MLS Player of the Week Amado “El Lobo” Guevara would have recognized the importance of last Sunday’s clash at the Swamp. Instead, Guevara single-handedly kept the Metros alive in the Eastern Conference playoff chase with a hat trick that included an injury-time, curling goalazo-azo-azo from twenty yards out to salvage a point in a 3-3 draw.
The Metros took the field without defensive stalwarts Chris Leitch (suspended), Jeff Agoos and Carlos Mendes (injured), and were victimized twice by the Goats’ Palencia for two goals in a five-minute span in the first half, and by Juan Pablo Garcia after halftime. Guevara scored twice on penalty kicks before curling his highlight-reel goal into the top right corner off a restart pass from Youri Djorkaeff with only seconds remaining.
The draw left the Metros on the outside looking in, five points behind DC United, who have one game at hand.
The Eastern Conf looks like this:
Team, Pts, GD, Matches left (Home/Away), Most Possible Points
1. New England 42, +15, (5/4), 69
2. Kansas City 41, +12, (5/3), 65
3. Chicago 39, 0, (2/5), 60
4. DC United 38, +12, (4/5), 65
MetroStars 33, +3, (3/5), 57
I’ve left off sixth-place Columbus. Thankfully, the Metro are off until Sept. 3rd, and hopefully can get completely healthy. If the Metro wants in, they’re going to have to earn it, as they have home-and-homes with KC, NE, and DC, a match at Chicago and a return match at Chivas to end the regular season. The Fire looks like the easiest to catch, as Chicago plays a majority of matches on the road, including two California road trips (LA and SJ).
Today at 3:30 ET, the MLS Select XI, including Guevara and Djorkaeff take on Real Madrid on FSC. My TiVo is ready to go. Enjoy.