Threes are wild as Metro blow leads in Portland
March 3, 2013

Portland New York
Espindola 2
03.03.13 · League

On the third day of the third month of the thirteenth year, Metro tied Portland 3:3 in a tremendous game (for a neutral observer). For us, the surprisingly excellent first half shifted into the terror of the second, as Metro blew a two-goal lead to settle for a point... A point they were more than lucky to have.

Mike Petke, in his first game in charge, sporting a tie-and-sweater-vest combination, trotted out a 4-3-3 formation. Luis Robles manned the nets, Roy Miller, Heath Pearce, Jamison Olave, and Kosuke Kimura lined up the back, Dax McCarty, Juninho, and Tim Cahill made up the midfield, with Ruben Bover and Fabian Espindola flanking Thierry Henry up front. Yes, Titi played on turf, for the first time in two years.

But the bearded Frenchman was a non-factor, as Metro spoils went to Espindola. The no-longer-long-haired striker became the first player in team history to score twice on his debut. He opened the scoring in the 9th minute, as a backpass from Mikael Silvestre slipped through the hands of the usually-terrible Donovan Ricketts. The ball fell back to Espindola, who gave Metro the early lead.

That lead only lasted five minutes, as Portland's Diego Valeri controlled the ball in the Metro penalty area by passing it to himself. With the Metro defense seemingly admiring the fancy footwork, Valeri evened the match.

But Espindola was not done. In the 24th, Kimura sent a ball up the right flank that should have easily been taken care of by Silvestre. Instead, the former Man United man had his pocket picked by Espindola, who raced towards the center of the field and slammed home his second. And four minutes later, off a corner kick, the ball ended up on the opposite flank with Heath Pearce. The defender's cross found Olave, parked at the goalmouth, and just like that Metro had a two-goal lead.

And boy, did they need that cushion. The second half turned into a nightmare, as Portland completely dominated the last 45 minutes. Metro failed to hold the ball for any meaningful possessions, as the Timbers sliced and diced through the supposedly-improved defense. In the 55th, Metro lucked out, when a clear penalty was not called. Sadly, moments later, Robles left a juicy rebound, Darlington Nagbe jumped on it, and brought his team within one. Then, seven minutes from time, Robles left another rebound, and a cross from Jose Valencia (son of "El Tren") hit off Olave and into the Metro net.

But it could have been worse. Robles, who was below par throughout, had to make a spectacular save from close range late to rescue the point.

So it begins, another season in Metro-land. Will the opener be a precursor of things to come? Let's just hope, for our defense's sakes, that we see a lot less 3s...

Lineup: Robles, Miller, Pearce, Olave, Kimura, McCarty, Juninho, Cahill, Bover, Espindola, Henry. Subs: Steele, Barklage, Alexander.

•  News Archive
•  Rumor Mill
•  Weekly Awards
•  Season Ratings
•  Last Game Ratings

•  History Overview
•  All-Time Roster
•  All-Time Results
•  All-Time Stats
•  Team Records
•  Hall of Fame
•  All-Time XI
•  Numeric Roster
•  International Roster
•  Coaching History
•  Captain History
•  Draft History
•  Trophy Case
•  Transfer Records
•  Frivolities
•  Honors History
•  Award History
•  Ratings History

Home · Team · News · History · Boards · Stuff · About