Zach Wells and the MetroStars took in the Barcelona-Nacional match on Sunday.
Rich Schultz/MLS/

Metros fall 1-0 to Crew in friendly

BRADENTON, Fla. – The MetroStars suffered their first loss of the 2005 preseason after falling to the Columbus Crew, 1-0. Crew midfielder Kyle Martino netted the game winner in the 30th minute on a chip shot over the head of Metros goalkeeper Zach Wells.

Despite the loss, the Metros showed improvement from their first game and generated a great deal of pressure on the Crew defense, something they lacked against FC Dallas.

"I think our improvement was because it was our second game. [Wednesday's game vs. Dallas] was our first competitive game in a long time. Today, our feet were a little bit wetter," said midfielder Mike Magee, now in his third year as a MetroStar. "We pressured them a little bit more and created more chances than the first game. We were a bit unlucky to not come up with a goal, but I think everybody put forth a lot more effort."

In the first half, Magee just missed netting a free kick from about 25 yards away. With a line of Crew defenders in front of him, Magee unleashed a brilliant bender that made its way around the wall but did not turn enough to find the goal, as it caught the right side of the net out of bounds.

Magee set up two more scoring opportunities in the first 35 minutes, both on through balls from midfield. On the first, Crew goalkeeper Jon Busch won a footrace with Metros forward Eamon Zayed and stuffed Zayed before he could get a shot off. On the second, MetroStars midfielder Eddie Gaven couldn't quite get the Magee pass under control and fired wide of the net.

During the second half, Crew goalie Matt Jordan made a number of tough saves to preserve the clean sheet. Metros forward Sherif Toure almost tied it up twice, including once in the final 30 seconds.

"You see signs of good things," said Magee. "I could have had one [goal], a couple of the other guys could have had one. We definitely should have come away with one goal, maybe two or three."

"It is early in the season, those goals count towards confidence but you don't get any points for winning in the preseason."

The Metros will return to preseason action on Sunday when they play the U-20 U.S. national team at a time to be determined.

MetroStars 1st Half Starters: Zach Wells, Tim Ward, Jeff Agoos, Carlos Mendes, Tenywa Bonseu, Sherif Toure, Mike Magee, Michael Bradley, Eddie Gaven, Eamon Zayed, John Wolyniec

MetroStars 2nd Half Starters: Eddie Gustafsson, Tim Ward, Diego Giaretta, Carlos Mendes, Tim Regan, Sherif Toure, Michael Bradley, Eddie Gaven, Joseph Rosen, Vlade Glusevic, Mike Magee

Crew 1st Half Starters: Jon Busch, Chad Marshall, Steve Herdsman, Mark Schulte, Kyle Martino, Simon Elliott, Ross Pauley, Domenic Mediate, Danny Szetela, Dante Washington, Marcus Storey

(Halves were 35 minutes apiece)