MetroStars fall to Colorado Rapids 1-0 in 88th minute

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (Saturday, June 12, 1999) - Jorge Dely Valdes scored the only goal of the game in the 88th minute as the visiting Colorado Rapids defeated the MetroStars, 1-0, before 13,723 at Giants Stadium on Saturday night.

Each side had a player ejected in a contest that was controlled by the MetroStars for the better part of the game. New York native Kevin Anderson of the Rapids was sent off in the 44th minute after he denied Eduardo Hurtado a clear shot at the goal by pulling his shirt. MetroStars captain Mark Semioli was red carded late in the game, in the 68th minute, when he received his second yellow card of the match.

Dely Valdes scored the goal, his fourth of the season, on a header from close range. Swedish midfielder Anders Limpar started the play on a corner kick, swerving his kick inward onto the head of Dely Valdes, who had made a near-post run from the top of the 18-yard box. The assist was his fifth of the year, all from corner kicks.

The MetroStars had several chances on the night, and held the advantage in both shots on goal and time of possession. Their best opportunity came in the 19th minute when the Rapids defense allowed the ball to carom through the box before it bounced off Jason Bent's leg and out of play. Eduardo Hurtado, Miles Joseph and Brian Kelly each had clear shots at the goal, but were unable to put the ball past Rapids' goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann.

The match marked the 1999 debut of Tim Howard, the 20-year-old 'keeper who recently led the United States Under-20 National Team in the World Youth Championships in Nigeria. Howard, who made four saves on the night, had played only one other MLS match, against the Rapids last season.

Colorado had its fair share of first half chances as well, the best coming in the 10th minute when Dely Valdes charged in alone and left-footed a weak shot that goalkeeper Tim Howard was able to tip aside easily. Dely Valdes missed another golden opportunity in the 36th minute when he chipped his shot high after settling David Vaudreuil's pass with his chest.

With the loss, the MetroStars record drops to 4-8, with eight points. The club has now lost seven of its last eight matches, and four straight.

The game changed for the home side when Semioli was sent off, opening up the game slightly and allowing the Rapids to hold the ball in the midfield. The captain's presence was sorely missed on the scoring play, as two Rapids players went unmarked in the box, permitting Dely Valdes room to maneuver into position.

Scoring Summary:
COL -Jorge Dely Valdes (Anders Limpar) 88th minute

COLORADO RAPIDS-(5-3-2) Marcus Hahnemann; Marcelo Balboa, Peter Vermes, David Vaudreuil, Jason Bent (Chris Martinez 88), Matt McKeon; Anders Limpar (Tim Martin 88) , Ross Paule, Kevin Anderson; Wolde Harris (Paul Bravo 67), Jorge Dely Valdes.
TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Limpar, Dely Valdes 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Dely Valdes 2); FOULS: 19 (McKeon 4); OFFSIDE: 1; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: Hahnemann 7; CAUTIONS: Vaudreuil 70, Vermes 85; EJECTIONS: Anderson, 44; POSSESSION PERCENTAGE: 44%

METROSTARS-(4-4-2) Tim Howard, Mike Petke, Kevin Knight, Mark Semioli, Ramiro Corrales; Billy Walsh, Mike Sorber, Miles Joseph (Petter Villegas 46), Brian Kelly (Nansha Kalonji 81); Mark Chung , Eduardo Hurtado. TOTAL SHOTS: 26 (Hurtado 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 9 (Hurtado 3); FOULS: 15 (Hurtado, Walsh 4); OFFSIDE: 7; CORNER KICKS: 14; SAVES: Howard 4; CAUTIONS: Semioli 21, Petke 24, Hurtado 54, Semioli 68; EJECTIONS: Semioli 68; POSSESSION PERCENTAGE: 56%

Referee: Ricardo Valenzuela; Referee's Assistants: Greg Barkey, Gerry Corrie Attendance: 13,723; Weather: Cloudy, 73F/23C, Humidity 71%, Wind East 10 MPH.

Head Coach Bora Milutinovic: "We did everything to win the game. We had so many chances, but the players don't realize that when they (players) lose concentration, in one action it can all be different."

Bora on Tim Howard: "For his second game, it was a good game. I don't like to blame anybody for the loss, because we had so many chances to score."

Tim Howard on the match: "If you can get some save or something early on, you can get some confidence going. Overall, we played a very good game but again, we need to concentrate for the win. I don't think we did that, and it shows."

Next MetroStars Game: The MetroStars will travel to Rochester, New York for a mid-week exhibition match against the Raging Rhinos at Frontier Field. Following that Wednesday contest, the club will return to MLS action with a Sunday game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City against the Wizards. That match will be nationally televised on Univision at 1:00 p.m.