MetroStars at Crew - pregame report

MetroStars @ Columbus Crew

Date: Saturday, September 18, 2004
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

Local TV: MSG
Play-by-play: JP Dellacamera
Analyst: Shep Messing
Sideline: Steve Cangialosi
Producer: Eddie Caggianelli

Local Spanish TV/Radio: FSN-NY/WADO 1280 AM
Play-by-play: Ernesto Motta/Mario Concha
Analyst: Robert Sierra/Wilfredo Campos

Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee's Asst.: Tom Supple (SAR), Bill Dittmar (JAR)
Fourth Official: Hilario Grajeda

Injury Report:
Michael Bradley - OUT - Stress Fracture of Right Talarnavicular
Tenywa Bonseu - Questionable - Left Achilles Tendonitis
Gilberto - Doubtful - Left Great Toe Infection
Mark Lisi - OUT - Right Ankle Strain
Joselito Vaca - OUT - Right MCL Sprain

Probable Starters

GK #1 Jonny Walker
D #3 Chris Leitch
D #12 Jeff Parke
D #23 Eddie Pope
D #30 Tenywa Bonseu
M #20 Amado Guevara
M #24 Eddie Gaven
M #11 Pablo Brenes
M #7 Mike Magee
F #13 Cornell Glen
F #15 John Wolyniec


Up next, Columbus:
On Saturday the MetroStars travel to Columbus to take on the first place Crew at 7:30 p.m. ET (TV: MSG, Spanish Radio: WADO 1280 AM, Spanish TV: FSN-NY). The Metros have squared off with the Crew twice with the MetroStars beating the Crew 3-1 in the April 3 season opener, and tying them 1-1 on August 29.

The Metros will not be returning to the Meadowlands until their October 2 match-up with D.C. United. On September 25, they travel to take on the Dallas Burn at 8:30 p.m. ET. Both games will be televised by MSG and covered on 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:
Saturday: MetroStars vs. Columbus Crew - MSG, 7:30 p.m. ET
Saturday: MetroStars vs. Columbus Crew - FSN-NY (Spanish Broadcast)

Metros on doorstep:
With their 3-2 victory over the New England Revolution last Saturday, the MetroStars moved to within one point of first place. They are now sitting in second place with 36 points, on the heels of the Columbus Crew who sit in first place with 37. The Crew and the Metros meet up two more times this season. Behind the Metros in the division stands the Chicago Fire with 29 points, D.C. United with 27, and the New England Revolution with 24.

Possible playoff clinch:
The MetroStars could clinch an Eastern Conference playoff berth on Saturday, when they face off against the Columbus Crew. There are two scenarios in which the MetroStars could qualify. The first is with a win against the Columbus Crew and a New England Revolution loss or tie with the Colorado Rapids. The second possiblility would be a MetroStars tie coupled with a Revolution loss.

No place like home:
The MetroStars play at home continues to be strong. With their win last weekend they now have a record of 7-3-3 in Giants Stadium. They have won seven 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; September 11, 2004 3-2 vs. New England Revolution), tied three times (April 25, 2004 1-1 vs. New England Revolution; May 15, 2004 1-1 vs. Chicago Fire; August 29, 2004 vs. Columbus Crew) 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).

Guevara returns to action:
The MetroStars will welcome the return of midfielder Amado Guevara for this Saturday's game vs. Columbus. Guevara, who leads the league with 28 points (10 goals, 8 assists), has been out of action since the Metros last meeting with Columbus on August 29. He missed the September 4 game against Colorado due to Honduran national team duties and was unable to play in last Saturday's game versus the Revolution because of a red card issued in the August 29 game against the Crew.

Parke and Guevara on caution warning:
Metros Midfielder Amado Guevara will have to be on his best behavior as he is still on caution point accumulation warning. If he receives an infraction of three or more points in any of the Metros remaining games, he will have to serve a one-game suspension. Defender Jeff Parke will also have to avoid receiving a caution as he has amassed 19 caution points thus far. If Parke receives a penalty of two or more points throughout the rest of the season, he will also be forced to serve a one game suspension.

"Red and Black" ironmen:
MetroStars forward John Wolyniec is the only player to have appeared in each of the Metros' 25 games this season. Additionally, MetroStars Chris Leitch (24 games) is the only player who has played every minute of every game he has appeared in.

Firing away:
The MetroStars are not afraid of shooting the ball. The team leads the league for most shots overall with 395. The Colorado Rapids rank second in the league with 354. In addition, the MetroStars also lead the league in shots on goal with 168 strikes - nine more 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 40 goals - which is one ahead of the Los Angeles Galaxy for most in the league. The MetroStars have equaled their goals scored mark from 2003 with five more games to play in the regular season.

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 12 games. With an average of 1.58 goals per away game, the MetroStars are ahead of the L.A. Galaxy (1.42 average). The Metros also rank second in the league in both first-half goals with 18 and second-half goals with 22.

Penalty kick perfection:
Mike Magee's 31st minute penalty kick score was the first PK taken by any MetroStar player this season in MLS play other than Amado Guevara. With the goal, the Metros are now a perfect seven for seven on penalty kicks. Other teams that own a perfect PK percentage include the Columbus Crew (7 of 7), the Los Angeles Galaxy (4 of 4), the Dallas Burn (2 of 2) and D.C. United (1 of 1).

Wolyniec and Gaven move up:
John Wolyniec's assist moved him into 13th place in the Budweiser Scoring Leaders list. He now has seven goals and three assists, giving him 17 points on the season. Wolyniec's tally is just one point behind teammate Eddie Gaven, who increased his total to 18 with his first half goal. He now has six goals and six assists on the season, good for 12th in the league.

Down but not out:
When the MetroStars were able to come back from a two-goal deficit on Saturday, it marked their biggest come from behind victory since they overcame a 2-0 D.C. United lead on May 5, 2001. The Metros went on to win that match 3-2. For the season, the Metros have been able to overcome a deficit more times than any other team. They have been able to win four games and tie three when allowing the first goal. Interestingly, the Metros are also tied with the Revolution for winning percentage when trailing at the half.

White out:
The MetroStars' white kits have become a bad omen this season, as the team is 1-6-2 when donning them. Conversely, they are 9-3-4 when wearing their red and black-striped jerseys. The team usually wears their all-white uniforms for away games. In comparison, last season the MetroStars were 6-6-5 in their red and black uniforms and 5-4-4 in their white kits.

Walker turns 30:
Goalkeeper Jonny Walker celebrated his 30th birthday on Monday, September 13.

MetroStars host Mexico v Ecuador:
The MetroStars announced that they have partnered with Soccer United Marketing to host an international match between the national teams of Mexico and Ecuador at Giants Stadium on Wednesday, October 27 at 8 p.m. ET. The game, presented by The Home Depot, is part of the 2004 "Coca-Cola Presents Real Mexican Soccer" Tour and it will mark the sole appearance of both Mexico and Ecuador in the New York City area this year. Tickets for the match will start at just $20, and will go on sale to the public on Friday, September 17.

Tickets for the Mexico vs. Ecuador match range from $20 to $60 in price and are on sale through all Ticketmaster outlets, the box office at Giants Stadium, all Delgado Travel agencies and MetroStars Small Business Partner locations. Tickets can also be purchased by calling 1-888-4METROTIX (1-888-463-8768).

Future MetroStars game to feature on HDNet:
The October 9 game versus Columbus will be featured on HDNet.

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