Metros vs. Rapids: Pregame report

Date: Saturday, August 21, 2004
Time: 9 p.m. ET
Location: INVESCO Field at Mile High, Denver, CO

Local TV: MSG
Play-by-play: Steve Cangialosi
Analyst: Shep Messing
Producer: Eddie Caggianelli
HTN Confirmation Number: 15375

Local Spanish Radio: WADO 1280 AM
Play-by-play: Ernesto Motta
Analyst: Robert Sierra

Referee: Erich Simmons
Referee's Asst.: Kermit Quisenberry (SAR), Steve Davidson (JAR)
Fourth Official: Mark Geiger

Injury Report:
Michael Bradley - OUT - Stress Fracture of Right Talarnavicular
Gilberto - OUT - Ruptured Torn Posterior Tibial Tendon in Left Ankle
Mark Lisi - OUT - Right Ankle Strain
Mike Magee - OUT - Sprained Left MCL
Craig Ziadie - OUT - Sprained Left LCL

Probable Starters
GK #1 Jonny Walker
D #3 Chris Leitch
D #12 Jeff Parke
D #23 Eddie Pope
D #30 Tenywa Bonseu
M #2 Ricardo Clark
M #24 Eddie Gaven
M #10 Joselito Vaca
M #20 Amado Guevara
F #15 John Wolyniec
F #9 Sergio Galvan Rey


Up next, Colorado:
On Saturday the MetroStars take on the Colorado Rapids at 9 p.m. ET (TV: MSG, HDNet, Spanish Radio: WADO 1280 AM) in Denver. The "Red and Black" lost 3-2 in their first encounter against the Rapids at Giants Stadium on June 30. MetroStars fans can watch the action this weekend from Croton Reservoir Tavern on 108 West 40th Street in New York. Budweiser and Bud Light bottles will be sold for $3 while Rhinegold bottles will cost $2.

The MetroStars' next home game is on August 29 when the Metros take on the Columbus Crew at 6 p.m. ET (Spanish Radio: WADO 1280 AM). In the first game of the season, two Mark Lisi assists helped the "Red and Black" to a 3-1 victory in Columbus on April 3.

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).

Metros still leading:
Even with their 1-0 loss against the Dallas Burn last Sunday, the MetroStars have retained the top spot in the Eastern Conference with 32 points. They are now three points ahead of the Columbus Crew and seven ahead of D.C. United. The Chicago Fire and New England Revolution are further adrift with 23 and 22 points respectively, both with no games in hand over the "Red and Black." The Crew has one game in hand over the MetroStars.

Playing like Giants:
Even with their loss Sunday night, the MetroStars' play at home has been strong this season. They have a record of 6-3-2 in Giants Stadium. They have won six 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), tied twice (April 25, 2004 1-1 vs. New England Revolution; May 15, 2004 1-1 vs. Chicago Fire) and lost three 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).

Gaven, Pope, Walker with US:
MetroStars defender and captain Eddie Pope played a full 90 minutes for the U.S. national team on Wednesday in their 1-1 draw with Jamaica in Kingston, Jamaica. MetroStars goalkeeper Jonny Walker was with the national team as well, serving as the back-up goalkeeper. Eddie Gaven was with the team on the bench, however he was not on the active 18-man roster.

Guevara With Honduras:
MetroStars midfielder Amado Guevara was away from the team this week, as he captained the Honduran national team in their World Cup Qualifying Match against Costa Rica on August 18. Guevara who now has 84 caps for Honduras, tallied a goal in leading the team to a 5-2 victory.

Recently in MLS, Guevara has been on fire for the Metros. Guevara is tied for first in goals scored (10) and assists (8) and leads the league in points per game (1.56 ppg). The reigning July MLS Player of the Month currently has a point in nine consecutive league games, garnering seven goals and six assists during the stretch (20 points) and is the MLS Budweiser Scoring leader with 28 points. Guevara has scored from a dead ball situation in five straight games which he has played in (four penalty kicks, one free kick).

Brenes stars in Olympics:
MetroStars midfielder Pablo Brenes made his mark with the Costa Rican Olympic team on Wednesday as he scored the fourth goal in the team's 4-2 drudging of Portugal. Brenes' goal was the goal that put the Costa Rican team through on goal differentials as they edged Morroco. Brenes also played in the team's two prior group play matches against Iraq and Morroco. Costa Rica will next face Argentina on Saturday, at Noon ET.

Brenes, who was acquired on June 4, has appeared six times for the MetroStars, starting in one game.

Smooth Jonny:
Even though the Metros lost 1-0 to the Dallas Burn last Sunday, MetroStars goalkeeper Jonny Walker has continued his strong form. Ever since the team's humbling 6-2 defeat to D.C. United on July 3, Walker has been on a roll, earning two clean sheets in the last six games. Opponents have not been able to score more than one goal since the game against United. Walker has averaged a stingy 0.67 goals against average in the last six league games.

Metros hope to dam Rapids:
In the teams' first meeting this season on June 30, two late Colorado goals helped lift the Rapids to a 3-2 victory over the Metros. The MetroStars have lost the last two games against the Rapids. In 19 encounters, the two teams have only drawn once. The "Red and Black" will have to look out for midfielder Chris Henderson, who has one goal and nine assists in 23 games against the MetroStars. In addition, in his first game against the Metros on the 30, Rapids forward Jordan Cila scored two goals, including the game winner in the 89th minute.

MetroStars forward Sergio Galvan Rey earned his first league goal and points as a MetroStar during the June 30 loss. Galvan Rey also had an assist in that game. MetroStars midfielder Joselito Vaca has eight points in nine games against Colorado while midfielder Eddie Gaven scored in the teams' last encounter.

Shutting The Door:
The "Red and Black" are generally very solid in closing out games. When the MetroStars are ahead after the 75th minute, they are 8-1-0. In addition, when the Metros score the first goal, they are an impressive 6-1-2.

Fighting for the result:
The MetroStars are clutch in close game situations. They are strong in one-goal games this year (5-3-0) and have proven to fight back from a goal down. The Metros are 3-6-3 when going down after conceding the first goal - a record which is the best in the league.

Loving the Red and Black:
The MetroStars are 8-3-3 when wearing their red and black-striped jerseys, compared to 1-4-2 when wearing their white kits. The team usually wears their all-white uniforms for away games. In comparison, the MetroStars were 6-6-5 in their red and black uniforms last year while 5-4-4 in their white kits during the 2003 season.

Firing away:
The MetroStars are not afraid of shooting the ball. The team leads the league for most shots overall with 331. Their nearest opponent is the Dallas Burn with 299. In addition, the MetroStars are second in the league in shots on goal with 134 strikes - three less 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 36 goals - most in the league ahead of the L.A. Galaxy's 35. In the 2003 season, the MetroStars' offense scored 40 goals. 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 19 tallies in ten games. With an average of 1.90 goals per away game, the MetroStars are ahead of the L.A. Galaxy (1.45 average). The Metros are also second in the league in first-half goals with 15.

Not one hit wonders:
MetroStars forward John Wolyniec is the only player to have appeared in each of the Metros' 21 games this season. Additionally, MetroStars Chris Leitch (20 games) is the only player who has played every minute of every game he has appeared in.

Metros' hit Black Sunday:
The MetroStars loss last Sunday against the Dallas Burn marks their first loss of this season during a Sunday match. The MetroStars are now 2-1-1 when playing on Sunday this year.

Not in the red:
The MetroStars have been on good behavior throughout the season. They are the only team that has not earned a red card this season.

Time and TV changes:
The MetroStars' September 11, 2004 game time against the New England Revolution will be pushed back from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and will be shown on MSG rather than ESPN2. Additionally, the MetroStars' August 29 game against the Columbus Crew will no longer be televised.

Future MetroStars games to feature on HDNet:
Three of the MetroStars' remaining games this year will be shown on HDNet. The matches that will feature this service are the MetroStars' August 21 game at Colorado, September 11 game against New England and October 9 against Columbus.

MetroStars honored By Hudson County:
The MetroStars were recognized for their contribution to the County of Hudson's Summer Youth Employment Program at a ceremony which took place last Tuesday, August 10. Thomas DeGise, the County Executive, thanked the MetroStars and other companies for their continuing support of the program.

Four NY teams to play in Copa Budweiser: Rochelle United, NY Ecuador, Dragons and New York Champions, Orion Costa Rica, are all advancing to face the top four qualifying teams from New Jersey and compete for the Budweiser-sponsored Copa Budweiser Metro Championship and $5,000 in prize money at Giants Stadium on September 11 after the MetroStars' 6 p.m. game against the New England Revolution. The Copa Budweiser is an invitational 6 V. 6 tournament consisting of a qualifying tournament which took place at the Metropolitan Oval in Maspeth, Queens on August 7.

The event in Maspeth featured appearances by MetroStars Amado Guevara, Sergio Galvan Rey and Joselito Vaca, the MetroMobile and the Bud Light Hummer, complete with interactive games and give-a-ways. There was also a soccer festival, complete with DJ's, food, as well as live radio call-in's to Latino Mix and WADO 1280 AM. In addition, the final will take place on Hispanic Heritage Day - an event which will feature a pre-game concert and festival starting at 3 p.m.

Player appearances:
On August 18, MetroStars forward Sergio Galvan Rey will be at the grand opening meet and greet at First Atlantic Bank in Long Branch, N.J. The event took place from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. On Thursday, MetroStars midfielder Mark Lisi made an appearance at Kieran Soccer Academy in Rye, N.Y., from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Name Note:
When referencing the MetroStars in any print or broadcast media, please note that the team name no longer includes "New York/New Jersey" or "NY/NJ". The team should be solely referred to as the "MetroStars". In addition, if you would like to abbreviate the name, please do so as "Metros" not "Metro".

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