The horrors of Independence Day
Metro at Houston, 2007
July 1, 2013
In 1996, the Colorado Rapids were plain terrible. On the field, they were a last place team. In the stands, they couldn't draw a fly. Well, there was one exception: Independence Day. On July 4th, they broke the 20,000 mark for the first time since the season opener. Those people came to watch a fireworks show... and a game that accompanied it. Thus begun Metro's terrible fate on Independence Day, a competitive disadvantage that hurts them time and again. Year after year, they go on the road against a team playing in front of a large crowd... and year after year, they lose.
July 4, 1996: Colorado 2, MetroStars 1
Tab Ramos opened the scoring, but Nicola Caricola scored the lesser-memorable of his own goals to tie the game. Colorado won it late. 0-1-0.
July 4, 1997: Tampa Bay 1, MetroStars 0
We don't remember anything about this game. Roy Lassiter scored. 0-2-0.
July 4, 1998: Colorado 1, MetroStars 0
46,000 pack Mile High. The lone goal came from an Alexi Lalas mistake. "It was not a fluke, it was not bad luck," Lalas said. "It was an inexcusable defensive error that led to the goal, and I take full responsibility for the error and for costing my team a win." 0-3-0.
July 4, 1999: New England 3, MetroStars 2
1999 was the worst, and this game was the pits. What made it worse is that one of the Revs goals was scored by Giovanni Savarese. 14 years have passed, but G-d do we still hate that trade. 0-4-0.
July 5, 2000: MetroStars 2, Dallas 1
Huh? Somehow Metro didn't go on the road on July 4, instead hosting Dallas a day later. Clint Mathis and Billy Walsh scored in the win. Attendance? 9,000 at Giants Stadium. Metro will not host another game so close to Independence Day for a decade. 1-4-0.
July 4, 2001: Tampa Bay 1, MetroStars 2
The Michael Butler special! After Daniel Hernandez tied it late, the unknown Butler, without even a name on the back of his jersey, scored in overtime in his only match for Metro. 2-4-0.
July 4, 2002: Dallas 2, MetroStars 0
Rodrigo Faria missed a penalty kick, Metros lost. 2-5-0.
July 5, 2003: DC United 2, MetroStars 3
Now here is a game for the ages! 10-man Metro, reeling after a first-half Kenny Arena red card, won in overtime after Bob Bradley pulled the switcheroo to let 16-year-old Eddie Gaven enter the game as a goalkeeper. Gaven quickly switched with Tim Howard and then scored the winner after an amazing run. 3-5-0.
July 3, 2004: DC United 6, MetroStars 2
Let's not talk about this. 3-6-0.
July 4, 2005: Salt Lake 2, MetroStars 2
Metro was up two late in the match, but the lead was down to one when referee Kevin Stott whistled for one of the most despicable penalties in the history of soccer. The ball was over the endline, Jason Kreis fell, and was awarded a penalty that he converted. 3-6-1.
July 4, 2006: Los Angeles 1, New York 0
Landon Donovan scored, Metro lost. 3-7-1.
July 5, 2007: Houston 4, New York 0
Bruce Arena decided to play Markus Schopp at right back, and the once-heralded Austrian was abused beyond belief. This was beyond terrible. 3-8-1.
July 4, 2008: Colorado 4, New York 0
On July 4, we were stuck in a hospital as the wife was giving birth to the firstborn. We spent the whole evening deciding between turning on the TV to watch the match or nervously pacing. Thankfully, pacing won. The kid was born on the morning of the 5th. Oh, and Mehdi Ballouchy scored. 3-9-1.
July 4, 2009: Dallas 2, New York 1
Dave van den Bergh made the morons who traded him away pay, setting up both Dallas goals. At least it wasn't 4:0... 3-10-1.
July 4, 2010: Colorado 1, New York 1
In a torrential downpour, Metro gave up an early lead, but tied through Juan Pablo Angel. 3-10-2.
July 5, 2011: New York 5, Toronto 0
See what happens when Metro gets to host? Goals by Titi Henry, Luke Rodgers, Joel Lindpere, and two from Juan Agudelo in a complete laugher. 4-10-2.
2012: No Game
What happened, MLS? The closest Metro match came on July 8, when they lost at New England, 2:0. But let's not count it.
So: four wins, ten losses, and two ties. Ugh. Let's hope 2013 brings us another Michael Butler...