Craig Ziadie will return to help the MetroStars defend against D.C. United Saturday.
Rich Schultz/MLS/

Weekly update: Metros need big win

MetroStars trail D.C. 2-0:
With the MetroStars 2-0 loss at the hands of D.C. United on Saturday, the MetroStars will be going into the second leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals this Saturday in D.C. with a two-goal deficit. In order for the MetroStars to advance to the next round of the playoffs, they will need to claim a victory of at least two goals. If they hold a two-goal lead at the end of regulation in the second game, the two teams will then advance to a 30-minute golden goal period. If neither team tallies a score in this period, then the winner will be determined by penalty kicks. If the MetroStars are able to end regulation with a lead of three or more goals, then they would automatically advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

The second leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the MetroStars and D.C. United will be played on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET at RFK Stadium in the Nation's Capital. The game will be televised locally by MSG and nationally on Fox Sports World and HDNet.

MetroStars on TV:
Thursday: Metro Soccer Report - MSG, 11 p.m. ET
Saturday: MetroStars @ D.C. United - MSG/FSW/HDNet 7 p.m. ET

Guevara named finalist:
Budweiser Scoring Leader and MetroStars MVP Amado Guevara was named as one of three finalists for the 2004 Honda Major League Soccer Most Valuable Player award. Guevara, along with Colorado's Joe Cannon and D.C.'s Jaime Moreno will be in contention to win the award, which will be awarded on Nov. 11 on the 4: p.m. ET edition of ESPNews, three days before MLS Cup.

MetroStars playoff history:
The 2004 playoff berth for the MetroStars marks the team's sixth trip to the playoffs in their nine-year history. With a 5-9-2 all-time playoff record, the MetroStars have only been able to advance past the first round of the playoffs once, when they were able to overtake the Dallas Burn in 2000 before losing to the Chicago Fire in the semifinals. After Saturday's loss, they now have a 1-3 record vs. D.C. United in the playoffs, being outscored 7-3 in those three contests, while losing in both trips to RFK Stadium.

This year's playoff clinch also marks Bob Bradley's seventh trip to the playoffs in his seven years of being a head coach in MLS. He posted a 13-9-2 playoff record while coaching the Chicago Fire from 1998 to 2002, including a 1998 MLS Cup Championship. In his two seasons with the MetroStars, he has been able to take the club to the playoffs both years, while losing to the New England Revolution in 2003.

Ziadie to return this weekend:
MetroStars defender Craig Ziadie, who was serving a suspension on Saturday due to a red card he was issued in the last game of the regular season vs. D.C., will be returning to the MetroStars backfield for the second leg of the playoffs this Saturday. The Jamaican national and ex-United member has started in 14 of his 15 appearances this season, playing the full 90 minutes in all of those contests except for two.

Lisi returns to the field:
Mark Lisi, the MetroStars assist leader from 2003, who had missed the majority of this season with a right ankle strain, found his way back into action on Saturday. Lisi had not appeared in a game since August 8, a game in which he played only four minutes. Prior to that appearance, Lisi had been sidelined since the June 12 game in which he initially injured his ankle.

"Red and Black" ironmen:
MetroStars forward John Wolyniec is the only player to have appeared in each of the Metros' 31 games this season. Additionally, MetroStars Chris Leitch (30 games) is the only player who has played every minute of every game he has appeared in.

MetroStars host Mexico vs. 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 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 are currently on sale.

"Business Leaders Reception" to precede Mexico vs. Ecuador:
Starting at 6 p.m. before the Mexico vs. Ecuador game on Wednesday, Verizon Wireless is presenting a "Business Leaders Reception" in the Stadium Club in Giants Stadium. The event will give top business executives from the metropolitan area an opportunity to network and discuss current and future business actions in the area, including the MetroStars move to Harrison, N.J. If you are a small business leader in the local community and would like to attend please contact Jorge Ranz of the MetroStars at (201) 583-7014.

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