Carlos Johnson dooms Metro two minutes in
April 23, 2009
It appears Carlos Johnson is dead-set on breaking at least one record during his tenure as a Metro; unfortunately for the team he has opted to make his assault on a goal that is detrimental, not beneficial, to their play. After the late tackle two weeks ago that led to his being sent off, he followed up on his return from suspension with what turned out to be the fastest red card in both Metro and league history. The dismissal would prove to be Metro's undoing tonight despite a spirited effort with ten men, and extended the club's regular season winless road streak to sixteen games.
There would be a couple surprises in the lineup tonight, but not across the backline. The only change there would be Johnson's return in place of the suspended Jeremy Hall. Jorge Rojas and Seth Stammler would remain in central midfield, but replacing the usual suspects on the flanks would be Danleigh Borman on the left and Matthew Mbuta on the right. The latter made only his third MLS appearance after not having made the bench in the previous game. The forward pairing, having proved effective of late, remained static.
Alas, the excitement behind any lineup tweaks would go out the window only two minutes in. The Wizards attack had the backline on its back heel heading toward the box, but what would have been the unlocking pass was intercepted by Carlos Mendes. Mendes quickly moved the ball to Johnson, who was attempting to shield Herculez Gomez from the aforementioned through ball. Johnson's first touch was as poor as it could have been; he played the ball right onto the path of the streaking Lopez who made for goal. Apparently without a second thought, Johnson, arguably the last man back at this point, took out Gomez's legs and was sent off.
Claudio Lopez would convert the resulting penalty kick with relative ease as Jon Conway guessed incorrectly to his left side. While Kansas City looked dangerous in the minutes immediately following the red card, Metro eventually settled down and regained control of the match. There wouldn't be much to speak of in terms of chances during the remainder of the first half for either side, with Conway looking steady once again in goal.
The second half would be more of the same, an indictment of Kansas City's uninspiring play with a man advantage. Luke Sassano came on for the ineffective Rojas at the half, and Dane Richards returned to play in the 59th minute in place of Macoumba Kandji. Little would come from these moves other than a stoppage time scoring chance from the outstretched leg of Juan Pablo Angel. Unfortunately in that instance Kansas City's Kevin Hartman was in the right place at the right time to stuff the ball just after it left Angel's toes. Hartman would be tested on few occasions in the second half, and was able to make the play each time. Another good game from Conway in net, with a pair of excellent saves as time wound down, would keep the scoreline at 1-0.
There is little time for the team to lick its wounds, as the hated Scum come to Giants Stadium for a Sunday afternoon tilt. While it is unlikely they will receive any help from the typically poor MLS referees, we hope the team can find a way to keep its right back from being sent off on Sunday for the first time in three weeks.
Lineup: Conway, Pacheco, Goldthwaite, Mendes, Johnson, Stammler, Borman, Mbuta, Rojas, Kandji, Angel. Subs: Sassano, Richards, Ubiparipovic.