Luke Rodgers forces Metro to 3:0 win over San Jose
April 16, 2011
Oh, Thierry Henry, Thierry Henry, Thierry Henry. But let's not talk about Thierry Henry. Let's talk about Luke Rodgers.
Yes, Luke Rodgers. And to be honest, we started shaking our head as soon as his name hit the rumor mill last year. Someone who's never seen the light above England's third division? Please. Hell, he admitted himself that MLS is above the level he has played. And what we've seen from him in his one start and two bench appearances was anything but overwhelming.
But not tonight. Tonight, "Clever" Hans Backe decided to insert Rodgers into the starting lineup for Juan Agudelo, and it paid off handsomely. Rodgers tallied his first two Metro goals early in the match, and assisted on the third to give Metro a resounding 3:0 win over San Jose. The game was played in a torrential downpour.
The first goal came less than two minutes into the match. Rafael Marquez played a corner to the near goal post, where it was kept alive by Juan Gunnar Solli. The Norwegian sent it across the goalmouth, where Dane Richards kept it alive, finding Rodgers' bald head. The diminutive Englishman did not miss.
In the 15th minute, he got his second. Ex-Metro Ramiro Corrales tripped over the ball on the left wing, and Henry took control. The $20 million Frenchman sent in a perfect pass into the box, and Rodgers knocked it in from close range.
And after that, the game was basically over. San Jose could do absolutely nothing, not forcing Bouna Coundoul into a save until very late in the match. In fact, the only drama left is whether Henry would score.
So yes, Thierry Henry. Three breakaways he had, on one circling Jon Busch, only to reduce his angle and hit the side netting. Frustration seemed to set in, but a long distance blast late that was saved by Busch set the stage for the fireworks that followed. In the 87th minute, Rodgers found a diving Henry in the box, and this time, the sometime decoy turned deadly.
John Rooney made his Metro debut in the dying minutes of the match.
Lineup: Coundoul, Miller, Ream, Marquez, Solli, Tainio, Lindpere, Richards, De Rosario, Rodgers, Henry. Subs: Ballouchy, Agudelo, Rooney.