Pearce's late goal ties Vancouver, 1:1
June 21, 2012
All last year, "Clever" Hans Backe complained about the traveling schedule, about all the trips to the west coast that supposedly took a toll on his team and led to poor road results. Never mind the fact that every other Eastern team was subject to similar travel... Excuses had to be made. Well, this season is not even half over, and Metro's trips to the west are all done, concluding with last night's 1:1 draw with Vancouver. Heath Pearce scored his first Metro league goal to tie the game late.
Backe actually stayed home for "personal reasons", and the team was managed by large-nosed assistant Jan Halvor Halvorsen. He opted for a 4-5-1, with Pearce returning to center back as Wilman Conde was rested. Connor Lade started at left midfield.
The first half was an even affair, with most Metro chances coming from runs up the right by Dane Richards. The speedy Jamaican set up Dax McCarty for a point-blank header, but the red-haired midfielder sent the ball agonizingly wide.
Vancouver was not without their chances, but the Metro defense played the offside trap rather successfully. On the one breakaway Vancouver got, Ryan Meara came out, forcing the shot wide.
In the second, Richards had a chance to break the scoreless draw after Lade put him through on goal, but Joe Cannon made the stop. Then, 15 minutes from time, Martin Bonjour said hello do the Metro defense by slicing the ball through traffic in the penalty area for the 1:0 lead.
Metro responded four minutes from time. Joel Lindpere got the ball back off his own corner kick, and swung it into the box. There, it was met by Pearce's head, and the game was even. It was the defender's first career goal in MLS league play.
So no more long road trips for this team. No more excuses?
Lineup: Meara, Miller, Holgersson, Pearce, Barklage, McCarty, Lade, Lindpere, Solli, Richards, Cooper. Subs: Arteaga, Palsson.