Again, the Shield!
October 25, 2015

Chicago New York
Gilberto Wright-Phillips
10.25.15 · League

Two years ago, something fantastic happened at Red Bull Arena. A 5:2 scoreline ended with the Supporters Shield, the first meaningful trophy of Metro's existence. The heroes who led the drive: Mike Petke, Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill, Peguy Luyindula were forever etched in history.

Tonight, the Shield returned. The result, 2:1, might not have been as fantastic as it was two years ago, and the trophy-less weight is no longer such a burden. That being said, it's still a wonderful moment, one of the best nights in team history, and one which will certainly add to that list of heroes. Oh, and Metro won in Chicago for the first time in 10 years. So that's pretty nice too.

The one change from last week's trashing of Philly was the obvious insertion of Matt Miazga, finally back from his suspension, for Ronald Zubar. But let's talk about another type of change, the one that happened at midseason. We're talking about Jesse Marsch removing ineffective Felipe off corner kick duty and replacing him with Sacha Kljestan.

Once again, Kljestan's corner kicks paid off, this time in the 8th minute. The set piece was redirected by Sal Zizzo, with the ball ending up with Bradley Wright-Phillips, standing unattended just in front of the goalline. The Englishman easily scored his 50th goal in a Metro uniform.

Metro got their cushion in the 35th, when Mike Grella was pushed down in the box. Everyone by now knows that Sacha Kljestan either goes to the middle or to his right; the Fire goalkeeper guessed middle, and guessed wrong.

Now, let's remember: Metro didn't have to win this game to win the Shield. They could have gotten help if San Jose got a result in Dallas. And with San Jose grabbing an early lead, it looked like Metro had a lot of breathing room.

That breathing room quickly vanished. Dallas equalized before the half. Then, almost immediately, two awful things happened: Gilberto pulled one back for the Fire in the 78th, and Dallas went ahead on San Jose. The margin became minimal: all Chicago needed was one goal, and the Shield was going to slip through Metro's fingers and end up in Dallas.

But not tonight. Metro held down the fort, fought through the ridiculously appointed and painfully long four minutes of injury time, and ran off deserved 2:1 winners.

And now... now the real fight begins. For as much as we cherish the memory of that first Shield, the playoff run that followed it wasn't exactly the stuff of legends. Let's hope that this Shield leads to something even better.

Let's hope.

Lineup: Robles, Lawrence, Perrinelle, Miazga, Zizzo, McCarty, Martins, Kljestan, Grella, Sam, Wright-Phillips. Subs: Veron, Wright-Phillips, Zubar.

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