Metro loses lead twice, ties San Jose 2:2
April 14, 2012

New York San Jose
04.14.12 · League

For three weeks, Metro looked great. The offense was magical, turning opposing nets into Swiss cheese. The defense? Well, with an attack like this, it didn't matter. But all good things come to an end. No, Metro didn't lose tonight, tying San Jose 2:2, but its defensive problems were once again exposed. The offense? We saw glimpses in the first half, but none in the second.

It's hard to fault "Clever" Hans Backe for sticking with the same lineup that romped last week over Columbus. And his lack of moves looked to pay off early, as Metro got on the board in the 5th minute. Off a throw-in, Thierry Henry found Kenny Cooper, even with the last line of defense, and the gigantic striker tallied for the fourth straight match. The lead only lasted ten minutes. S. Markus Holgersson, whose defensive deficiencies are sadly so evident, was caught flat-footed. The Quakes slid behind Metro's defense, and Rafael Baca converted a two-on-none.

Soon after, the teams exchanged goals once again. In the 22nd minute, Dane Richards made a terrific run on the usual right. He centered the ball into the box, where Cooper redirected it back to Dax McCarty. The red-headed midfielder, standing at the top of the box, sliced the shot across his body, and it pierced the net. It was McCarty's first Metro goal. This time, it took San Jose 13 minutes to reply, as Chris Wondolowski was left unmarked, heading in a ball that was centered by Shea Salinas on the endline.

The end of the half saw a rather disgusting event from none other than Rafa Marquez. The cologne peddler, who spent the previous corner kicks wrapping Shea Salinas in a cringe-inducing bear hug, this time dragged his opponent to the ground. As the San Jose player was falling, Marquez hit him with his foot. Whether that was intentional or not is not clear, but Salinas had to be taken off with a broken collarbone. Metro was lucky to avoid a penalty kick.

The fireworks died down in the second half, which turned into an absolutely drab affair. San Jose had the best chance of the period, but Ryan Meara bravely came out to thwart the attack. As the game entered stoppage time, Stephen Keel prevented a breakaway with a key stop on Wondolowski. Metro? They had nothing, as Henry, who had spun everything he touched into gold the past three weeks, was rendered irrelevant.

Connor Lade made his first-team debut as a second-half sub for the injured Roy Miller.

Lineup: Meara, Miller, Holgersson, Keel, Solli, Marquez, McCarty, Ballouchy, Richards, Cooper, Henry. Subs: Lade, Lindpere, Palsson.

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