Makeshift Metro defense holds Houston, 0:0
April 11, 2009
Under most circumstances, you take a road point in Houston. Especially if your starting goalkeeper has to leave with an injury minutes into the match. Especially when you've been dropping obtainable points the past two weeks. Especially when you get a defender ejected. Especially when you total three shots in 90 minutes. Especially when your lineup is a makeshift Frankenstein monster game after game.
Ah, whatever. We'll take it.
Juan Carlos Osorio switched to a 4-5-1, with Andrew Boyens coming into the middle for Carlos Mendes, and Carlos Johnson making his first start, at right back for Jeremy Hall. "Hard Man" Pietravallo joined Seth Stammler in defensive midfield, moving Luke Sassano to the bench.
The match's biggest event came just four minutes in, when Houston's Kei Kamara ran into Metro keeper Danny Cepero. The verdict was concussion, and rookie Alec Dufty was thrown into the game in a moment's notice.
Dufty did well, although he didn't have to do much. His biggest moment came on a Brian Ching breakaway, when the gynormous keeper came out of the nets, forcing the Houston forward shoot high.
(Here we are supposed to describe Metro chances, but there were none of note, so let's move on.)
With 12 minutes left in the match, Johnson was shown a straight red for a pointless tackle in a Dynamo corner. With starter Kevin Goldthwaite being removed due to injury and no subs remaining (Albert Celades made his Metro debut after coming in for Stammler), Danleigh Borman moved to the right, Khano Smith to left back, and the slow-as-glacier central defense pairing of sub Mike Petke and Boyens held on for the rest of the match.
In injury time, it was time for a Houston player to make an idiotic tackle, as Mike Chabala was sent off.
The early usage of three subs led to some confusion; apparently, Osorio forgot he was out of substitutions and attempted to put Sassano into the match. For those tuning in on FSC, they were treated to idiot announcer Max Bretos telling the audience that the goalkeeper sub did not count, and...
Ah, whatever. It's a road point. We'll take it.
Lineup: Cepero, Borman, Goldthwaite, Boyens, Johnson, Pietravallo, Stammler, Smith, Richards, Rojas, Angel. Subs: Dufty, Celades, Petke.