Monday, September 26, 2005

Leaving It ‘Til Late

Coming into Saturday’s match, MetroStars and New England Revolution had played three times this MLS season, and in every match, the game-deciding goal was scored in the 85th minute or later:

-May 21st @ Giants Stadium: Twellman scored in the 89th to give NE a 2-2 draw
-June 25th @ Gilette: Ralston breaks a tie in the 86th and the Revs win, 4-2
-Sept. 17th @ Giants Stadium: Youri’s 89th minute blast off Reis gives Metro a 5-4 win

It came as no surprise, then, that Saturday’s crucial contest (for the Metro, anyway) was settled with only minutes to spare as the Revs’ James Riley found himself unmarked in the six-yard box and scored in the 85th minute, giving New England a 1-0 victory.

With the win, the Revs became the first Eastern Conference club to clinch a playoff berth, and is in possession of an eight-point lead for home field advantage. The Metros, however, had a five-match unbeaten run snapped and lost a chance to gain ground on the 4th place K.C. Wizards, who dropped a 2-1 decision at LA last night. Much could be settled this coming weekend, and four Eastern Rivals face off. Chicago, for instance, could find themselves in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th after this weekend’s matches. It’s easy to see why the past few games have been so entertaining, as the teams are ratcheting up their intensity level for meaningful matches.

The current Eastern Conference picture:
Team, Pts, GD, Matches remaining (H/A), Most Possible Points
1. New England 55, +19, (2/1), 64
2. DC United 47, +17, (2/2), 59
3. Chicago 45, +2 (2/3), 60
4. Kansas City 43, +19, (2/1), 52
MetroStars 40, +4, (1/3), 52
Columbus 34, -10 (1/3) 46

Matches this week:
Sat 10/1: NE v SJ, MET v DC, KC v CHI, CMB v CHV

Tough Lima Beans
The US U-17 squad was 5 minutes away from emerging from the first round with a perfect record, but the Cote d’Ivoire’s Siaka Bamba scored in the 87th minute to force a 1-1 draw. The result didn’t prevent the US from winning the group, though, and the Mini-Nats will face off against a strong Holland team today (5pm et, FSC) in the quarterfinals in Peru. Holland made it through group play with wins over Gambia and Qatar and a loss to Brazil. If the US advances, they’ll face… Mexico, who scored late vs. Costa Rica in their quarterfinal to take their match to extra time, then scored two in the extra frame for a 3-1 win. Hopefully our boys aren’t looking ahead, and best of luck to them today.


incendiarymind said...

Do you have the stat for how many game winners the Revs have scored in the 85th minute or later? I seem to be able to count three off the top of my head but I have only seen about seven of the games.

Mr. Fish said...

'fraid I don't. Just looked at the box scored for the Met-Rev matches.

kj said...

A look through MLSNet reveals the following (including those you mentioned before).

April 30: New England 1-0 Chivas USA
GW: Clint Dempsey 4 (Marshall Leonard 1) 88

May 21: MetroStars 2-2 New England
GT: Taylor Twellman 6 (Khano Smith 1) 89

June 25: New England 4-2 MetroStars
GW: Steve Ralston 1 (unassisted) 86

July 4: Los Angeles 1-1 New England
GT: Andy Dorman 2 (Shalrie Joseph 3, Taylor Twellman 4) 94+

July 16: New England 3-2 FC Dallas
GT: Taylor Twellman 8 (Clint Dempsey 8) 90
GW: Taylor Twellman 9 (Shalrie Joseph 4) 92+

August 27: New England 2-1 DC United
GW: Taylor Twellman 11 (Andy Dorman 5, Pat Noonan 3) 90+

September 21: Columbus 1-1 New England
GT: Taylor Twellman 16 (Pat Noonan 6, Jay Heaps 5) 90+

September 24: New England 1-0 MetroStars
GW: James Riley 1 (Taylor Twellman 7, Pat Noonan 7) 85

incendiarymind said...

KJ. Thank you. You're awesome and I'm lazy! :)