Weekly update: Home finale on tap
Up Next, Columbus: On Saturday, October 9, the MetroStars will be facing the Columbus Crew at Giants Stadium in the final regular season home game at 7:30 p.m. (TV: MSG, HDNet, Spanish Radio: WADO 1280 AM). The game will hold vital playoff implications as the Crew stands five points ahead of the Metros in first place in the Eastern Conference. The winner of the conference will be guaranteed home field advantage for the first two rounds of the playoffs, where the second place team will be guaranteed home field for the first round. In their previous three meetings this season, the two teams have played evenly, each posting a win, tie and a loss. The Metros will be looking to stop the Crew, who are currently the hottest team in MLS, going undefeated in their last 15 games.
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).
Next Week, Atlantic Cup Finale: The Metros game on Sunday, October 17 versus D.C. United will conclude the regular season for the "Red and Black" and mark the final chance for the Metros to retain the Atlantic Cup. The winner of the Atlantic Cup is based on standings points earned during the regular season in games pitting the MetroStars against D.C. United. If the teams are even in points after their four meetings, the first tie-breaker becomes total goals, with the second tie-breaker being away goals. If still tied, the current Cup holder (currently the MetroStars) retains the trophy.
With the Metros 1-0 loss to D.C. United on October 2, the Metros are now 1-2 in Atlantic Cup play this season (April 17, W 3-2; July 3, L 6-2; October 2, L 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. The game will be played at 5 p.m. and will be televised on espn2.
MetroStars on TV:
Thursday: Metro Soccer Report - MSG, 11:00 p.m. ET
Saturday: MetroStars vs. Columbus Crew - MSG, 7:30 p.m. ET
Saturday: MetroStars vs. Columbus Crew - HDNet, 7:30 p.m. ET
MetroStars Playoff Fever Heats Up: With their 2-0 win over the Dallas Burn on September 25, the MetroStars have guaranteed a return of MetroStars Playoff Fever and a position in the 2004 postseason. With only two games remaining in the season, the MetroStars will be fighting to earn home field advantage for the playoffs. If the Metros are able to overcome their five-point deficit to the Crew in their final two games, then they will be guaranteed home field advantage for the first two rounds. If they stay in their current second place position, they will only be guaranteed home field for the first round. With 39 points, the Metros stand five points behind Eastern Conference leader Columbus, who still has three games to play this season. Behind the MetroStars stands D.C. United with 36 points, Chicago Fire with 33, and New England Revolution, who are within three points of a playoff berth with 30 points.
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 Unveil 'Unity' Bands: In Saturday's game versus D.C. United, all of the MetroStars were seen wearing red bands bearing the MetroStars logo and the word "Unity" 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.
Players Called For National Duty: The MetroStars will have to face Columbus this week without the help of several starters due to national team duties. Jonny Walker, Eddie Gaven and Eddie Pope will be playing for the U.S. National Team as they take on El Salvador in El Salvador on October 9 and then Panama in Washington D.C. on October 13. Amado Guevara will help his native Honduras as they face Canada in Honduras on October 9 and Guatemala in Guatemala on October 13. The Jamaican National Team and Craig Ziadie travel to play Panama on October 9 and return to Jamaica on October 13 to face El Salvador. Finally, Cornell Glen was called up to help his native Trinidad and Tobago play St. Kitts in Trinidad on October 10 and then travel to take on Mexico on October 13.
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' 28 games this season. Additionally, MetroStars Chris Leitch (27 games) is the only player who has played every minute of every game he has appeared in.
No Place Like Home: Despite the MetroStars 1-0 loss at home to D.C. United, their play at home has been strong throughout the season as they now have a record of 7-4-3 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 three times (April 25, 2004 1-1 vs. New England Revolution; May 15, 2004 1-1 vs. Chicago Fire; August 29, 2004 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).
Honor Roll: The MetroStars announced last week 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, NJ. The 2nd annual event will take place on Tuesday, October 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 ten 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).
Parke and Guevara on Caution Warning: Metros midfielder Amado Guevara will have to be on his best behavior as he is still on caution point accumulation warning. If he receives an infraction of three or more points in any of the Metros remaining games, he will have to serve a one-game suspension. Defender Jeff Parke will also have to avoid receiving a caution as he has amassed 19 caution points thus far. If Parke receives a penalty of two or more points throughout the rest of the season, he will also be forced to serve a one game suspension.
Firing Away: The MetroStars are not afraid of shooting the ball. The team leads the league for most shots overall with 428. The Colorado Rapids rank second in the league with 381. In addition, the MetroStars also lead the league in shots on goal with 183 strikes - six 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 44 goals - which is four ahead of the Los Angeles Galaxy for most in the league. The MetroStars have surpassed their goals scored mark from 2003 by four with two more games to play in the regular 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).
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 9-5-4 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, NJ (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 to Participate in "Jefferson Township Day": On Saturday, October 16, the MetroStars and Metro the Mascot will be participating in the annual Fall Festival at Camp Jefferson in Jefferson Township, NJ. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature the Sierra Mist Dribble, Pass and Score competition hosted by the MetroStars and Metro the Mascot. Other events at the Fall Festival will include seasonal activities such as pumpkin picking and painting, hayrides, pony rides and a haunted house. Free admission to the day's events will be granted with the donation of a non-perishable food item or a paper product.
Discounted tickets are also available for "Jefferson Township Day" at Giants Stadium this Saturday when the MetroStars play their division-rival the Columbus Crew at 7:30 p.m. For more information, please contact the Recreation Department at (973) 208-3638 or via email at email@example.com.
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 Wednesday, October 27 at 8:00 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.
Future MetroStars Game to Feature on HDNet: The October 9 game versus Columbus will be featured on HDNet.