Vanzeir-to-Morgan makes meal of Miami, 4:0
March 23, 2024

New York Miami
Morgan 3

03.23.24 · League

Let's talk about the absent players. Emil Forsberg: absent! John Tolkin: absent! Daniel Edelman: absent! Carlos Coronel: absent! Noah Eile: absent! That's five starters right there... Oh, right, there was someone else missing. Hold that thought.

Regardless of the makeshift lineup, Metro made a meal of Miami, trashing them 4:0 behind an incredible Lewis Morgan, who scored a hat-trick and had a hand in the fourth. Amazingly, each goal came off a pass from Dante Vanzeir, who set the team record for assists in a game.

The absences meant the first start of the year for Wiki Carmona, the first start of his career for Dennis Gjengaar, and the first start in forever for Ryan Meara (in actuality, his first in league play since May 2022). Despite the rotation, Miami was suffocated from the opening whistle, and Metro kept it up throughout the match in an incredibly clean defensive performance.

For once, the offensive performance was there to match, and it showed just three minutes into the game. A through ball through traffic by Dylan Nealis was laid off by Vanzeir onto a streaking Morgan, who perfectly placed a shot from the edge of the box. Vanzeir had two chances to double the lead off excellent plays later in the half, but both times shot wide.

Metro wouldn't rue the missed chances, as six minutes after the break, Morgan struck again. Frankie Amaya jumped on a loose ball in the Miami half and sent it forward to Vanzeir at the semicircle, who (this is becoming a theme) laid it off to Morgan. It was an easy finish for the Scotsman to make it 2:0.

Perhaps the best goal Morgan was involved in is one he did not figure on the scoresheet (because MLS quietly got rid of secondary assists this season). A hopeful pass from Gjengaar looked to go out of bounce on the left flank, only for Morgan to dive and miraculously save it. The ball advanced, Morgan got on it, beat a defender, dribbled into the box, then laid it off to Vanzeir, who (yes!) laid it off to Carmona. That was three in the 66th minute.

Four minutes later, it became four. After a terrific tackle by Kyle Duncan in the Metro box was met by cries from Miami, Andres Reyes sent a perfectly looping ball over the top onto the path of Vanzeir. The Belgian fought off a defender, took it into the box, and (what else!) laid it off for Morgan, who completed his second Metro hat trick.

So, about the other player missing... Elias Manoel. Seriously, it has to be Morgan and Vanzeir as the starting attacking pair now, doesn't it? Back to the bench, Elias...

Lineup: Meara, Duncan, Nealis, Reyes, Nealis, Stroud, Amaya, Gjengaar, Carmona, Morgan, Vanzeir. Subs: Harper, Ngoma, Hall, Donkor, Mitchell.

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