Metro by the Numbers: 23 - 99
January 7, 2009
We end our look at the best player for each jersey number in Metro history with 23 through 33, plus a few odd ones.
#23: Eddie Pope, 2003-04
Two players wore that number on their way to winning MetroFanatic's Player of the Year: Pope in 2003 and Jeff Parke in 2006. We have to go with Pope, whose 2003 was the best year for a defender in Metro history. Besides, Parke will obviously make this list as well.
#24: Eddie Gaven, 2003-05
A laugher. Gaven's closest competition is Andrew Lewis. Who? Exactly.
#25: Gilberto Flores, 2004-05
Wow. This one is tough. No less than 12 players wore #25 for Metro, and they've all... not accounted for much. Chris Brauchle, Carlos Parra (only in 1997), Matt Knowles (only in 1998), Fernando Fernandes (his only game), Steve Jolley (for one game), Roy Myers (only in 2001), Darin Lewis, Mike Nugent, Gilberto, Jordan Cila, Sal Caccavale (his only game), Gordon Kljestan (his only game). Hmmmm. Myers seems like a good choice, but he played only three games in 2001, before getting injured. When all is said and done, we'll take Gilberto over Nugent and Cila.
#26: Taylor Graham, 2006-07
Crap. Taylor Graham? Really? Well, the four other players to wear #26 (Gerson Echeverry, Carlos Ledesma, Fausto Klinger, and Chris Megaloudis) only wore it for one league game (Megaloudis did also wear it in the Open Cup). So... Taylor Graham? Really?
#27: Andrew Boyens, 2008-
When your competition is John DeBrito, Barry Swift, and Elie Ikangu, it's hard not to go with Boyens.
#28: Paul Grafer, 2000
Jerrod Laventure might have scored one great goal, but how can anyone go against Grafer, his pants and his amazing 2000 run? (Note: Grafer wore #30 after 2000.)
#29: Eduardo Hurtado, 1998-99
People forget that Hurtado was actually decent in 1998 (10 goals, 14 assists) before plummeting in 1999. Recently-departed Diego Jimenez is the only other player of note to wear #29.
#30: Francis Doe, 2007
A tough one again. We have Russell Payne, Grafer (2002-03), Tenywa Bonseu, Ryan Suarez, Francis Doe, and Macoumba Kandji. Payne and Suarez can be dismissed, but the rest... talk about average. Doe had two goals, one assist in nine games. Kandji has one goal, two assists in seven games. T-Bone... 15 less than inspiring games. Ugh. Let's just go with Doe for now, hoping that Kandji could make this number his own in 2009.
#31: No one
A few players were issued this number, like Hugh MacDonald in 2007 and assistant coach-turned-goalkeeper Tim Mulqueen in 1996, but no one actually wore it in a game.
#32: Luke Sassano, 2008-
Only with Metro would a third-round pick could prove to be a better player than a World Cup captain (Markus Schopp).
#33: Chris Leitch, 2007-
Leitch, who wore #3 in his first stint with Metro (2003-05), was forced to take #33 upon his return because of Hunter Freeman. He is the only player to wear this number in a game (although luminaries Daniel Garipe and David Arivzu were issued and wore it in reserve matches).
#40: No one
Caleb Patterson-Sewell's lone first-team appearance came against Barcelona in a friendly, so no dice.
#60: Jeff Parke, 2007-08
One #60! There's only one #60! Of course, he started at #12, Jeff Agoos' acquisition forced him to #5, Jolley's to #23, and Ronald Waterreus' to #60.
#71: Diego Serna, 2002
Forced to wear #71 because Marcelo Balboa took #17... The less said at this point, the better.
#99: Ante Razov, 2005
Had to wear #99 because Sergio Galvan Rey had #9. We're still pissed off that Alexi Lalas gave him away.