Weekly update: Final playoff push
The MetroStars travel across the country on Friday to wrap up the regular season on Sunday, October 16 at Chivas USA in Los Angeles at the Home Depot Center on ESPN2. When the two teams met earlier this season at Giants Stadium on 8/21, Amado Guevara's stoppage time goal leveled the score and salvaged a point for the MetroStars.
PLAYOFF SCENARIO: The MetroStars currently stand in a tie for 4th place in the East with Kansas City with just one game remaining. Kansas City's final match of the season will be at FC Dallas on Saturday, October 15. The Wizards tied FC Dallas 3-3 back on May 7 in their only other meeting of '05.
The "Red and Black" need to finish in the top four positions to earn a playoff berth.
If the MetroStars finish tied with Kansas City after this weekend's action, the final playoff spot will be decided by the MLS tie-breaking procedure, which first goes to head-to-head (Metros tied with Kansas City each holding a record of 1-1-2 against each other), then goal differential (MetroStars currently +2, while Kansas City is currently +8), and if necessary the third tie-breaker would be goals scored (MetroStars - 51, Kansas City - 50). The fourth and fifth tie-breakers are regular season road records and home records, respectively while the sixth is fewest disciplinary points. If after all six tie-breakers are used and the teams are still equal, the seventh and final procedure is a coin toss.
JOHNSTON EARNS FIRST VICTORY: It took just four days for MetroStars interim head coach Mo Johnston to pick up his first career head coaching victory, after defeating DC United in his second match as interim head coach. In his head coaching debut on October 5, the Metros drew with Chicago, 2-2.
On Tuesday, October 4, the MetroStars relieved Bob Bradley of his head coaching duties and named Johnston interim head coach. Johnston had been an assistant coach with the MetroStars for the past three seasons.
Johnston, 41, retired in 2001 following six seasons in Major League Soccer, earning three MLS All-Star selections with the Wizards and one MLS Cup Championship. Prior to joining MLS, Johnston played 15 seasons in Europe, scoring 316 goals in 529 games for Scottish clubs such as Partick Thistle, Hearts of Midlothian, Falkirk, Celtic and Rangers, as well as Watford (England), Everton (England) and Nantes (France).
SECOND BEST SEASON IN CLUB HISTORY: With the MetroStars win over D.C. United last weekend, the club has amassed a total of 44 points this season (11-9-11). This point total is the second highest point total by any team in MetroStars history - behind only the MetroStars 2000 team (54 points). (NOTE: It should be noted that in 2001 the MetroStars earned 42 points before the regular season was ended prematurely due to the tragic events on September 11, 2001).
Last week's win also ensured that the team will finish the season with a winning record for only the fourth time in team history (00', 01', 03').
DISHING THE ROCK: MetroStars midfielder Amado Guevara has assisted on the last four MetroStar goals. He tallied two assists last weekend against D.C. United in the team's 2-1 win and assisted on both goals on October 5 at Chicago. The league's reigning MVP now has 12 helpers on the year, which places him second in the league (one behind SJ's Dwayne DeRosario (13)) to go along with his 10 goals.
'LE SERPENT' REACHES DOUBLE DIGITS; RECORDS FIFTH GAMEWINNER OF SEASON: With his goal last weekend, MetroStars forward Youri Djorkaeff has tallied 10 goals on the season. He joins Amado Guevara as the only two players on the MetroStars roster to reach the 10-goal plateau. His five gamewinning goals ranks in a tie for second in the League- trailing only LA's Landon Donovan (7).
LUCKY SEVEN: Unheralded forward Sergio Galvan Rey notched his seventh goal of the season against D.C. when he gathered a through-ball from Amado Guevara and slipped a left-footed shot past United 'keeper Nick Rimando.
STAMMLER RECORDS FIRST ASSIST: MetroStars defender/midfielder Seth Stammler recorded his first career assist last weekend, when he assisted on Youri Djorkaeff's game-winning goal.
HERNANDEZ MAKES PRO DEBUT: Englewood, New Jersey native Jason Hernandez made his professional debut on October 5 against the Fire, when he started at center back and logged 88 minutes.
He followed the performance up by starting and playing the full 90 minutes in the MetroStars 2-1 win over D.C. United last weekend.
Metro soccer report: MSG will air the Metro Soccer Report this week on Friday at 2:30 p.m. ET.