Weekly update: Game, then break
UP NEXT, FC DALLAS: The MetroStars return home this weekend when they host FC Dallas in a midweek matchup that is the front end of a home-and-home series. This weekend all of MLS will celebrate the 2005 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star weekend in Columbus, Ohio as the MLS All-Stars will battle Fulham of the English Premier League. Amado Guevara was the sole MetroStar named to the All-Star squad.
The Metros will be back in action on August 6, when they complete the home-and-home series. The game will mark the opening of FC Dallas' new soccer-specific stadium, Pizza Hut Park.
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).
MEOLA GETS FIRST TWO STARTS: MetroStars goalkeeper Tony Meola got his first two starts of the season last week for the MetroStars. Unfortunately both came in losses, as the MetroStars fell 1-0 in Columbus, and 2-1 in San Jose. Meola had a combined 11 saves in the two games.
SAN JOSE RECAP: The MetroStars fell to the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 on Saturday, ending their two-game road trip with two losses.
SUAREZ GETS FIRST START: MetroStars defender Ryan Suarez got his first start of his MetroStars career on Saturday night when he started on the right side, in place of Chris Leitch.
Suarez, who began the 2005 MLS season with Chivas USA, was signed off waivers by the MetroStars on June 29. Now in his fifth season, he has appeared in 101 career MLS games, starting 98 of them. Suarez has tallied five goals and added five assists over the course of his career.
For Leitch, it marked the first time since June 26, 2004 that he did not start and play the full 90-minutes in a MetroStars match-a span of 35 straight regular season games.
GOOS VS BIG D: MetroStars defender Jeff Agoos has had considerable success against FC Dallas over the course of his career tallying three goals and three assists.
RAZOV ROLLS AGAINST DALLAS: Like almost every other team in Major League Soccer, FC Dallas has been a victim of Ante Razov's scoring prowess. The left footed forward has notched eight goals, and three assists against Dallas over the course of his career.
LEITCH CLOSE TO SUSPENSION: MetroStars defender Chris Leitch will be forced to be careful with his play this week against FC Dallas. He has 20 caution points, one away from a one game suspension.
Despite his current totals, Major League Soccer's rules provide a good behavior clause, which reduces a player's caution point total if they play three games without receiving a card. Since Leitch did not receive a yellow card in the MetroStars last two games and now he must now go two games without a card to reduce his caution point total.
TOUGH STRETCH FOR THE METROS: The MetroStars are in the midst of a tough stretch, having to play four games in 12 days, one of their toughest stretches of the season. The Metros hosted Colorado and Dallas and traveled to Columbus and San Jose during their run. This stretch of games is similar to May 21 to May 31 when then the team played four games in 11 days.
Thus far the MetroStars are 0-2-1 during this stretch.
GUEVARA NAMED ALL-STAR STARTER: MetroStars captain and midfielder Amado Guevara was named as a starter for the 2005 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Team that will play English Premier League club Fulham FC on Saturday, July 30 at Columbus Crew Stadium (live on ABC Sports at 3:30 p.m. ET). This is Guevara's third consecutive All-Star game nod.
Guevara currently leads the MetroStars with six goals and six assists this season and is tied for third in league leaders in both goals and assists. He was named the 2004 MLS Most Valuable Player and selected to the MLS Best XI last season, while also sharing the League's points title with 30 points on 10 goals and 10 assists. In the 2004 Sierra Mist All-Star game, Guevara scored twice and was named MVP of the match.
UNBEATEN AT HOME IN LAST SIX: After going winless in their first five home games of the season, the Metros have put together an unbeaten streak of six games at home. The Metros are 3-0-3 during this stretch, beating Chicago, Columbus and L.A. while tying D.C., New England and Colorado.
IBRAHIM RETURNS: 18-year old forward Abbe Ibrahim had successful surgery to repair a tear in his left lateral meniscus (left knee) on June 20, 2005. After successful rehab and being sidelined for 3+ weeks, Ibrahim made his return to the Metros much sooner than expected, coming in as a sub in the 72nd minute on July 9 vs. L.A. Last weekend against San Jose Ibrahim started his first game since the injury.
METRO SOCCER REPORT: MSG will air the Metro Soccer Report this week on Thursday at 10:30 p.m. ET. The show will also re-run three more times (on Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET and and 11:00 p.m. ET and on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. ET).