van den Bergh
vs Salt Lake, 2008
Metro playoff history, 2007-2008
October 26, 2010

Every few years, we look at Metro playoff games of the past and try to see a glimmer of hope among the years of sorrow. Here are the previous installments.

2007:
Game 1 - New York 0, New England 0: Metro dominates the match, as the Revolution bunkers and plays for a scoreless tie. A scoreless tie is what they get, with the awful referee Jair Marrufo missing a couple of obvious penalty calls.

Game 2 - New England 1, New York 0: Oh, how a game can turn in a second. With the game scoreless, Jay Heaps knees Juan Pablo Angel in the head. The Metro striker, concussed, has to leave the field, and while Bruce Arena tries to figure out if he needs to substitute, the Revs score through Taylor Twellman to knock Metro out. Claudio Reyna's 26th minute departure is also notable.

2008:
Game 1 - New York 1, Houston 1: Metro's best run ever through the playoffs does not start looking as much. Facing the two-time defending champs in the opener, Metro opens the scoring through Angel early in the second half. But the lead doesn't hold, as Metro pay for Diego Jimenez's mistake and Kei Kamara equalizes five minutes from time.

Game 2 - Houston 0, New York 3: Who knew? Top-seeded Dynamo, bottom-feeding Metro, a hostile crowd... But Dane Richards owned the show. He scored the first, got fouled for Angel's penalty kick, and then set up John Wolyniec for the third and the thriller dance that followed. And in the nets, Danny Cepero amazed with numerous quality saves. Truly an unexpected, unforgettable victory.

Game 3 - Salt Lake 0, New York 1: Playing for the Western(!) Conference Championship, Metro somehow gets it done. The lone goal of the match comes after a Wolyniec run up the flank and a cool conversion from Dave van den Bergh. Metro hold on for the rest of the match, with Cepero -- and the goalposts -- to thank for their first trip to MLS Cup.

Game 4 - Columbus 3, New York 1: Sigh. Jimenez and Cepero wear the goat horns on the first goal, 31 minutes in. But the turning point comes in the 53rd minute. A minute and a half after Richards sets up Wolyniec for the equalizer, Columbus storms back, taking the lead once again, with Chad Marshall beating Kevin Goldthwaite on a corner kick. The dumbfounded Juan Carlos Osorio has no answers in his notebook, and late in the match, Frankie Hejduk makes it academic. So close... So close.

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