Lindpere stomps the Quakes in Game 1, 1:0
October 31, 2010

San Jose New York

10.30.10 · Playoff

When Joel Lindpere's signing was first rumored during the winter break, many shook their heads. Who? An Estonian? Where the hell is Estonia? And they got out their atlases (do people still own atlases?) and found the small country on the Baltic Sea, learned about the midfielder who plied his trade on the frozen side of the Arctic circle, and said, who?

Heroes are not born overnight. Heroes are made, and in this one short (still not over!) season Joel Lindpere became a Metro hero. The accolades are too many to mention, but tonight, he added to the legacy by playing through injury and scoring the lone goal of the match as Metro beat San Jose, taking the one-goal advantage into the return leg at Red Bull Arena.

As expected, Chris Albright started at right back, as Jeremy Hall was sent to the bench. Salou Ibrahim's injury meant that 17-year-old Juan Agudelo was forced into his first MLS start.

Metro had a couple of great chances to score in the first half. Early, off a short corner, Mehdi Ballouchy's shot was saved by Jon Busch. Late in the period, on a Metro attack, Busch ran into Juan Pablo Angel, leaving the goal temporarily empty. Sadly, Lindpere's shot was cleared off the line by ex-Metro Jason Hernandez.

The breakthrough game in the 55th minute. The Quakes failed to clear the ball in the box, and Lindpere pounced on it, slicing a shot through the penalty area and into the net.

The lead stood up, partly because the Metro defense was excellent once again, party because the Quakes' finishing was so putrid. Bouna Coundoul was not forced to make a save late in the match, and San Jose's best chance, off a free kick, bounced off the woodwork and out.

So now we return home to Harrison, hoping to witness just the fourth playoff series win in franchise history. Who would have thunk during the winter break? Who would have thunk it when an unknown Estonian was signed?

Lineup: Coundoul, Miller, Ream, Mendes, Albright, Marquez, Ballouchy, Lindpere, Richards, Agudelo, Angel. Subs: Robinson, Hall.

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