Metro claws back for draw in Seattle, 1:1
September 29, 2013
The winning streak is over. The playoff berth, not clinched. The Supporters Shield, still a fight to acquire. And yet, tonight's draw in Seattle feels pretty damn good, doesn't it?
No Thierry Henry. No Jamison Olave. No Bradley Wright-Phillips. Playing in a rainy, drenched stadium in front of a supposed loud crowd. Playing a team that pretty much never drops points at home, a team considered a favorite my many to reach MLS Cup. A gritty comeback for a 1:1 draw? We'll take it.
Henry's absence and Wright-Phillips' injury meant a whole new frontline of Peguy Luyindula and Fabian Espindola. Ibrahim Sekagya stepped in for Olave, and Lloyd Sam went into the lineup for Eric Alexander. The latter didn't start a league match for the first time since the season opener.
Metro started off quickly, with Jonny Steele intercepting a pass and forcing a save within the first minute. But after a rather spirited first quarter of the match by the visitors, Seattle started to take over and dominated the rest of the first half. Luis Robles made a terrific save off an Eddie Johnson shot, a few rockets went wide of the net... Metro looked to be happy to go do halftime scoreless.
But that did not not happen. In the last minute of the first half, a cross hit off the hand of S. Markus Holgersson, and the referee pointed to the spot. Brad Evans did not miss.
We're not sure what Mike Petke said at the break, but it seemed to have work. Whatever prowess Seattle showed before the intermission evaporated, and slowly but surely, Metro begin to build their attack. Luyindula, whose title of a forward seemed fraudulent, started to pull the strings at midfield. In a span of a few minutes, Metro hit the woodwork twice on set pieces: first by Holgersson on a free kick, then by Espindola on a corner. Still, the goal would not come.
Until the 80th minute, that is, when what looked like a broken-up play ended with the ball alone in the box, resting for Tim Cahill. The Aussie's blistering shot sliced into the net, earning Metro a much-deserved point.
A feel-good point at that.
Lineup: Robles, Carney, Sekagya, Holgersson, Kimura, McCarty, Steele, Sam, Cahill, Luyindula, Espindola. Subs: Alexander, Akpan.