Ten Worst: Giants Stadium memories
Open Cup final, 2003
October 19, 2009
Giants Stadium. The bane of our existence for 14 years. AstroTurf, football lines, FieldTurf, football lines... And many, many awful memories. (Oh, there were some good ones as well; we'll get to those later.) So here are the ten worst ones, ordered chronologically.
1) April 20, 1996: MetroStars 0, New England 1
Yes, these are ordered chronologically, but if we listed them with the most horrible one first, this will have the top slot. And how appropriate: the first Metro game at Giants Stadium, doomed on an own goal -- the only goal of the match -- with 15 seconds left. That loss to New England forever stenched the Giants Stadium turf.
2) September 25, 1997: MetroStars 0, Columbus 1
In the penultimate game of the season, Metro needed a result to get into the playoffs. But when Branco spat at Mike Lapper early in the first half, it led to the most embarrassing red card in Metro history. Columbus scored soon after, costing the Metros a playoff berth for the first time.
3) September 16, 1998: MetroStars 0, DC United 5
Still the worst home loss in team history, it was as horrible as they come. Marcelo Vega was ejected seven minutes into the match, DC scored on two penalties within the first 15, and poured it on for the rest of the game. Five days later, coach Alfonso Mondelo was fired.
4) August 11, 1999: MetroStars 1, DC United 4
1999 can give us such a array of horrible options, but we'll have to go with the deflating loss to DC midway through the 12-game winless streak. Incredibly, Metro scored first, but with the game tied at 1:1, Mike Petke was ejected, and DC cruised from there on, giving Metro their worst home defeat during the worst season in team history (at least until 2009 came along).
5) September 12, 2002: MetroStars 0, DC United 1
With three games left in the season, Metro needed a tie to get into the playoffs. They lost all three, starting with the home game to an awful DC team, as Marco Echeverry's long free kick somehow ended up in the net. Two defeats followed to punctuate the choke job, and coach Octavio Zambrano was fired.
6) October 15, 2003: MetroStars 0, Chicago 1
So close to their first title... yet so far. Metro, who enjoyed a magical run to the Open Cup final, got to host it on their home turf. Sadly, they could not break through the Chicago defense, and in the 68th minute, the Fire's Damani Ralph scored the lone goal of the match on one of their few chances.
7) October 23, 2004: MetroStars 0, DC United 2
There have been home playoff losses, but none as deflating as this one, as the Scum's Earnie Stewart scored the match's first goal after CLEARLY receiving the ball in the offside position. The referee's flag stayed down, the goal counted, and Metro crashed out of the playoffs once again.
8) October 1, 2005: MetroStars 1, DC United 4
The game was much closer than the final result, and Metro actually scored first. But an own goal by Jeff Agoos started the bleeding, and two late goals by the Scum set the final margin. Alexi Lalas, itching to fire Bob Bradley ever since taking the GM job, did so three days after the team's first home loss in five months.
9) May 25, 2008: New York 1, Chicago 5
Oh, how much did Juan Carlos Osorio want to beat his former team! Relegated to the stands after a red card in his final match, he watched his harebrained formation and tactics go up in smoke as Chicago ran through Metro, scoring five goals before a befuddled response late.
10) April 26, 2009: New York 2, DC United 3
This is how smart managers win ballgames? Hardly. After an inept first half, Osorio seemed to make steps that change the game, as Metro was up 2:1 in the 90th minute. But two defensive breakdowns that would become the recurring theme of this horrible season saw Metro fall, dooming them to the worst season in team history (well, 1999 was close).