Miserable Metro cramped by Colorado, 2:0
August 31, 2019
21 years ago, on August 18, 1998, a young goalkeeper named Tim Howard made his MLS debut. The MetroStars played Colorado at Giants Stadium, and 19-year-old Howard allowed just a goal in a 4:1 victory. Metro went into a downward spiral after the game, losing five straight, which cost head coach Alfonso Mondelo his job. But that's history.
Today, 40-year-old Tim Howard came back to play in New Jersey for final time. Metro faced Colorado at Red Bull Arena, and once again he came out the winner, by a 2:0 scoreline. Perhaps the downward spiral is already in full swing.
Chris Armas made a number of changes from last week, as Rece Buckmaster returned at the expense of Michael Murillo. The midfield was revamped, with Sean Davis, Marc Rzatkowski, and Josh Sims coming in for Cristian Casseres, Vincent Bezecourt, and Alex Muyl.
Metro started out strong, but paid for it. In the 14th minute, with the entire team up the field on a set piece, Bradley Wright-Phillips hit the woodwork, and Colorado went the other way. A series of defensive errors led to Jonathan Lewis opening the scoring.
Metro pressed on the rest of the first half, peppering the Colorado net with shots, by rarely challenging Howard, as most of them missed the net. Still, they clearly were the superior team, scoreline be damned, so a breakthrough was bound to happen after the break...
Not so much. Maybe they run out of gas, or Armas' substitutes messed up the strategy, but Metro was a mere shell of itself in the second half. Colorado had the best chances, with Luis Robles bailing Metro out on multiple occasions. He couldn't do so in the 87th, Lewis scored again, and that was that.
At some point, the buck has to stop with Armas, who is not exactly proving himself to be a top MLS coach. Of course, back in 1998, Mondelo was replaced with Bora Milutinovic. So, it might seem grim, but we haven't hit rock bottom yet. The key word is "yet".
Thanks for the memories, Timmy!
Lineup: Robles, Lawrence, Long, Parker, Buckmaster, Davis, Rzatkowski, Sims, Romero Gamarra, Royer, Wright-Phillips. Subs: Casseres, Fernandez, Murillo.