Sellout crowd sees LA shutout Metro, 1:0
August 14, 2010
It was a perfect evening for a soccer game. The heat wave subsided earlier this week, so the no-longer-scorching afternoon sun made way for a cool evening breeze for tonight's encounter. The first-place Galaxy was in town, so it was a chance for Metro to show they could play with the league's best. Rafa Marquez was making his home debut, Thierry Henry was rounding into form, it was the first sellout crown in club history. The stars seemed to be aligned... but this is Metro. And, aided by the horrible officiating by Mark Geiger, Metro dropped a 1:0 decision to LA.
International returnees meant Bouna Coundoul back into the lineup for Greg Sutton, Roy Miller for Danleigh Borman, Marquez for Seth Stammler, and Dane Richards for Macoumba Kandji.
The lone goal of the game came ten minutes in. Off a Marquez turnover in midfield, LA pushed the ball forward, and former Metro goat Edson Buddle muscled past Carlos Mendes and beat Coundoul to the right. On the bench, David Beckham applauded.
Metro had 80 minutes to equalize, but could not break through. At the end of the first half, Marquez's free kick was headed by Juan Pablo Angel off the crossbar. In the second, a LA turnover helped to spring Henry on a breakaway, but he was denied by an onrushing Donovan Ricketts.
Then, Geiger's terrible refereeing reared its ugly shaven head. Midway through the half, Henry was wrestled down inside the box. Now, there are borderline fouls and borderline calls -- this one wasn't. The Metro attacker was forced to the ground by a Galaxy defender. No foul was call. Play continued, ending with Landon Donovan pushing off Richards -- but it was Angel who got the yellow for demanding a foul.
Metro did have a chance to even the score off a Joel Lindpere corner in the 71st minute. But Tchani's header was blocked by Ricketts, and Tim Ream's follow-up was cleared out by the Galaxy defense.
So the perfect evening ended in an imperfect way. Oh well. This is Metro, after all.
Lineup: Coundoul, Miller, Ream, Mendes, Albright, Marquez, Tchani, Lindpere, Richards, Henry, Angel. Subs: Kandji, Ubiparipovic.