Angel scores and scores, Cepero saves and scores
October 18, 2008
There are memorable games, and then there are memorable games, and then there was tonight. Danny Cepero, making his MLS debut after Jon Conway's suspension, made a huge save to keep Metro in it and then SCORED A GOAL...
That's right, Danny Cepero, the second-year pro, the eighth round draft pick yet to play a league minute, the man who spent most of the season on a loan to a minor league team, the man who only started because of Conway's stupefying supplement selection, the man who had to beat out two others just to play tonight...
Danny Cepero scored a goal, the first for a goalkeeper in MLS history. Oh, it wasn't that important; Juan Pablo Angel's brace was what got Metro the win, but Cepero's tally, the last in a 3:1 win over Columbus, is what legends are made of. Who knows how this season will end; Metro might make the playoffs and pull off a miracle, or they might crash out next week. But tonight, with one save and one kick, Danny Cepero wrote himself into the annals of Metro history.
Metro benefited from Columbus resting many of its starters; Juan Carlos Osorio countered with an attack-minded 4-3-2-1, Andrew Boyens replacing the suspended Jeff Parke, Juan Pietravallo sitting out for his red card, and Mac Kandji and Matthew Mbuta flanking Angel up front.
Dave van den Bergh almost scored some 20 seconds into the match, as some crisp passing caught the Crew off guard, but the Walking Dutchman's shot hit the post. The rest of the half wasn't terribly exciting, until its dying minutes. After a Crew corner kick, Cepero rose above ground and miraculously pushed the ball over the net.
So, at the half, we were tied, knowing that a tie will likely not be good enough. Who would step up? Why is that even a question; Juan Pablo Angel, of course. Three minutes into the period, a mistake by Andy Iro led to Kandji stealing the ball, and passing it forward to the Cherubic Assassin, who did just enough, tapping past Andy Gruenebaum.
Soon, it all looked to be for naught. In the 62nd minute, a Columbus free kick sailed into the Metro penalty area, and an unmarked Stephen Lenhart headed in the equalizer.
But Angel was not done. In the 76th, van den Bergh made a terrific play to keep the ball after a failed corner kick, passing it forward to Seth Stammler in the box. Stammler headed the ball to Angel, at the top of the penalty area, who side-volleyed it through the Crew defense and into the net.
We had our lead. But we didn't have our once-in-a-lifetime moment. That came in the 83rd, when Cepero took a free kick from deep within the Metro area. The ball sailed over everyone, bounced in the box, and over Gruenebaum for a miraculous ending.
No matter what happens the rest of the weekend, Metro cannot clinch, nor can they be eliminated. A win on Thursday in Chicago will mean playoffs, a tie will get them close. Who knows what will happen, but one thing is for sure: when we look back on this season years from now, this is the game and this is the moment that will be remembered.
Lineup: Cepero, Goldthwaite, Jimenez, Boyens, Leitch, Stammler, van den Bergh, Magee, Mbuta, Kandji, Angel. Subs: Richards, Rojas, Mendes.