The Andres Reyes Experience debuts to rancid reviews
May 22, 2021
When Andres Reyes was brought in to replace Tim Parker the past offseason, some were stretching their heads. Yes, it was clear why the young defender was valued: he is one of the best in the league in pressuring the ball, which is a key part of defending in Gerhard Struber's style. And yet, he hasn't exactly distinguished himself for a rank Miami side, who chose not to buy out his contract. Instead, Red Bull swooped in, paying a supposedly large sum to keep him in MLS.
And then, the regular season started, and it was the unheralded Sean Nealis starting next to Aaron Long. All we heard from the powers that be is that Reyes is not ready. He was not ready, he was not ready, he was not ready. Now, with Long out for the year, he had to be ready.
We were not entirely correct when we said that Reyes didn't distinguish himself last year. He collected nine yellows and two reds in an astonishingly small 13 regular season matches. It's a remarkable number... that he might be able to top this year?
Against New England, it all actually started wonderfully. Just seven minutes into the match, a perfectly-placed Frankie Amaya corner kick found the head of Reyes, who became the 25th Metro to score on his debut. In fact, he was pretty stellar throughout the first half hour, getting to difficult balls and springing forward quality passes.
Then, in the 31st minute, the real Andres Reyes Experience reared its ugly head when he idiotically took down a player when the ball was going out of bounds. That earned him his first yellow. Teammates tried to calm him down... it didn't work. Seven minutes later, a stupid two-foot tackle at midfield earned Reyes his marching orders.
By the time of the second yellow, the score was already tied. In the 36th, a Rev foul on Caden Clark was not called, the Revs went the other way, and Sean Nealis couldn't catch up to Gustavo Bou. Then, two minutes into first half-time injury time, Tajon Buchanan beat Carlos Coronel from the short side of an acute angle. For the second straight week, Metro's expensive goalkeeper made a terrible mistake.
And that was it! That really was it! Metro floundered with ten men for the rest of the match, with feeble attack dying after feeble attack. Sean Davis had to heroically cover in the back to keep the game within reach, but, of course, that didn't exactly matter when it was clear Metro would not be able to score. The Revs got their third on a breakaway in the 82nd, and that was that.
So now, Metro enters next week with only one healthy available center back on its roster: Nealis. And it enters the rest of the season knowing that the Andres Reyes Experience will go on. (Unless something wild happens and Kevin Thelwell decided to open the pocketbook on, you know, an actual quality central defender.) Hey, at least that Carlos Coronel Experience has been working out!
Well, the powers that be were right on one thing. Reyes is definitely not ready...
Lineup: Coronel, Duncan, Reyes, Nealis, Edwards, Davis, Casseres, Amaya, Clark, Royer, Fabio. Subs: Fernandez, Klimala, Harper, Barlow, Tolkin.