Metro loses home road game to Messi's Miami, 2:0
August 26, 2023

New York Miami

08.26.23 · League

Here is the sad thing: Miami didn't need Lionel Messi tonight. Sure, the supposed best player ever scored a goal, but by then, the game was decided. Metro had the chance and blew it; with Messi and Sergio Busquets resting, the game was there for the taking. Instead, we saw a baffling lineup, head-scratching tactics, and a dour 2:0 loss in front of a sellout crowd rooting for the away team.

While Troy Lesesne has had a mostly positive influence on the club, the lineup tonight was absolutely incomprehensible. How many times can he try Dru Yearwood, the worst passer in MLS, at attacking midfield? And how can he play Elias Manoel as the lone forward -- when he is not even really a forward? Needless to say, Metro's attack was disjointed. Their one chance at the half came when Omir Fernandez misfired low and wide from a center of the box when the coast looked to be clear.

Soon after that, Metro failed to clear the ball off a Miami set piece, and it was 1:0. No Messi, no Busquets, no problem. The lead was almost doubled before the break, as a close-range shot somehow went wide.

Yearwood and Manoel were taken off at the half, and Metro actually improved offensively, but the goals were nowhere to come. The old formula worked for Miami -- sit behind the ball and wait for Metro to beat them... because we simply can't. The big names entered in the 60th to the road of the crowd. Metro kept Messi mostly in check until the 89th minute, when he got into the box, sent the ball to the right to draw away the defense, then tapped the return pass into the empty net. It was a pretty irrelevant goal, but at least it gave fans something to remember.

These fans are not coming back, Red Bull! How do you expect them to return when the supposed home team can't even score a goal a game? How do you expect them to return when your attacking options are Elias Manoel and Tom Barlow? How do you expect them to return if the best you can hope for is a first-round playoff exit?

Yes, Miami signed Messi, and there is only one Messi. But they beat Metro with Messi, and they beat Metro without Messi. Metro loaned Jorge Cabezas Hurtado. He is a 19-year-old who has never scored a first-division goal. Doesn't that say it all?

Lineup: Coronel, Tolkin, Nealis, Reyes, Harper, Edelman, Amaya, Yearwood, Fernandez, Luquinhas, Manoel. Subs: Barlow, Stroud, Burke, Cabezas, Carmona.

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