Up-tempo, winning soccer starts with 1:1 draw
March 8, 2015
That was amazing, wasn't it? Sure, we didn't expect such a performance right of the gate, but this was something! Fast-flowing offense, high-pressure defense! Brilliant passes, amazing shots! Up-tempo, winning soccer!
Or, you know, not. In fact, New York slogged through a drab first half, exchanged quick goals with the hosts, went up a man for twenty minutes, and failed to capitalize, settling for a 1:1 draw.
The lineup trotted for this 20th season opener was Luis Robles in goal; Roy Miller, Damien Perrinelle, Ronald Zubar, and Chris Duvall on defense; Dax McCarty, Felipe, Sacha Kljestan, Mike Grella, and Lloyd Sam in midfield; and Bradley Wright-Phillips up front. Zubar, Felipe, Kljestan, and Grella made their debuts, becoming players 298 through 301 in team history. It took 20 years and over 300 players to finally reach this nirvana of up-tempo, winning soccer! Anyway...
Kansas City scored in the 50th minute. With the Metro defense horribly out of shape (Perrinelle was apparently daydreaming somewhere upfield), Ike Opara ran between Miller and Zubar and knocked in the opener. Four minutes later, Sam (a holdover from the pre-up-tempo regime, of course) placed a brilliant curving shot from outside the box to even out the scoring.
KC's Matt Besler got his second yellow card in the 70th minute, so it looked like Metro and its up-tempo, winning style would have a chance to pull out the win. Yet it was the home team that had the best opportunities, with Robles coming up huge to stop Dom Dwyer on a breakaway that followed a Matt Miazga mistake.
Sal Zizzo and Anatole Abang also made their first-team debuts, the former entering for an overmatched Grella, the latter floating around without ever touching the ball.
winning tying soccer! That was the plan, wasn't it?
Lineup: Robles, Miller, Perrinelle, Zubar, Duvall, McCarty, Martins, Kljestan, Grella, Sam, Wright-Phillips. Subs: Zizzo, Miazga, Abang.