Ten Best: Playoff victories
Mathis vs Dallas, 2000
November 1, 2016
You know the story: after a terrific end to the regular season, Metro's backs are against the wall, as they need to recover from a 1:0 deficit in its home leg vs Montreal. So let's remember Metro's ten best postseason victories (alas, the pickings are not exactly plentiful... and some of these scorelines wouldn't exactly help this weekend.)
10) September 30, 2000: MetroStars 2, Chicago 0
The King returned as Mike Ammann, not fully recovered for his injuries, came back in the playoffs. Mark Chung and Adolfo Valencia scored and Ammann posted the first shutout in Metro playoff history as the series was evened. Let's not talk about Game 3.
9) September 24, 1996: MetroStars 2, DC United 2 (SO 3:2)
The first playoff game in MLS history had a legendary ending. Giovanni Savarese tied the match at twos in the 75th after coming onto the field just a minute earlier (Antony De Avila scored the first Metro goal). Then, an epic shootout ensued, and the injured Peter Vermes hobbled and scored in the 11th frame to give the Metros the win. Let's not talk about Games 2 and 3.
8) September 26, 2001: MetroStars 4, Los Angeles 1
Coming off a tie in their playoff opener, the MetroStars scored four goals in an 11-minute span, starting in the 72nd minute, to beat the Galaxy. Rodrigo Faria got two, and Chung and Valencia also tallied. Let's not talk about Game 3!
7) October 26, 2011: Dallas 0, MetroStars 2
OK, here we go, a one-game series. Hans Backe's rope-a-dope worked in Dallas, as Metro hung back, then scored in the second half through Joel Lindpere. Thierry Henry would add one late for what turned out to be his only playoff goal.
6) November 1, 2015: DC United 0, New York 1
To win in DC is always special. To win in DC in the playoffs was beyond fantastic. The lone goal came on a Dax McCarty header from a Sacha Kljestan free kick. (Hey, we can use that this week!) Metro would win 1:0 in the return leg, as well.
5) September 15, 2000: MetroStars 2, Dallas 1
Clint Mathis opened the scoring, third-stringer Paul Grafer stopped a penalty kick, but Dallas did reply to send the game to overtime. There, Valencia scored with just seconds left on the clock. Five days later, a brace from Mathis led to another 2:1 win, and Metro's first series playoff ever.
4) October 30, 2014: New York 2, Kansas City 1
An incredibly memorable one-game series in 2014 saw Metro go down midway through the second half. But Bradley Wright-Phillips scored twice, first in the 77th, and then again, incredibly in the 90th, bouncing a header into the corner of the net. (Hey, we can use some of that this week!) Peguy Luyindula was magical setting up both goals.
3) November 9, 2008: Houston 0, New York 3
Speaking of magical, that was Dane Richards in Houston. He scored one himself, caused a penalty kick that Juan Pablo Angel converted, and fed John Wolyniec after an amazing run for the third. On the other end, Danny Cepero was amazing between the pipes as Metro moved to the second round for the first time in eight years.
2) November 2, 2014: New York 2, DC United 0
Henry's backheel to Wright-Phillips on the first goal. Luyindula going through the keeper's legs for the second. DC on its way to being beaten by Metro in a series for the first time ever. This one was as special as they come.
1) November 15, 2008: Salt Lake 0, New York 1
Dave van den Bergh scored the (still!) most important goal in team history, as Metro went to Salt Lake City and beat the hosts 1:0 to earn its first (and only) trip to MLS Cup. Cepero, who would never reach such heights again, played out of his mind for the second straight week... and the posts helped too. (Hey, we can use some of that this week!)