonight. In front of a moderate crowd of under thirty thousand, Metro came out from the opening whistle on their back feet and were punished with a 6-2 defeat.

Perhaps intimidated by the quality of the opponent, or simply business as usual due to the club's current lack of attacking options, Juan Carlos Osorio trotted out a 4-5-1 formation (a 4-2-3-1 if you want to get picky) featuring Juan Pablo Angel as the lone striker. Apparently with this formation came orders to bunker down from the opening whistle and keep the score line as respectable as possible; throughout most of the first half the Metro players appeared afraid to move across the center line, blunting any chance of a counterattack the few times possession was gained.

There's not really much else to say about the Metro effort in the first half, as Barcelona attacked relentlessly from all angles at all times and scored in bunches. Starting in the 17th minute up until the 43rd, the Catalan side would bury four goals in Jon Conway's net. Their scoring streak was halted briefly by a sharp Seth Stammler finish in the 30th minute off a Dave van den Bergh cross that Victor Valdes mishandled.

For the most part, Conway could only look on helplessly as his defenders were burned time and again, leaving gaping holes through which Barcelona's offensive stars could work their magic. He left the match at the end of the first half, giving way to rookie Caleb Patterson-Sewell, the de facto backup after last week's departure of veteran Zach Thornton to Chivas USA. Patterson-Sewell's early performance, making a couple of nice saves including one on Thierry Henry, should help assuage what fears Osorio and sporting director Jeff Agoos might have after trading away the burly Thornton.

It would be much of the same in the second half, with Barcelona adding two more to their tally after Metro pulled one back via Jorge Rojas in the 60th minute. His finish off a low Jeff Parke cross that Valdes pushed right into his path as well as his strong play on the ball all night continues to indicate that Osorio was right in making him a priority transfer target this summer. Newly-signed Gabriel Cichero also made his debut without making much of an impression. Hopefully the time he saw and the time given to the others who took part in this game helps in preparation for the game that really matters, this Sunday's grudge match against DC in the Swamp.

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