Metro by the Numbers: 1 - 11
January 2, 2009

Is this a boring offseason or what? So, let's exercise the ultimate in Metro nerdom and figure out the best player in team history to wear each jersey number. Today, we'll look at 1 through 11.

  • #1: Tony Meola, 1996-98, 2005-06
    Right off the bat, we have a tough decision. There are three qualified candidates. You can't go wrong with either Meola, Mike Ammann, or Jonny Walker (sorry, Danny Cepero). When all is said and done, we have to go with Meola, who was terrific during the early Metro years and had one of the best performances in team history in the playoff-clinching win in 2005.

  • #2: Ricardo Clark, 2003-04
    Kevin Goldthwaite might be the current Defender of the Year, and Marvell Wynne might be the one that got away, but we're gonna go with Clark (speaking of those who got away).

  • #3: Mark Semioli, 1998-2002
    Not much to choose from here. An early Chris Leitch (before he became #33) loses out to Semioli, who was solid during his early Metro career before becoming a sub during his last two seasons (Semioli wore #22 in 1997).

  • #4: Carlos Mendes, 2005-
    As we discussed two years ago, Mendes is the first player to wear #4 for more than a single season. Diego Sonora was pretty good in 1998, but Mendes' four solid seasons easily top that.

  • #5: Steve Jolley, 2000-03, 2006
    Who else? Nicola Caricola? Ezra Hendrickson? Arley Palacios? Mohammad Khakpour? Santino Quaranta? Please. One of the easiest selections possible.

  • #6: Seth Stammler, 2004-
    Two years ago, we might have gone with Mike Sorber, but now the honors clearly belong to Stammler, who played everywhere on the field during his five seasons with Metro.

  • #7: Roberto Donadoni, 1996-97
    With apologies to Mark Chung and Mike Magee, this one is a no-brainer.

  • #8: Mark Lisi, 2002-06
    Paul Dougherty's half a season and Billy Walsh's MVP-by-default 1999 do not measure up to Lisi, whose career was sadly cut short by various injuries.

  • #9: Juan Pablo Angel, 2007-
    We called #9 "cursed" (Marcelo Vega, Alex Comas, Gilmar, Jaime Moreno, Sergio Galvan Rey...) two and a half years ago. The curse has been lifted.

  • #10: Youri Djorkaeff, 2005-06
    We'll take Djorkaeff's magical 2005 over anything Tab Ramos produced. Lothar Matthaus, Joselito Vaca, Andrzej Juskowiak, and Claudio Reyna don't even belong in the discussion.

  • #11: Dave van den Bergh, 2007-
    Before last season, this selection would likely have been Antony De Avila, but van den Bergh's terrific 2008 that followed a solid 2007 propelled him over "El Pitufo" to the top. Now let's hope he keeps that number for at least another season...

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