The MetroStars were 45 minutes away from being closer to the Eastern Conference basement than the fourth and final playoff spot and worse yet, it was John Wolyniec who held the dagger, scoring his first goal as a member of the Columbus Crew.
But down a goal and without their captain and reigning league MVP Amado Guevara, who was serving a one-game suspension, Sergio Galvan Rey delivered. "The King of Goals" first scored the tying goal and then helped set up Youri Djorkaeff's winner in a critical come-from-behind 2-1 win at a thunder storm-filled Giants Stadium Sunday night.
The victory extends the Metros' home unbeaten streak to eight games, dating back to May 21, and most importantly kept the MetroStars in the playoff race in the East after D.C. United, New England, Kansas City and Chicago all won Saturday.
Jeff Parke set up Galvan Rey's goal with a great touch to Mike Magee, who crossed the ball in front to Galvan Rey. And the Colombian-born striker chipped the ball past Jonny Walker two minutes into the second half.
After nearly scoring a second, only to see his clever chip from 25 yards out carom off the post to Walker's right, Galvan Rey helped set up the winner in the 65th minute. His initial shot was blocked by a sliding Chad Marshall and the rebound bounced to Djorkaeff, who put the ball into the open net. Chris Wingert desperately tried to redirect the ball at the last second, but he couldn't stop it from crossing the endline.
Wolyniec, who was traded for Ante Razov in June, headed the ball past Tony Meola inside the near post in the 12th minute to give the Crew a 1-0 lead.
Simon Elliott's corner was blocked, but the MetroStars' attempted clearance was headed by Marshall back to Elliott. This time the New Zealand native's cross got through and Wolyniec nodded home his third goal of the year.
Wolyniec, who had about 30 fans wearing the yellow Crew jerseys with his No. 11 on the back at the game, nearly added another goal in the 39th minute when he outmuscled Chris Leitch and had an open shot at goal. But his attempt from 20 yards out was touched away by Meola, who dived to his left, for a corner kick.
On the ensuing kick Bronx, N.Y., native Knox Cameron saw his header cleared off the line by Metros defender Seth Stammler.
At the 21:26 mark of the first half, the game was delayed 90 minutes because of a lightning storm. When play resumed, Wolyniec nearly added a second goal.
After he outmuscled Chris Leitch, Wolyniec had an open shot at goal. But his attempt from 20 yards out was touched away by Meola, who dived to his left, for a corner kick.
On the ensuing kick Bronx, N.Y. native Knox Cameron saw his header cleared off the line by Seth Stammler.
The MetroStars best scoring chance of the first half came in the 32nd minute when Jeff Agoos ran onto Magee's short corner and chipped the ball towards the far post. But Walker, another former MetroStar, did well to peddle back and tap the ball over the crossbar.
Two minutes later the struggling Eddie Gaven was pulled down by Chris Wingert, who was booked on the play. But Razov's free kick from just outside the box was well wide of the far post.
Gaven had another scoring opportunity in the 53rd minute, but shot the ball wide of Walker's left.
MLSnet.com Man of the Match: Youri Djorkaeff (MetroStars)
Dylan Butler is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.
Columbus Crew (6-12-3) vs. MetroStars (8-7-8)
August 14, 2005 -- Giants Stadium
CLB -- John Wolyniec 3 (Simon Elliott 5, Chad Marshall 1) 12
MET -- Sergio Galvan Rey 6 (Mike Magee 4, Jeff Parke 1) 47
MET -- Youri Djorkaeff 6 (unassisted) 66
Columbus Crew -- Jonny Walker, Chad Marshall, Chris Wingert, Robin Fraser, Frankie Hejduk (Marcus Storey 70), Simon Elliott, Danny Szetela (Eric Vasquez 69), Chris Henderson, Kyle Martino, Knox Cameron (Cornell Glen 61), John Wolyniec.
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Jordan, Mark Schulte.
TOTAL SHOTS: 18 (John Wolyniec 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (John Wolyniec 2); FOULS: 13 (Chris Wingert 4); OFFSIDES: 3 (Kyle Martino 2); CORNER KICKS: 6 (Simon Elliott 5); SAVES: 3 (Jonny Walker 2)
MetroStars -- Tony Meola, Chris Leitch, Jeff Parke, Seth Stammler, Jeff Agoos (Tim Ward 57), Eddie Gaven (Danilo da Silva 88), Michael Bradley, Mike Magee, Sergio Galvan Rey, Youri Djorkaeff, Ante Razov (Eric Quill 85).
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Corcoran, Jason Hernandez, Abbe Ibrahim, Tim Regan, Zach Wells.
TOTAL SHOTS: 21 (Youri Djorkaeff 8); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (4 tied with 1); FOULS: 16 (3 tied with 3); OFFSIDES: 1 (Tim Ward 1); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Mike Magee 4); SAVES: 5 (Tony Meola 4)
CLB -- Chris Wingert (caution; Pushing, Holding) 34
MET -- Jeff Parke (caution; Dissent) 40
MET -- Chris Leitch (caution; Pushing, Holding) 73
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Referee's Assistants: -Craig Lowry; Richard Eddy
4th Official: Jorge Gonzalez
Time of Game: 3:22
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.