Eddie Pope and the Metros return to MLS action on Saturday.
Rick Schultz/MLS/WireImage.com

Metros to play Rough Riders, Fire

On Tuesday, the MetroStars are playing a friendly against the Long Island Rough Riders at the Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale, NY starting at 7:30 p.m. The match is part of a partnership the two organizations made earlier this year.

Next weekend, the MetroStars will hit the road for their next game against DaMarcus Beasley and the Chicago Fire on July 17 (TV: MSG, Spanish Radio: WADO 1280 AM) at 8 p.m. ET, trying to break their nine-game winless streak against their Eastern Conference rivals. The "Red and Black" then head down to Charlestown, SC to face the Charleston Battery at 7:30 in a 2004 U.S. Open Cup game on July 20. The MetroStars' next home game is on July 24, when they host the Fire at 7:30 p.m (TV: FSNY, Spanish Radio: WADO 1280 AM).

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, 11:00 p.m. ET
Saturday: MetroStars at Chicago - MSG, 8:00 p.m. ET

Bradley One From 100: MetroStars Head Coach Bob Bradley is one win away from reaching 100 career wins. Bradley's all-time league record of 99 career regular season victories is 20 more than the closest active coach, Sigi Schmid. Schmid needs four more to surpass Thomas Rongen (DC, NE, TB) for second place in career regular season victories.

If Bradley's 100th victory comes within the next two league games (July 17, 24) against the Chicago Fire, it will be ironic since 82 of his victories came at the helm of the Windy City team. Bradley has earned 17 wins with the MetroStars since being named Head Coach on October 22, 2002.

Eddies Make Their Mark: MetroStars midfielder Eddie Gaven and defender Eddie Pope both appeared in the United States' 1-1 draw against Poland on Sunday. Coming on as an 82nd minute substitute for Kerry Zavagnin, Gaven became the fourth youngest player ever to appear in a senior national team game at 17 years and 260 days. Pope also played a key role in the game, playing the full 90 minutes in the heart of the American defense. Both players were named as Eastern Conference starters last week for the July 31 MLS All-Star Game.

The MetroStars will look forward to having both players back from national team duty. Gaven has scored four goals in the past four MLS games, building from his two-goal performance on June 23rd against the Los Angeles Galaxy. The 17-year-old star has 13 points in 15 games this season.

Pope has now earned 62 caps for his country, wearing the captain's armband on several occasions during international matches this year. Pope has started in 12 of the team's 16 games and helped the "Red and Black" to their Eastern Conference-leading record of 6-6-4. He has scored six goals for his national team.

Back On Top: With their 2-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, coupled with losses by key rivals, the MetroStars have retaken the top spot in the Eastern Conference with 22 points. They are two points ahead of D.C. United and three ahead of the Columbus Crew. This Saturday's opponent, the Chicago Fire, are farther adrift with 18 points but currently have a game in hand over the "Red and Black." The Crew has two games in hand over the MetroStars.

Guevara's Amadoriffic: MetroStars midfielder Amado Guevara continued his strong form for the "Red and Black" with an assist on John Wolyniec's 63rd minute goal and a strike from the penalty spot on Saturday. It was his sixth goal and seventh assist of the season. Guevara now has earned at least a point in five consecutive league games, garnering three goals and five assists during that stretch (11 points). Guevara's 19 points off six goals and seven assists this year, puts him in sole position of second place on the MLS Budweiser Scoring list. He is one point behind L.A. Galaxy striker Carlos Ruiz. Guevara was also named as an MLS All-Star starter last week, along with teammates Eddie Pope and Eddie Gaven. He has now has racked up four goals and three assists in four career games against San Jose.

Woly In The Box: In his ninth start, MetroStars forward John Wolyniec scored his fourth goal of the season in the 63rd minute on Saturday. The Staten Island, NY native last scored in a May 30, 2004 1-0 victory over the Kansas City Wizards, where his 73rd minute tally earned him Man-of-the-Match honors. Wolyniec has played in each of the MetroStars' 16 games this season and scored the eventual game winner in a 3-1 victory versus the Columbus Crew on April 3.

In addition, MetroStars defender Craig Ziadie earned his first point of the season with an assist on Wolyniec's goal and goalkeeper Jonny Walker rebounded from the team's 6-2 defeat to D.C. United with his third shutout of the season on Saturday.

Quaking San Jose: With the MetroStars' 2-0 win over the San Jose on Saturday, the "Red and Black" extended their home-unbeaten streak against the Earthquakes to five (four ties, one win).

Going For Goal: The high-powered MetroStars offense has been productive this year, scoring 28 goals - second most in the league behind the L.A. Galaxy's 32. In addition, the MetroStars are tied for first with D.C. United in first-half goals with 12 tallies. The "Red and Black" are 4-1-2 after scoring the first goal.

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 16 tallies in eight games. With an average of two goals per away game, the MetroStars are ahead of the second-placed L.A. Galaxy (1.86 average).

Home Sweet Home: The MetroStars have a record of 4-2-2 in East Rutherford. They have won four 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), tied twice (April 25, 2004 1-1 vs. New England Revolution; May 15, 2004 1-1 vs. Chicago Fire) and lost twice (June 5, 2004 2-0 vs. Dallas Burn; June 30, 2004 3-2 vs. Colorado Rapids).

Lovin' The Red and Black: The MetroStars are 6-2-2 when wearing their red and black-striped jerseys, compared to 0-4-2 wearing their white kits. The team usually wears their all-white uniforms when traveling for away games.

Brenes Going to Athens: MetroStars midfielder/defender Pablo Brenes was called to the Costa Rican Olympic Team in preparation for the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games starting in early August. The 21-year-old left to join his squad Sunday. Brenes has appeared six times for the MetroStars, starting in one game. Costa Rica plays their first group game in the Olympic tournament on August 12 against Morocco. Their other Group D opponents are Iraq and Portugal. The top two teams in each of the four groups will advance to the tournament's quarterfinals.

Metros Celebrate Colombian Heritage Day: The MetroStars will be hosting a Colombian Heritage Day on Saturday, July 24 at Giants Stadium. The event will celebrate Colombian culture and include a series of activities throughout the day. Prior to the MetroStars game against the Chicago Fire at 7:30 p.m., a free Colombian festival will take place outside of Giants Stadium. The festival will include live Colombian entertainment from some of the area's top local talent, and authentic Colombian food, provided by some of the area's top Colombian restaurants. The festival will begin at 4 p.m. and end just before the MetroStars kickoff.

This is the first-ever Colombian Heritage Day with the MetroStars. The MetroStars began their Heritage Series last season. This is the second part of six events this year - the MetroStars hosted a Greek Heritage Day last Saturday and will host four other events, including Colombian (July 24), Caribbean/Guatemalan (August 8), Ecuadorian (August 15) and Hispanic (September 11) days.