Metros at starting line of marathon

E. RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Major League Soccer season is a marathon and not a sprint, and when the MetroStars finish a grueling stretch of three games in seven days, which starts Wednesday night at Kansas City, they're going to feel as if they've just run a marathon or two.

"Obviously going on the road and playing that many games in a short time span is tough," MetroStars forward John Wolyniec said. "Each game takes its toll on the body and you need time to recover. Playing that many games in that short of time is going to be tough but we have a deep team, we've got a lot of guys ready to play."

The MetroStars are coming off back-to-back impressive performances, following up a 3-0 win at Chicago with a 2-2 draw against top-of-the-table New England on Saturday at Giants Stadium.

Wolyniec put the MetroStars in excellent position to get their first win at Giants Stadium with his 83rd-minute strike, but Taylor Twellman's equalizer one minute from full time ensured the visitors would leave Giants Stadium undefeated.

"It's a huge stretch conference-wise. You've got to get points. We should have got two more (points) today," Metros defender Tim Regan said after Saturday's game. "It's time now to get your points early and put yourself in a position where, coming into the summertime and into the all-star break, you're fighting for one of the top spots."

But if there's something for the Metros to look forward to, it's that they are a perfect 2-0 on the road and on the grass.

"It's still tough to travel but playing on grass makes it a lot easier on us and a lot easier on the body," said Wolyniec, who has half of his eight career assists against Kansas City. "You know if that's where we have to have our success that's fine. We're just going to try and get our points where we can."

The MetroStars will be without Abbe Ibrahim, who impressed in first MLS start but was sent off after picking up his second yellow card in the 66th minute Saturday. Jeff Agoos, who left Saturday's game with calf cramps, is available but backup 'keeper Michael Ueltschey is out with an abdominal strain and Jonny Walker is questionable with a left calf strain.

After playing at Kansas City, the MetroStars head to Columbus to face the Crew on Saturday night before hosting Chicago on May 31.

"It's going to be a tough stretch for us but we have to go in focused," Metros defender Chris Leitch said. "Hopefully injury wise we can hold up and get some much needed points. If we only get a point here or there at home, we need more than a point here and there on the road."

Dylan Butler is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.


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