Metro melted down by Etienne's Crew, 2:1
October 1, 2022
After the 2019 season, Denis Hamlett did something stupid. Now, Hamlett has done many stupid things in his role as Sporting Director, but this one is up there. Of course, the news came on the same day that both Luis Robles and Bradley Wright-Phillips departed, so it was lost among the headlines.
Hamlett cut Derrick Etienne. Etienne, a quality, young homegrown player who just a year ago scored the goal that gave Metro the Supporters Shield. Just cut. Columbus picked him up, and he scored as they won MLS Cup. Incompetence, thy name is Hamlett!
Tonight, Etienne made his old team pay, scoring two very late goals to turn a 1:0 deficit into a 2:1 victory. A win would have clinched a home playoff game for Metro; they now head into the final game of the regular season with a variety of options at play.
Aaron Long was rested after a stint with the US national team, meaning Hassan Ndam made his first Metro appearance since 2018. Also returning, be it from shorter spells away, were Frankie Amaya and Patryk Klimala.
The first half was rather chippy and fairly even, with the best chance for either team coming late in the period. Off a corner, an Andres Reyes header was saved by Eloy Room.
At the break, the completely ineffective Klimala was taken off for Elias Manuel. Ndam, who, for some reason, spent a lot of time roaming in midfield, was replaced as well. The third returnee, Amaya, stayed on, and contributed. In the 53rd minute, he jumped on a loose ball outside the box and sent a blast past Room.
Metro looked comfortable controlling the game... until Columbus put on Etienne, who put on an attacking clinic. The ex-Metro first missed high, then was denied by Carlos Coronel. There was no denial in the 89th, as Etienne evened the game. Then, three minutes into injury time, Coronel made the initial save, but Etienne knocked home the easy rebound.
In the end, the result, as disappointing as it was, might not matter in the standings, but it still stinks. Not only because it once again proves the complete ineffectiveness of Metro's strikers (Manoel couldn't even last the whole second half, as he was taken off for Tom Barlow, continuing his improbably perfect attendance streak), not only because it once again underlines the incompetence of the front office, but because it simply shows that as hard as this team plays and as hard as it presses, it can't get consistent results based on that alone.
At least Hamlett's new boss Jochen Schneider has a plan for the playoffs: momentum and luck!
Talk about stupidity...
Lineup: Coronel, Tolkin, Reyes, Nealis, Ndam, Nealis, Edelman, Amaya, Morgan, Luquinhas, Klimala. Subs: Duncan, Manoel, Barlow.