Metro goes top by whacking weepy Cincy, 2:1
April 6, 2024

Cincinnati New York
Kubo Amaya
04.06.24 · League

When one looked at Metro's schedule to open the season, one couldn't help but feel cautious. Five out of seven on the road, playing some of MLS's supposedly best teams? Especially this one, at Cincinnati, the team that has sadly had Metro's number the last two years...

Well, that caution somehow turned into a terrific start, as Metro continued to get positive results, dropping Cincinnati, 2:1. Frankie Amaya and Dante Vanzeir scored their first goals of the year as Metro ended the day in first place in the Eastern Conference.

Emil Forsberg and John Tolkin returned to their places in the starting lineup, but Noah Elie didn't. The tall Swede was still not 100%, so Sandro Schwarz elected to stick with Andres Reyes. Sadly, the Colombian continued to perform poorly against Cincinnati, losing his man three minutes in. Carlos Coronel made a fantastic save, but couldn't get to the far post, as Cincy jumped on the rebound and scored an easy header into the unguarded side of the net.

After ten minutes, it looked like Metro was being dominated, but then something happened. Slowly but surely, they started to control the ball, with Forsberg marshaling the midfield and Vanzeir and Lewis Morgan making runs. In the 19th, Frankie Amaya caused a turnover in the Cincy half. He then quickly got the ball to Morgan, to passed it off to Vanzeir, who laid it back to the man who started the play. Amaya sent a rocket from outside the box past the outstretched arms of former Metro third stringer Evan Louro, and the game was tied.

(Here we must question the wisdom of Cincy fans booing Amaya at every opportunity. We get it, he didn't want to play for your rotten club, and who can blame him? Three years of last-place finishes, with incompetence on and off the field. But you do realize that booing like does not exactly work? He has now scored twice in last three games in your stadium. Of course, no Cincy fan reads this website, so continue booing. Moving on.)

Metro had a chance to get the lead in first half injury time, when Matt Miazga, who really has turned into a punk (has always been a punk?) pulled Sean Nealis down in the box on a corner kick. Alas, Morgan, who had not missed a regulation penalty up to that point, had his shot saved by Louro.

Metro would get the last laugh over its former academy player in the 60th minute. Tolkin jumped on a loose ball in the center circle and sent a long looping ball that Vanzeir laid off (this is really a trend!) for Forsberg. The Swede returned the favor, sending the Belgian into the box. There, Vanzeir cut back, making a fool of two Cincy defenders, and hit a shot that went through Louro's fingertips and in.

Unlike last week, Metro held on the rest of the way. It wasn't without some testy moments, but Coronel earned his paycheck and the defense cleared away various set piece opportunities. Yes, it's early in the season, but this team looks like it can go places...

However, we are still cautious.

Lineup: Coronel, Tolkin, Nealis, Reyes, Nealis, Stroud, Amaya, Carmona, Forsberg, Morgan, Vanzeir. Subs: Duncan, Manoel, Edelman, Eile, Ngoma.

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