Stammler gains minutes, experience

as midfielder Mark Lisi put it -- the most important game of the season thus far.

Before the game, seldom-used defender Seth Stammler had seen few minutes on the field this season. But, after starter Jeff Parke went down with a stomach virus, Stammler rose to the occasion when his team needed him.

"I spoke to [assistant coach] Dave [Kammarman] with about five minutes to go until the second half started and he told me I was definitely going in," said Stammler, who had played a total seven minutes in the four previous games he appeared in.

The Metros made it official in the 46th minute of play, sending in Stammler to relieve Parke at halftime.

"When I was told that I may be going in, I got out there and got a good warm up," Stammler said. "After that, I just had to change my cleats, put on a pair of shin guards and I was ready to go."

With Stammler finally getting his first real chance to show his talent, he was certainly excited to make his mark. According to him, there was no other way to make it than with a veteran goalkeeper, in Tony Meola, behind him.

"Meola is a great 'keeper, telling you where to be, always communicating, which is important as a goalie," explained Stammler, the former Maryland Terrapin. "He also keeps our back line talking with each other as well as the midfield. It's good to have someone that can help you out back there as much as possible."

Stammler was not in for two minutes by the time Clarence Goodson scored his second goal to give Dallas a 2-1 lead. He immediately thought the Metros had taken a turn for the worse.

"At first, it seemed like [the quick goal] is what has been cursing us the last couple of games, which you can't help but have go through your mind," Stammler said. "But as we started playing better and gaining more confidence, it definitely seemed like the tides were changing."

The tides changed with the help of Mike Magee and Sergio Galvan Rey, who combined to score two goals in six minutes to turn a one-goal deficit to a one-goal advantage.

Stammler and the rest of the defense were able to hold off FC Dallas to win the game 3-2. With the victory, the Metros gained a much-needed three points and some personal pride heading into a short vacation.

"I have a couple days off and then back to working hard at practice and maybe that chance (of getting more time on the field) will come," said Stammler.

Steven Brooks is a contributor to MetroStars.com.


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