MetroStars vs. D.C. United: Pregame report

Date: Sunday, October 17, 2004

Time: 5 p.m. ET

Location: RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.

Local TV: ESPN2

Play-by-play: Rob Stone

Analyst: Eric Wynalda

Local Spanish Radio: WADO 1280 AM

Play-by-play: Ernesto Motta

Analyst: Robert Sierra

Referee: Kevin Terry

Referee's Asst.: George Gansner (SAR), Kermit Quisenberry (JAR)

Fourth Official: Abbey Okulaja

Injury Report:

Michael Bradley - DOUBTFUL - Stress Fracture of Right Talarnavicular

Tenywa Bonseu - OUT - Partially Torn Left Achilles

Mark Lisi - OUT - Right Ankle Strain

Probable starters

GK #1 Jonny Walker

D #3 Chris Leitch

D #12 Jeff Parke

D #23 Eddie Pope

D #21 Craig Ziadie

M #20 Amado Guevara

M #24 Eddie Gaven

M #25 Gilberto Flores

M #2 Ricardo Clark

F #7 Mike Magee

F #15 John Wolyniec

METROS NOTES

Up next, D.C. United:

On Sunday, the MetroStars will be traveling to the nation's capital to take on rival D.C. United at 5 p.m. ET in the final regular season game for both clubs (TV: ESPN2, Spanish Radio: WADO 1280 AM). The MetroStars (40 points) are currently one point above D.C. for second place in the Eastern Conference and five points behind Columbus' 48, who have clinched the conference title. Trailing D.C. stands Chicago with 33 points and New England with 30.

This weekend's game will also mark the final chance for the MetroStars to retain the Atlantic Cup. The Cup, began in 2001, and is awarded to the team that accumulates the most standings points during the regular season games pitting the MetroStars against D.C. United. If the teams are even in points after their four meetings, the first tie-breaker is total goals, with the second tie-breaker being away goals. If still tied, the current Cup holder (MetroStars) retains the trophy.

In the teams' three meetings this season, the MetroStars have tallied one win (April 17, 3-2) to D.C.'s two (July 3, 6-2; October 2, 1-0). In order for the Metros to retain the Atlantic Cup this season, they will have to claim victory over D.C. by a difference of at least four goals.

Tickets are available for all MetroStars home games at the Continental Airlines Arena box office and at all Ticketmaster outlets. Tickets will also be available through Ticketmaster by phone for callers in New Jersey (201-507-8900), New York (212-307-7171), and for Spanish-speaking customers throughout New York and New Jersey (212-307-4757).

MetroStars Playoff Fever heats up:

With their 2-0 win over the Dallas Burn on Sept. 25, the MetroStars have guaranteed a return of MetroStars Playoff Fever and a position in the 2004 postseason. Depending on the outcome of this week's game, the MetroStars could gain home-field advantage for the first round of the playoffs. With the MetroStars ahead of D.C. United by one point for the second place position, the MetroStars will need to either win or tie this week in order to secure sole possession of second place in the Eastern Conference. Should D.C. defeat the Metros, they would then secure second place and home field for the first round. No matter the outcome of the game, the MetroStars and D.C. will be facing each other in the first round of the playoffs, however, the team that ends up in second place will be granted with the decision as to which of the two first round games will be played at their home stadium.

The 2004 playoff berth for the MetroStars marks the team's sixth trip to the playoffs in their nine-year history. With a 5-8-2 all time playoff record, the MetroStars have only been able to advance past the first round of the playoffs once, when they were able to overtake the Dallas Burn in 2000 before losing to the Chicago Fire in the semifinals.

This year's playoff clinch also marks Bob Bradley's seventh trip to the playoffs in his seven years of being a head coach in MLS. He posted a 13-9-2 playoff record while coaching the Chicago Fire from 1998 to 2002, including a 1998 MLS Cup Championship. In his two seasons with the MetroStars, he has been able to take the club to the playoffs both years, while losing to the New England Revolution in 2003.

MetroStars wearing 'Unity' Bands:

For the third consecutive week, all of the MetroStars players were seen donning the red 'Unity' bands around their wrists. The concept for the bands was conceived by the organization as a way to come together for the 2004 playoffs and symbolize their commitment to winning the 2004 MLS Cup. To get a free 'Unity' band, visit www.metrostars.com.

Meadowlands attendance:

With 15,007 fans in attendance for the MetroStars final regular season home game versus the Crew, the MetroStars have averaged 17,195 fans for their games at the Meadowlands for the 2004 season. This average is an eight percent increase from last year's attendance.

MetroStars penalty kick perfection:

Sergio Galvan Ray's 71' penalty kick score was the eighth of the season for the MetroStars in as many tries. Amado Guevara has taken the majority of penalty kicks with 6, but Mike Magee and Sergio Galvan Ray have each taken one in Guevara's absence.

Guevara still atop Budweiser Scoring Leaders:

Although MetroStars midfielder Amado Guevara did not score a point in Saturday's game, he is still tied for first on the Budweiser Scoring Leaders list. With 10 goals and 10 assists, his 30 points are tied with New England Revolution's Pat Noonan for best in the league.

"Red and Black" Ironmen:

MetroStars forward John Wolyniec is the only player to have appeared in each of the Metros' 29 games this season. Additionally, MetroStars Chris Leitch (28 games) is the only player who has played every minute of every game he has appeared in.

No Place Like Home:

With the MetroStars 1-1 tie with Columbus on Saturday, their play at home has continued to be strong throughout the season as they now have a record of 7-4-4 in Giants Stadium. They have won seven times (April 17, 2004 3-2 vs. D.C. United; May 30, 2004 1-0 vs. Kansas City Wizards; June 19, 2004 2-1 vs. L.A. Galaxy; July 10, 2004 2-0 vs. San Jose Earthquakes; July 24, 2004 2-1 vs. Chicago Fire; August 8, 2004 3-0 vs. L.A. Galaxy; September 11, 2004 3-2 vs. New England Revolution), tied four times (April 25, 2004 1-1 vs. New England Revolution; May 15, 2004 1-1 vs. Chicago Fire; August 29, 2004 vs. Columbus Crew; October 9, 2004 1-1 vs. Columbus Crew) and lost four times (June 5, 2004 2-0 vs. Dallas Burn; June 30, 2004 3-2 vs. Colorado Rapids; August 15, 2004 1-0 vs. Dallas Burn; October 2, 2004 1-0 vs. D.C. United).

Firing away:

The MetroStars are not afraid of shooting the ball. The team leads the league for most shots overall with 448. The Dallas Burn rank second in the league with 392. In addition, the MetroStars also lead the league in shots on goal with 190 strikes - ten more than D.C. United. Last season, the MetroStars had 399 shots and 191 shots on goal.

Taking their chances:

The high-powered MetroStars offense has been productive this year, scoring 45 goals - which is three ahead of the Los Angeles Galaxy for most in the league. The MetroStars have surpassed their goals scored mark from 2003 by five going into their final game of the season.

The MetroStars are also not afraid of going for goal when they are playing away from Giants Stadium. The MetroStars lead the league in scoring away from home, earning 23 tallies in 14 games. With an average of 1.64 goals per away game, the MetroStars are ahead of the New England Revolution (1.29 average).

Honor roll:

The MetroStars announced that they will hold their 2004 awards ceremony, presented by Johnnie Walker Scotch Whiskey and KeySpan Home Energy Services, at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, N.J. The second annual event will take place on Oct. 19 at 6:30 p.m. The event will include a networking reception for MetroStars Business Alliance members and team VIPs. The networking event will kick off at 6:30 p.m. on the Main Floor, and the awards ceremony will commence at 7:30 p.m. in the JD Williams Theatre.

The night will feature 12 awards with 10 going to MetroStars players, one to the "Red and Black's" fan of the year, and one to the youth soccer clubs of the year.

Of the 10 awards going to players, seven will be voted on by the media (2004 Honda MetroStars Most Valuable Player, 2004 United States Soccer Foundation Humanitarian of the Year, 2004 MetroStars Young Player of the Year, 2004 Major League Soccer's MetroStars Defender of the Year, 2004 MetroStars Play of the Year, 2004 MetroStars Unsung Player and 2004 MetroStars Newcomer of the Year), two will be awarded by statistical analysis (2004 MetroStars Budweiser Scoring Champion and 2004 MetroStars Iron Man) and one will be voted on by fans at MetroStars.com (2004 MetroStars.com Player of the Year).

Guevara with Honduras:

MetroStars midfielder Amado Guevara played the full 90 minutes for Honduras twice in the past week. Last Saturday, Guevara led Honduras to a 1-1 tie with Canada, and on Wednesday "El Lobo's" Honduran squad fell to Guatemala. Currently Honduras is in third place in Concacaf Group B Qualifying, with one game against second-place Costa Rica to play. Honduras needs to beat Costa Rica to advance.

Ziadie Balls with the Reggae Boyz:

After missing some time with both the MetroStars and the Jamaican national team due to an MCL injury, Craig Ziadie is back playing for both squads. Recently he recorded two complete games for the Reggae Boyz (last Saturday in a 1-1 draw with Panama, and Wednesday in a 0-0 tie with El Salvador).

Glen rolls with Trinidad:

MetroStars forward Cornell Glen made his presence felt Saturday in international action when he played 79 minutes and tallied a goal for Trinidad and Tobago in their 5-1 win over St. Kitts and Nevis. On Wednesday, Glen played 76 minutes for Trinidad and Tobago in their 3-0 loss to Mexico.

U.S. and Pope advance:

With two wins this week, the United States national team has advanced to the final qualifying round for the 2006 World Cup. Last Saturday, Eddie Pope played a full 90 minutes for the team in a 2-0 win over El Salvador, and on Wednesday he played 86 minutes in the team's 6-0 win over Panama. Eddie Gaven and Jonny Walker were named to the U.S.'s 23-man roster, but were released to the MetroStars for their game against Columbus last Saturday.

White out:

The MetroStars' white kits have become a bad omen this season, as the team is 2-6-2 when donning them. Conversely, they are 9-5-5 when wearing their red and black-striped jerseys. The team usually wears their all-white uniforms for away games. In comparison, last season the MetroStars were 6-6-5 in their red and black uniforms and 5-4-4 in their white kits.

MPF parade:

On the day of the MetroStars first playoff game (date TBD) there will be a MetroStars Playoff Fever Parade that starts in Harrison, N.J. (future home of the MetroStars) and ends with a Pep Rally at Giants Stadium. Youth Soccer clubs from across the tri-state area will be entering floats, with $2,500 of prize money on the line to the team that builds the best float. Each club that participates will have a MetroStars player visit their club when they are working on their float. To participate in the event contact Chris Canetti @ (201) 583-7031.

MetroStars host Mexico vs. Ecuador:

The MetroStars announced that they have partnered with Soccer United Marketing to host an international match between the national teams of Mexico and Ecuador at Giants Stadium on Oct. 27 at 8 p.m. ET. The game, presented by The Home Depot, is part of the 2004 "Coca-Cola Presents Real Mexican Soccer" Tour and it will mark the sole appearance of both Mexico and Ecuador in the New York City area this year. Tickets for the match will start at just $20, and are currently on sale.


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