Obscure Metro Files: Leo Krupnik and Walter Garcia
January 10, 2013

We try not to think about the 2009 season. After all, the tactical genius Juan Carlos Osorio mired the team in the longest winless streak in league history. After all, such luminaries as Khano Smith, Alfredo Pacheco, Carlos Johnson, and Jorge Rojas played major roles. After all... it was a terrible, repetitive, abhorrent year. Sadly, it's not easy to forget it all.

And who can forget the Metro tenures of Leo Krupnik and Walter Garcia? Oh, you have already? Let us remind you.

In early July of 2009, Metro was sitting on a nine-game winless streak in the league, a streak that brought one solitary point. The defense was leaking goals left and right, so it made sense that reinforcements were brought in. Oh, the season was already lost at that point, but some pride could still be salvaged, right?

Wrong. Enter Leo Krupnik.

Of course, when talking about Krupnik, we must start all the way back in 2002. Back then, he was a rookie out of California, drafted by the MetroStars in the 6th round of the SuperDraft. An injury prevented him from making the team in the regular season, so he went to play in the PDL for the Des Moines Menace. Late in the summer, with Metro looking to shore up its defense and the names of aging foreign superstars Alessandro Costacurta and Tony Adams were being tossed around. Metro settled for Krupnik. He didn't play a single minute, and was cut right after the season.

Back to the minors he went, and, after stints with Wilmington and Charleston, decided to mine his Jewish roots for a chance to play in Israel. By 2008, he became a starter on national champions Maccabi Haifa. Yet America, and specifically Jeff Agoos, kept calling. Agoos' brother, a coach at Cal, recommended Krupnik. So Krupnik was signed.

In his first practice with Metro, he went in hard at Mike Petke. The stalwart responded with the expletive-full tirade, "Who the f**k do you think you are? Who am I? Who the f**k are you? Twenty f**king games without a win and first day this guy comes in here breaking my balls? F**k you!" Krupnik's first game wasn't much better. Metro was in Colorado, got killed 4:0, and the new defender was responsible for three of the goals.

Osorio inspirationally quit soon after, and Krupnik would make just two more appearances the rest of the way. He was mercifully terminated after the season, going back to Israel and now Maccabi Netanya. We heard he is playing well there. Godspeed.

The three games Krupnik played for Metro were exactly two more than Walter Garcia. The Argentine's pedigree was beyond reproach on paper: he played for Argentina at the Under-17 and Under-20 World Cups. But injuries hobbled him, and by 2009, he was looking for a club... Who called but Agoos?" We're excited to have him on board and will use the remainder of the season to evaluate him," the overmatched Sporting Director said.

Garcia was signed without a trial, although it was clear to observers that he was not ready to play. And play he didn't, spending week after week without even sniffing the field. His time finally came in the regular season finale, when Petke got injured eight minutes in. Garcia played well in the 5:0 win over Toronto that closed Giants Stadium... and that was all we saw of him.

A month later, Garcia went on trial at Leeds and failed. As the offseason progressed, it became clear that he was not in Metro's plans, and he was officially dropped in February. Since then, he has played in Argentina's lower divisions, and is now with Guillermo Brown. Yes, that's a club, not a person.

Ugh. Now all the memories of 2009 come flashing back. So much for not thinking about it...

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