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MetroStars Looking to Rebound
Exactly 9 months ago the MetroStars were riding high. They were sitting pretty at the top of the Eastern Conference with 22 points and had just defeated the defending champion LA Galaxy 3-0 off of two Eddie Gaven Golazos. But then the tide turned.

The Metros, who had one of the youngest teams in the league, proceeded to crash and burn. The Metros fell to third place before finally bowing out in the first round of the playoffs to DC United with an aggregate score of 4-0.

Clearly change was needed. And change the MetroStars did. Calling the offseason hectic would be an understatement as the Metros unloaded several players, including captain and US international Eddie Pope, US U-20 international Ricardo Clark, and exciting Caribbean strikers Cornell Glen and Fabien Taylor, while looking at, according to assistant coach Mo Johnston, over 70 trial players.

The MetroStars didn’t get just nothing for all those players they unloaded. The MetroStars two big moves this summer were acquiring former US international Jeff Agoos and French world cup winner Youri Djorkaeff who are expected to step into leadership roles for this young team.

“I understand the role I have in coming here,” said Agoos, “I think there is a lot of youth on this team but at the same time most of them have been here for a year or two sot here's a lot of experience in that youth as well. But my job is to make the team better whether it be on the field or off.

Unfortunately Metro fans will have to wait to see Djorkaeff’s debut as he has been set back after suffering a hamstring injury in preseason. In addition to Djorkaeff’s injury the MetroStars face two more injuries to key starters: MF/F Mike Magee with an injured knee and GK Jonny Walker who is recovering from offseason rotator cuff surgery. All three, while progressing nicely, are not expected to play in the season opener against ReAL Salt Lake.

In addition to Djorkaeff and Agoos the Metros added several other players from the drafts and preseason trials including:
- US U-20 DF Tim Ward(1st round) and St. Johns MF Chris Corcoran(3rd) in the Superdraft.
- Seton Hall DF Jason Hernandez in the first round of the supplemental draft.
- Former Jamaican U-17 FW Ramon Bailey from Mercer Community College.
- FW Abbe Ibrahim from Tongolese club Espoire
- GK Mike Ueltschey from the Puerto Rico Islanders
- DF Carlos Mendes from the Rochester Raging Rhinos.

Bradley was especially intrigued by Ibrahim who he said had some, “very special talent”, and that he had, “impressed everyone with his quickness”.

All this was added to an already impressive, if somewhat inconsistent, core:
- Gaven, who some say was the Metros’ most dangerous offensive threat last year, will be looking to perform at an even higher level, a scary though to opposing coaches after his breakout 2004 season which saw him garner MLS Best XI honors in just his second MLS season. Gaven though will be absent for most of the month of June as he travels with the US U-20 team to Holland for the World Youth Cup.
- MF Amado Guevara, who also was on the MLS Best XI team along with being named MVP of the MLS All Star Game and Hero of the year, will be the MF general and the cornerstone of the Metros attack.
- FW John Wolyneic, who tied with Guevara for the Metros’ goal scoring title with 10, is a quality veteran player who can either start or be a supersub.
- Magee who, after he recovers from his injuries, is due a breakout year after seeing extensive time with the US senior national team this winter.
- DF Chris Letich, who has just signed an extension along with Wolyneic and Guevara, will again be looked at to be Mr. Consistency after leading the team in minutes played last season.
- DF Jeff Parke will look to buld on his impressive rookie season which saw him go from the Mr. Irrelevant of the Superdraft to rookie of the year contender.
- MF Mark Lisi will look to build on his performance in 2003 which saw him lead the MLS in assists before missing most of 2004 with injuries.

Along with those core players several role players will be forced to step up, some into starting positions, this season. Role players like:
- MF Mike Bradley who missed all of his rookie year with a leg injury, Bradley, who was a key member of the US U-17 squad, is capable of playing either MF or FW and has improved over the off season after playing for the US U-20s and training with Heerenveen (along with Jeff Parke) of the Dutch Eriedivise.
- DF/MF Tim Regan who preformed well last season in his 15 appearances.
- DF Seth Stammler who was highly touted coming out of Maryland but only managed one whole minute of playing time in his rookie year last season.
- GK Zach Wells who will start at least the first game while Walker recovers from his surgery and may even battle for the starting spot.
- MF Gilberto who was looking like he was about to become dominant before injuries slowed him down.

Of course the season can begin with a couple question marks like:
- Will Sergio Galvan Rey, the so called “King of goals” and reigning bum of the year, finally live up to his moniker or will he just go another season of wasting the team’s cap space?
- Can Jeff Agoos and Youri Djorkaeff get the job done at their old ages?
- How much depth do the MetroStars have? Are the new players that no one knows anything about enough to cover for injuries, respective national team callups, and Eddie Gaven’s WYC adventure?

While the Metros took a step back in losing players like Pope and Clark they also took a step forward bringing in players like Agoos and Djorkaeff to add to their talented core of players. The Metrostars will again be looking to both turn the tide in their favor and answer any remaining questions as they take on ReAL Salt Lake on April 2.
March 24, 2005 Traver Mayfield


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Sat., Apr. 14th
6:00PM ET
Salt Lake 0
Columbus 0

Sat., Apr. 14th
7:30PM ET
New England 0
Toronto 0

Sat., Apr. 14th
7:30PM ET
DC United 0
Kansas City Wizards 0

Sat., Apr. 14th
8:30PM ET
Houston 0
Chivas USA 0

Sat., Apr. 15th
3:00PM ET
New York 0
Dallas 0

Sun., Apr. 15th
8:00PM ET
Colorado 0
Chicago 0

Team Name Pts
Chicago 3
Columbus 1
New York 1
DC United 0
Kansas City 0
New England 0
Toronto 0

Team Name Pts
Dallas 4
Chivas USA 3
Colorado 3
Houston 1
Los Angeles 1
Salt Lake 1

Top Ten Scorers
Top 10 Scorers
Player Name Gls
Ruiz 2
Cooper 2
Cunningham 2
Kljestan 1
Brown 1
Emilio 1
H. Gomez 1
Findley 1
Razov 1
Pause 1