Bleeding stops as Metro earns a point in Salt Lake
October 10, 2008
Usually, after draws we are able to label them as a good tie or a bad tie. Tonight, we're stumped. Will the point gained on the road help Metro clinch a playoff berth? Or will the two points lost prove more crucial when all is said and done? We'll find out in two weeks; tonight, we'll nod our head with caution, absorb Metro's 1:1 draw with Salt Lake and start rooting for teams close in the standings to lose over the weekend.
International absences of Gabriel Cichero, Dane Richards, and Jorge Rojas led to first-team inclusions of Diego Jimenez, Macoumba Kandji, and Dave van den Bergh, the latter returning from his injury.
After a tame opening 20 minutes, Metro started to control the game. It paid off in the 31st minute. After a Mike Magee header was saved by the keeper, Seth Stammler's shot on the ensuing corner kick was cleared off the line. But van den Bergh pounced on the ball, and slammed it into the net. Soon after, RSL had a chance to tie, as Yura Movsisyan beat the offside trap and raced in unmarked on Jon Conway. "The Bear" came out of the nets, leading to the Salt Lake striker to hesitate, and when he finally took the shot, Jeff Parke raced back to clear the ball out of the net.
But the Metro lead did not last long. In the 41st, RSL scored off a corner kick after Jefferson Olave pushed off and beat Kevin Goldthwaite to the ball.
Whatever advantage Metro had in the first, disappeared in the second. We often say that it takes one play for Juan Pablo Angel to turn the game. Tonight, there was no such play. The Cherubic Assassin had no chances to show off his deadly skills, as the Metro midfield just could not get him the ball. Van den Bergh did impress, doing something positive every time he received the ball. He just didn't receive it enough.
On the defensive end, it was up to Parke to settle things down and make up for a couple of his teammates' mistakes, which he did admirably. Juan Pietravallo also did a good job, shutting out RSL's Javier Morales, but a high boot to former Metro great Clint Mathis' balding head earned the Argentine a straight red in the 83rd minute. Metro hunkered with ten men for the rest of the match, with Osorio seemingly happy to take the point.
We'll let you know in two weeks how we feel about it.
Lineup: Conway, Goldthwaite, Jimenez, Parke, Leitch, Pietravallo, Stammler, van den Bergh, Kandji, Magee, Angel. Subs: Ubiparipovic, Sassano, Boyens.