Ten Best: Substitute goals
Wolyniec vs Columbus, 2003
August 16, 2018
After Marc Rzatkowski's two-goal sub appearance a few weeks ago, we started to think: is this the best sub performance ever? So, in a mind-crippling exercise, we went through every sub goal in Metro history. It turns out that Rzatkowski's performance was the only time in Metro history a sub scored two goals to turn a defeat into a regulation victory. But was it the best ever?
Before we get to the countdown, let's mention some that didn't make it. There have been four times in Metro history that a sub scored two goals. Not listed below are Jorge Rojas in a 5:3 Open Cup loss to DC in 2009 (Metro was down 4:1 at the break), and Juan Agudelo in a 5:0 dumping of Toronto in 2010 (he scored the last two goals). Also missing is the 7:0 trashing of the blue poseurs in 2016, when, for the first time in MLS history, all three subs (Alex Muyl, Gonzalo Veron, and Gideon Baah) scored. We also couldn't find a place for Rodrigo Faria's effort in one of our favorite games ever, the three-goal 11-minute comeback vs DC in 2001 (Faria entered in the 36th, scored in the 88th, but Petter Villegas had the eventual winner), and Sacha Kljestan's 90th minute winner over Alianza in CONCACAF in 2016.
10) March 28, 2015: Mike Grella; Columbus 1, New York 2
The only time that a game-winner was scored ONE minute after a sub entered. Grella did so in the 66th, and blasted the 1000th goal in Metro history a minute later.
9) August 19, 2012: Kenny Cooper; New York 3, Portland 2
When Cooper entered in the 36th, Metro was down 2:0. He immediately changed the game, scoring in the 43rd and igniting the comeback, eventually assisting on Heath Pearce's game-winner.
8) July 5, 2017: Gonzalo Veron; New England 2, New York 3
Veron's nine goals as a sub is the best in Metro history. His first to make the list is the 90th minute winner at Foxboro; the Argentine entered with the game tied seven minutes prior.
7) July 4, 2001: Michael Butler; Tampa Bay 1, MetroStars 2
Perhaps the most amazing one-game appearance in league history. Metro was so short on players that Martin Klinger started; Butler, a call-up from the Rough Riders, entered for him in the 66th, with Metro down 1:0. After Metro tied it late in regulation, Butler won it three minutes into injury time. He never played in MLS again.
6) August 15, 2017: Gonzalo Veron; Cincinnati 2, New York 3
And here is Gonzalo again, this time starting the massive comeback in the Open Cup semifinal in Cincinnati. When he entered in the 59th, Metro was down 1:0, and it quickly became 2:0. Veron's goal in the 75th triggered the Bradley Wright-Phillips double that put Metro in the final.
5) September 24, 1996: Giovanni Savarese; MetroStars 2, DC United 2 (6:5 SO)
In the first playoff game in team history, Metro was down 2:1 in the 74th. Savarese entered; a minute later, he scored, and Metro ended up winning the epic Peter Vermes-capped shootout (Gio scored in that one as well). This was one of Savarese's eight goals as sub; he ranks second in team history.
4) July 5, 2003: Eddie Gaven; DC United 2, MetroStars 3
With the game tied leading to overtime, Bob Bradley used the goalie substitute loophole to put the 16-year-old Gaven into the nets, then immediately switched him into the field. Six minutes into OT, the youngster raced down the flank and scored the unreal game-winner.
3) July 14, 2018: Marc Rzatkowski 2; New York 3, Kansas City 2
Rzatkowski entered in the 60th with Metro down 2:1. Two outside-the-box blasts later, in the 72nd and 79th, Metro had the 3:2 lead. As we said above, this was the only time in club history a sub scored two goals to turn a defeat into a regulation victory.
2) September 20, 2003: John Wolyniec; MetroStars 1, Columbus 0
Wolyniec scored six as a sub; this one is obviously the most special. The Staten Island Ronaldo entered three minutes into overtime, and scored a wonderful one-timer from a half-field Amado Guevara pass in the 101st minute. It was only the most amazing goal in MLS history.
1) May 4, 1996: Giovanni Savarese 2; MetroStars 3, Tampa Bay 3 (2:1 SO)
Note how when describing the Rzatkowski performance, we said "regulation victory". It all comes back to Metro's first win ever, when they were trailing Tampa 3:0 in the 63rd. Metro got going off an own goal, and then Gio got one in the 73rd, followed by a beautiful bicycle kick two minutes later. Metro won in the shootout... no regulation, but forever epic.