Eddie Pope and Landon Donovan will square off again this weekend.
John Todd/MLS/WireImage.com

Champion Earthquakes next for Metros

Up next, San Jose
The MetroStars will get a much deserved full week off from match play before they come back to Giants Stadium and take on the the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday at 4 p.m. (TV: ESPN2, Spanish Radio: WADO 1280 AM). In their last encounter on June 12, a Jeff Parke goal could not overcome two late goals scored by the Earthquakes, and the Metros suffered a 3-1 loss at Spartan Stadium.

The MetroStars will then travel west a week later to take on the Chicago Fire (TV: MSG, Spanish Radio: WADO 1280) at Soldier Field before coming back to Giants Stadium to again face the Fire in an important home-home Eastern Conference series.

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).

MetroStars on TV
Thursday: Metro Soccer Report - MSG, 11 p.m. ET
Saturday: MetroStars vs. San Jose Earthquakes - ESPN2, 4 p.m. ET

Metros in Second
After last weekend's MLS action, the Eastern Conference has tightened up and the MetroStars have fallen into second place, one point behind D.C. United. The "Red and Black" (19 points) are also just one point ahead of the Columbus Crew, and two points ahead of the Chicago Fire. The New England Revolution round out the Conference table in fifth place with 12 points.

Hot Eddie G.
MetroStars midfielder Eddie Gaven continued his hot streak for the club, scoring a 18th minute goal in Saturday's 6-2 loss against D.C. United. Gaven has now scored four goals in four games, building from his two-goal performance on June 23 against the Los Angeles Galaxy. Gaven also earned an assist on Fabian Taylor's 63rd minute goal, giving the starlet 13 points for the year.

On June 30, the 17-year-old also was called up to the U.S. senior national team for the squad's international friendly against Poland on July 11. If Gaven earns an appearance for the national team in that game, he will be the fourth youngest American player to earn a senior cap.

Amado's piping hot
MetroStars midfielder Amado Guevara continued his fiery form for the "Red and Black" with an assist on Eddie Gaven's 18th minute goal on Saturday. Last week, The Professional Soccer Reporters Association (PSRA) named the Honduran MLS Player of the Week for the week ending June 27 (Week 13). The Honduran international tallied two goals and two assists for the Metros in two games on opposite coasts within a four-day stretch after returning from international duty in World Cup qualifying. With his 16 points off five goals and six assists on the year, Guevara is tied with Kansas City Wizards Davy Arnaud and San Jose's Brian Ching in second place on the MLS Budweiser Scoring list, just two points behind the Galaxy's Carlos Ruiz. He is also tied with Chris Albright (LA), Chris Klein (KC), Jaime Moreno (DC), Ronnie O'Brien (DAL) for the league assist lead with six.

Goal-scoring Taylor
MetroStars forward Fabian Taylor scored his fifth goal of the year during the team's 6-2 loss on Saturday. Taylor, who has appeared in 12 games for the team, has a strong record against United despite this past weekend's result. In the last two games against the Black and Red, the Jamaican has scored three goals including two in a Man-of-the-Match performance on April 17th in a Metros' 3-2 victory.

Eddies earn U.S. call-up
MetroStars defender Eddie Pope and midfielder Eddie Gaven were called to the U.S. national team by U.S. men's national team manager Bruce Arena for the team's July 11 international friendly against Poland at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. The match will serve as a final tune-up for the team in preparation for its semifinal round of FIFA World Cup qualifying. Gaven and Pope will consequently miss the MetroStars' match on Saturday against the San Jose Earthquakes.

Gaven (17 years, 260 days old) could be one of the youngest Americans to make an appearance for the senior national team - fourth behind Mike Slivinski (16 years, 318 days old - 9/14/1991 vs. Jamaica), Mark Jonas (16 years, 332 days old - 9/14/1991 vs. Jamaica) and Bobby Convey (17 years, 151 days old - 10/25/2000 vs. Mexico). He has earned several appearances and starts on other U.S. national teams, most notably playing for the Under-17 national squad that took fifth place at the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Finland. Gaven most recently appeared for the United States on the under-23 national team during Olympic Qualifying. During the 2004 Olympic qualifying, he became the youngest player ever to appear on a U.S. Olympic qualifying team (at 17 years and 89 days), passing fellow New Jersey native Claudio Reyna. Reyna was 17 years and 336 days when he made his appearance in the tournament. Third on the list is current U.S. national team and Chicago Fire star DaMarcus Beasley, who appeared at 17 years and 362 days.

Pope has earned 61 caps for his country, wearing the captain's armband on several occasions during international matches this year. The defender last appeared in a 3-0 first-leg World Cup qualifier victory over Grenada on June 13. Although he has missed time with the MetroStars due to international duty, Pope has started in 10 of the team's 13 games and helped the "Red and Black" to their Eastern Conference-leading record of 5-4-4. He has scored six goals for his national team.

Giant advantage
The MetroStars have a record of 3-2-2 in East Rutherford. They have won three times (April 17, 3-2 vs. D.C. United; May 30, 1-0 vs. Kansas City Wizards; June 19, 2-1 vs. L.A. Galaxy), tied twice (April 25, 1-1 vs. New England Revolution; May 15, 1-1 vs. Chicago Fire) and lost twice (June 5, 2-0 vs. Dallas Burn; June 30 3-2 vs. Colorado Rapids).

Metros to Take on Charleston in Open Cup
With a 2-0 victory over the Wilmington Hammerheads in Charleston last week, the Charleston Battery earned the right to host the MetroStars in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on July 20th. The "Red and Black" have faced the Battery in the past, losing to them 4-1 in the 2001 Open Cup tournament.

Brazilian birthday boy on the mend
MetroStars midfielder Gilberto will be celebrating his 21st birthday on July 5 (Monday). Unfortunately for the Brazilian, he will be on the sidelines for 12-16 weeks, after suffering a ruptured torn posterior tibial tendon in his left ankle in the MetroStars game against the New England Revolution on June 26.

Keeping the lead
When leading at halftime, the MetroStars are 2-0-1. Even more promising, when the MetroStars are ahead after the 75th minute, the "Red and Black" are 4-1-0.

Bradley two away from century
MetroStars Head Coach Bob Bradley is two wins away from reaching 100 career wins. Bradley's all-time league record of 98 career regular season victories is 22 more than the closest active coach, Sigi Schmid. Schmid needs seven more to surpass Thomas Rongen (DC, NE, TB) for second place in career regular season victories.

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