Leagues Cup begins with drab scoreless draw, PK win
July 22, 2023

New York (4:2) New England

07.22.23 · L Cup

It's really hard to care about the Leagues Cup at this point. If the narrative is that Metro has a chance to win a trophy and save its season, well, sure, but for that, you need to score goals. And nothing, save for a miraculous signing that is not coming, is changing that. So what are we looking for here? Tonight, the cup opened with a snooze-fest against New England... somehow salvaged by a penalty kick victory. Well, "victory".

It was clear that both teams are taking this competition seriously, with both trotting out a first-choice lineup. Of course, for Metro a first-choice lineup means Tom Barlow... (See the inability to score.) Also starting was Hassan Ndam, deputizing for Andres Reyes, who couldn't pass a fitness test.

And honestly... the defense was damn good. The Revs couldn't do much the entire game. (Well, until very late, when Carlos Coronel cut the angle to make a save in injury time, and a handball on Daniel Edelman was somehow not called.) But the offense? It was same old, same old.

In the first half, an unmarked Dante Vanzeir hit his shot straight at the keeper. Then, the ball dropped close to the net for a free Omir Fernandez, whose point-blanked effort was saved. Then, Barlow received a perfect through-ball and actually did well to put it in the net... only to be correctly called offside.

In the second half? Metro put us to sleep, as we dreamed of better times. Better times are not coming.

So, in the penalty shootout that end League Cup group games, Elias Manoel once again missed from the spot, and the Revs scored, going up early. Edelman and Vanzeir converted, with New England's third shooter hitting the post to tie it at 2:2. After a surprising Sean Nealis blast gave Metro the lead, Carlos Coronel dove to his left to smother the Revs' fourth attempt. John Tolkin calmly placed it to the left to earn Metro a win. Well, a "win". It was an extra point in the standings.

At least it made us care more about the Leagues Cup...

Lineup: Coronel, Tolkin, Nealis, Ndam, Harper, Edelman, Amaya, Luquinhas, Fernandez, Barlow, Vanzeir. Subs: Duncan, Yearwood, Donkor, Manoel, Stroud. Shootout: Manoel, Edelman, Vanzeir, Nealis, Tolkin.

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