Doomed Metro implodes in disastrous defeat
April 26, 2009

New York DC United
04.26.09 · League

There have been some bad, bad defeats in this team's history. Obviously, it's easy to call this one the worst one. No... it's not. But it's up there.

Up a goal in the 90th minute, with the hated Scum on their heels. Just needing to run out the clock. Three points should have been in the bank.

But no. No, no, no. For the changes Juan Carlos Osorio made at halftime and saw Metro turn the first-half deficit into a stunning lead all went for naught. For Metro collapsed, allowing two goals in 30 seconds, losing the game in stunning fashion.

Osorio made wholesale changes from midweek. On defense, Andrew Boyens went in for Carlos Mendes, Jeremy Hall for red card machine Carlos Johnson. The midfield was completely overhauled with usual wingers Khano Smith and Dane Richards returning, with Luke Sassano and Sinisa Ubiparipovic in the middle. Dominic Oduro made his first start, as Mac Kandji was benched.

The Scum scored in the 21st minute. Oodles of space on the New York side of the field were exploited, as former crackhead Santino Quaranta's cross found Rodney Wallace on the goalmouth. It could have been worse: Quaranta muffed a breakaway by chipping the ball too high, and, in the dying minutes of the half, Jeremy Hall headed a ball that was destined for an empty net, out of bounds.

Jorge Rojas and Kandji came in at the break, Metro shifted to 3-5-2, and something clicked. Yes, DC did have a couple of dangerous chances as New York pushed forward, but Jon Conway and the defense held firm. Then, in the 68th minute, Juan Pablo Angel met Rojas' free kick with a powerful header, and the game was tied.

Six minutes later, Metro had the lead. Another Angel header was saved by Louis Crayton, but the ball was left on the doorstep, for Richards to cherry-pick and put in. And all was well.

All was well until the 84th minute, when Osorio decided to put in Juan Pietravallo. No, "Hard Man" is not to blame here; but it signaled that the team will now go into a defensive shell, trying to keep the lead. Which it did. Go into a shell, not keep the lead, that is. For the lead evaporated in the 90th minute, and Luciano Emilio beat Alfredo Pacheco and just got a foot on a Quaranta cross. And all went to hell less than a minute later, when Pacheco, instead of clearing the ball, left it for Conway. DC's Chris Pontius pounced, and that was that.

What's next, Juan Carlos Osorio? Where will you take this team, you tactical genius? And what will be your excuse tonight?

Lineup: Conway, Pacheco, Goldthwaite, Boyens, Hall, Sassano, Smith, Richards, Ubiparipovic, Oduro, Angel. Subs: Rojas, Kandji, Pietravallo.

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