Up next: Western leaders Los Angeles
On Sunday the MetroStars will be hosting Carlos Ruiz and the Los Angeles Galaxy at 6 p.m. (TV: MSG, Spanish Radio: WADO 1280 AM). The MetroStars won their first two games against the Galaxy 2-1 and 3-0 on June 19 and 23 respectively.
The MetroStars will then continue their home stand on August 15 when they host Eddie Johnson and the Dallas Burn at 6 p.m. (TV: MSG, FSN-NY (Spanish), Spanish Radio: WADO 1280 AM). The "Red and Black" lost 2-0 in their first game against the Burn at Giants Stadium on June 5.
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 on TV:
Thursday: Metro Soccer Report - MSG, 11 p.m. ET
Sunday: MetroStars vs. Los Angeles - MSG, 6 p.m. ET
Who Let The Metros Out?:
With their 2-1 win against the Kansas City Wizards on July 28, the MetroStars have retained the top spot in the Eastern Conference with 29 points. They are now five points ahead the Columbus Crew and eight ahead of D.C. United. The Chicago Fire are further adrift with 19 points with no games in hand over the "Red and Black." The Crew have two games in hand over the MetroStars while United has one. The MetroStars are now riding a four-game unbeaten streak. They are 8-6-5 on the season and went 3-1-1 in the month of July.
MetroSTARS STAR in All-STAR Game:
MetroStars midfielders Amado Guevara and Eddie Gaven and defender Eddie Pope all started and played crucial roles on the Eastern Conference team in last Saturday's Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game. Guevara played the most noticeable role in the East's 3-2 win, as his two goals - a left-footed strike and a penalty kick - along with an assist on D.C. United forward Alecko Eskandarian's 74th minute tally earned him the game's Honda Most Valuable Player award. Gaven also made a strong impression this year, being the youngest player to be voted in as a starter in MLS history. The 17-year-old, who played in the game's first 45 minutes and then came on again in the 81st minute for teammate Guevara, is also the third youngest player to ever play in the All-Star game. Pope, who has been named to eight consecutive All-Star games, played the first 45 minutes before being substituted at the half for New England Revolution forward Pat Noonan.
MetroStars midfielder Amado Guevara has been one of the best players in the league, slotting in his ninth goal of the season on July 28 against the Kansas City Wizards on a fabulous free kick. Guevara, who also has seven assists this season, has earned at least a point in eight consecutive league games, garnering six goals and five assists during that stretch (17 points), making it the longest streak of its kind this season. Guevara's 25 points puts him in first place on the MLS Budweiser Scoring list, two points ahead of San Jose Earthquakes forward Brian Ching. Guevara is second in the league in points per game and tied for third in both goals and assists.
While Guevara did score, the fact that he did not score from the penalty spot broke a prior streak. Before the Kansas City game, Guevara set an individual record for being the only player who has scored from the spot in three consecutive games. Many teams have successfully hit penalty kicks in three successive games but Guevara is the first individual to do so. No player or team has scored a penalty kick in four games straight, but Guevara has now scored from a dead ball situation in four straight games.
Cornell big Red (and Black): MetroStars forward Cornell Glen scored his fourth goal of the season and first since May 22 in the team's 2-1 win over the Kansas City Wizards. The Trinidad and Tobago international, who has struggled with injuries recently, now has nine points on the season and earned his second man-of-the-match award this season (his first coming against San Jose on May 8). In addition, forward John Wolyniec earned his first assist of the year on Glen's goal. Wolyniec, who has earned five points in the team's last four games, is tied for the league lead in game winning goals with four.
Walker making opponents crawl:
MetroStars goalkeeper Jonny Walker had one of his strongest performances in the team's last game on July 28 against the Kansas City Wizards, stopping a season-high nine shots en route to a 2-1 Metros victory. One of these saves included a cruicial block on Wizard Chris Klein's second penalty shot. Earlier in the game, Walker was almost able to stop Klein's first attempt, getting a palm on the shot before the ball found the back of the net.
Ever since the team's humbling 6-2 defeat to D.C. United on July 3, Walker has been on a roll, earning one clean sheet and allowing only one goal in the last three games. Because of this, Walker's goals against average has fallen to 1.76 (from a season-high 2.08). Walker has averaged a stingy 0.75 goals against average in the last four league games.
Bradley on his way to 200:
With a July 28 win against Kansas City, MetroStars head coach Bob Bradley has now reached 101 career wins. Bradley's all-time league record of 101 career regular season victories is 22 more than the closest active coach, Sigi Schmid. Schmid needs four more to surpass Thomas Rongen (DC, NE, TB) for second place in career regular season victories.
A week prior, Bradley earned his 100th win against the Chicago Fire, where he earned 82 of his victories as coach of the Windy City team. Bradley has earned 19 wins with the MetroStars since being named head coach on October 22, 2002, but had failed to defeat this former team in eight tries until that night.
The "Red and Black" are generally very solid in closing out games. When the MetroStars are ahead after the 75th minute, they are 7-1-0. In addition, when the Metros score the first goal, they are an impressive 5-1-2.
The MetroStars have a record of 5-2-2 in Giants Stadium. They have won five 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), tied twice (April 25, 2004 1-1 vs. New England Revolution; May 15, 2004 1-1 vs. Chicago Fire) and lost twice (June 5, 2004 2-0 vs. Dallas Burn; June 30, 2004 3-2 vs. Colorado Rapids).
Metros Break White Curse:
For the first time this year, the MetroStars won in their all-white uniforms. Prior to their July 28 win against Kansas City, the MetroStars were 7-2-3 when wearing their red and black-striped jerseys, compared to 0-4-2 (now 1-4-2) wearing their white kits. The team usually wears their all-white uniforms for away games. In comparison, the MetroStars were 6-6-5 in their red and black uniforms last year while 5-4-4 in their white kits during the 2003 season.
No detention for you:
The MetroStars have been on good behavior throughout the season. They are one of two teams (the other is the L.A. Galaxy) which has not earned a red card this season. In addition, the Metros have garnered only 29 cautions this year, second least to the Kansas City Wizards with 27.
Wizards not in Kansas anymore:
With the MetroStars' 2-1 win over the Kansas City Wizards, the "Red and Black" extended their unbeaten streak against Kansas City to four and their record against them this year to 2-0-0. The MetroStars also broke the Wizards' MLS-high nine game league unbeaten streak.
Taking their chances:
The high-powered MetroStars offense has been productive this year, scoring 33 goals - second most in the league behind the L.A. Galaxy's 35.
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 19 tallies in ten games. With an average of 1.90 goals per away game, the MetroStars are ahead of the L.A. Galaxy (1.60 average).
The MetroStars are not afraid of shooting the ball. The team leads the league for most shots overall with 306. Their nearest opponent is the Chicago Fire with 266. In addition, the MetroStars are leading the league in shots on goal with 126 strikes - 11 more than D.C. United.
Metros look to sweep Galaxy:
Although the L.A. Galaxy are one of the top teams in MLS, the MetroStars took the first two encounters against them 2-1 and 3-0 on June 19 and 23 respectively in a home-home series. Since the Galaxy's humbling June 23 defeat at The Home Depot Center, they have been on a six game league unbeaten streak. Strike duo Carlos Ruiz (leading league in ppg with 1.57) and Jovan Kirovski are a constant threat to the Metros' armor, but the hosts will also have to keep an eye on Galaxy veteran Cobi Jones, who has earned six goals and ten assists in 16 games against the "Red and Black." The Galaxy lead the league in goals and goals per game and 19 of their 35 strikes have come after the 60th minute.
On the other hand, the MetroStars have been strong against the two current Western powers - Kansas City and L.A. The Metros are undefeated against these teams, going 4-0-0, including their July 28 2-1 win over the Wizards. Going 5-3-1 against the West this year, the "Red and Black" will especially look to midfielder Eddie Gaven, who scored two goals in the teams' last encounter on June 23. In addition, forward Mike Magee has earned two goals and one assist in five games against the Galaxy including a game-winning goal in the teams' first match this season. The MetroStars are currently running a five game unbeaten streak against their Western Conference rivals.
MetroStars midfielder Amado Guevara will be forced to be careful with his aggressive play against the Galaxy. The Honduran, who has 21 disciplinary points, is one yellow card (worth three or more points) away from earning a one game suspension.
Time and TV changes:
The MetroStars' September 11, 2004, game time against the New England Revolution will be pushed back from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and will be shown on MSG rather than ESPN2. Additionally, the MetroStars' August 29, 2004 game against the Columbus Crew will no longer be televised.
Metros to host Copa Budweiser:
The MetroStars are hosting the Budweiser-sponsored 2004 Copa Budweiser Tournament, where sixteen of the best amateur teams from New York will be battling it out for $5,000 worth of prize money this August and September. The Copa Budweiser is an invitational 6 vs. 6 tournament consisting of a qualifying tournament-taking place at the Metropolitan Oval in Maspeth, Queens, this Saturday, August 7. The top four finalists from New York will advance to face the top four qualifying teams from New Jersey and compete for the Copa Budweiser Metro Championship at Giants Stadium on September 11 after the MetroStars' 6 p.m. game against the New England Revolution.
The Copa Budweiser event will also feature a Budweiser Shootout to find New York's most highly skilled players. Using the MLS Shootout format, Budweiser wants to identify New York's best striker and goalkeeper in a one-on-one individual challenge with $750 in prize money up for grabs. The New York Budweiser Shootout Champion will then advance to face the New Jersey Budweiser Shootout Champion at Giants Stadium during halftime of the MetroStars' match in September.
The event in Maspeth will feature appearances by the MetroMobile and the Bud Light Hummer, complete with interactive games and give-a-ways. There will also be a soccer festival, complete with DJ's, food, as well as live radio call-in's to Latino Mix and WADO 1280 AM and MetroStars player appearances. In addition, the final will take place on Hispanic Heritage Day - an event which will feature a pre-game concert and festival starting at 3 p.m.
Metros celebrate Guatemala, the Caribbean:
The MetroStars are hosting Caribbean Heritage Day and Guatemalan Heritage Day at Giants Stadium this Sunday, August 8. These events will celebrate Caribbean and Guatemalan culture and include a series of activities throughout the day. The Caribbean Day is being promoted in conjunction with CCB International while the Guatemalan Day is promoted in conjunction with the Guatemalan Conuslate.
The featured event is the MetroStars game versus the Los Angeles Galaxy with kickoff set for 6 p.m. Prior to the MetroStars game, FREE Caribbean and Guatemalan festivals will take place outside of Giants Stadium. Both festivals will include entertainment from some of the area's top local talent, including Caribbean performers Casym, Cloud IX and DJ "D-Life". The festivals will also feature authentic Caribbean and Guatemalan food provided by some of the area's top restaurants. The Caribbean festival will begin at 1 p.m. and end at 6 p.m. while the Guatemalan event will take place between 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. - just before the MetroStars' kick-off. The festivals will include a series of fun, interactive activities for the whole family.
Metros to host U.S. Soccer Foundation Day:
The United States Soccer Foundation, in conjunction with Resource Center Partner, Eurosport and the MetroStars will be collecting old but usable soccer gear as part of their Passback Program on their August 15 game against the Dallas Burn. The soccer gear will be collected at the US Soccer Foundation tables located at Gate D at Giants Stadium. All of the equipment that the U.S. Soccer Foundation collects at the MetroStars game will be donated to local soccer associations in the Tri-State area.
The U.S. Soccer Foundation is developing the sport of soccer across America through innovative partnerships and grants that help underwrite and support soccer programs and field development. Since it's creation in 1994, the Foundation has put more than $35 million into the sport nationwide. For more information about the Foundation's programs, visit www.ussoccerfoundation.com.