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MetroStars nearing first place in East after drubbing New England 4-2.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (Saturday, June 17, 2000) -- The Kansas City Wizards weren’t the only Major League Soccer division leader to go down to defeat today. The rebuilt MetroStars rattled the Eastern Division-leading New England Revolution 4-2 before 10,081 at Giants Stadium, allowing 1999’s worst team to move into second place, four points behind the Revs.

MetroStars forward Adolfo Valencia erased the one-goal deficit with his tally 41st minute before assisting on rookie Steve Shak's game-winner in first-half extra time. It was Shak's career MLS goal.

With the win, the MetroStars (7-7, 21 points) now have the same number of wins in 14 games as the team recorded in the entire 1999 32-match schedule.

"Normally in a season there are four or five games that you look back at," MetroStars midfielder Tab Ramos tod the New York Times. "If we lost today, we'd be 10 points back, and now we would not be contenders anymore. Now we're looking at trying to get first place in our division. That's what we're shooting for and today we showed we're at least contenders. It was a big game, and finally, we came through."

The MetroStars jumped to a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute on a 30-yard Billy Walsh blast, his first strike of the season. Veteran defender Thomas Dooley passed the ball into the Metros' midfield where Clint Mathis flicked the ball to an unmarked Walsh. The midfielder, who grew up in New Jersey, took advantage of the open space by unleashing a blistering shot that blazed past Revolution goalkeeper Jeff Causey.

New England (7-5-2, 25 points) wasted little time in coming back, tying the score at 1-1 four minutes later on Imad Baba’s

Baba then generated the go-ahead goal by feeding forward Wolde Harris who made it 2-1 in the 29th minute. After a prolonged Revolution assault forced MetroStars keeper Mike Ammann to make several spectacular saves. Ammann's deflection of a Baba shot landed on the feet of Harris at the edge of the six-yard box, and the Jamaican striker slotted the ball home.

Valencia added to his team-leading goal total in the 41st minute, beating two defenders before finding net. Valencia received the ball at the top of the box when defender Mike Petke intercepted a Revolution clearance attempt. The big Colombian waited for Brian Dunseth and Mauricio Ramos to converge before he turned, slit the defense and deposited his eighth goal.

The MetroStars reclaimed the lead in the closing seconds of the first half Shak, a rookie, deftly touched past Causey a rebound off the goal frame of midfielder Mark Chung’s blistering shot.

Mathis recorded the insurance goal in the opening minutes of the second half, curling a wicked free kick over the Revolution wall from just outside the penalty area. Mathis' kick beat the wall cleanly, curving toward the near post before precipitously dipping before Causey could not react.

The match was foul-plagued with the MetroStars called for 32 fouls to 20 for the Revs. Four MetroStars were cautioned before Daniel Hernandez received a red card in the 81st minute. The man advantage lasted only three minutes for New England, which lost Leonel Alvarez to his second yellow card of the afternoon, his team’s fourth.

"We prepared mentally for (physical play)," MetroStars coach Octavio Zambrano said. "I think that the guys understood what happened last game against Tampa when we basically were not motivated enough. I think the way we prepared for this match, a lot of it was our approach mentally to the importance of playing the team that is in front of us. This is a six-point game. I have to say I'm very proud of them."

New England midfielder and captain John Harkes logged his 10,000th MLS minute at the 28-minute mark of the first half.

MetroStars 4, New England 2

Lineups: MetroStars - Mike Ammann, Thomas Dooley, Steve Jolley, Mike Petke, Steve Shak, Mark Chung, Billy Walsh (Orlando Perez 73), Tab Ramos (Alex Comas 86), Daniel Hernandez, Clint Mathis (Ramiro Corrales 86), Adolfo Valencia. New England - Jeff Causey, Brian Dunseth, Rusty Pierce (Ivan McKinley 62), Mauricio Wright, John Harkes, Imad Baba, Mauricio Ramos (Johnny Torres 46), Joe Franchino, Leonel Alvarez, Wolde Harris, Jamar Beasley.

MetroStars - Walsh (Mathis, Dooley) 20.
New England - Baba (penalty kick) 24.
New England - Harris (Baba) 29.
MetroStars - Valencia (Petke) 41.
MetroStars - Shak (Valencia, Chung) 43.
MetroStars - Mathis (unassisted) 49.

Total shots: MetroStars 13 (Chung 3), New England 14 (Baba 4). Shots on goal: MetroStars 10 (Corrales 2, Mathis 2, Comas 2), New England 9 (Baba 4). Saves: MetroStars - Ammann 5; New England - Causey 4. Fouls: MetroStars 32 (Hernandez 6), New England 29 (Alvarez 5). Offside: MetroStars 4, New England 4. Corner kicks: MetroStars 3, New England 7. Yellow card cautions: MetroStars - Ramos 23, Mathis 23, Petke 47, Perez 74; New England - Alvarez 6, Wright 35, McKinley 90. Red card ejections: MetroStars - Hernandez 81; New England - Alvarez (second yellow card) 84. Possession percentage: MetroStars 48, New England 52.

Referee: Ricardo Valenzuela. Referee's assistants: Robert Fereday, John Konstantinidis Attendance: 10,081 at Giants Stadium in Eas Ruherford, N.J. Weather: Hot, 88 degrees, 62 percent humidity.

Los Angeles Galaxy 2, Tampa Bay Mutiny 1

PASADENA, Calif. -- Simon Elliott and Danny Califf found net in the first half and he Los Angeles Galaxy held on for a 2-1 decision over the Tampa Bay Mutiny, snapping a four-game winless streak before 14,603 at the Rose Bowl.

"It's good to get back on track for sure," Elliott said. "I thought we played well actually. We put together a lot of passes and didn't give the ball away as much as we have been. It's a shame we couldn't get a shutout, but we came away with three points."

Los Angeles (7-3-6, 27 points) took the lead in the ninth minute of play when Elliott, a New Zraland native, scored off of a free kick from the edge of the penalty area. Mauricio Cienfuegos and Greg Vanney ran over the ball, leaving Elliott to find the corner of the net for his third goal of the year.

"It was a bit of an element of surprise," Elliott noted. "Vanney is well known for having a cannon and Cienfuegos is very crafty, so we thought we'd try to mix it up a bit and give me a shot. I guess we've got three options now at free kicks instead of two. I did it in college and do it for the national team (New Zealand), so it's not like I haven't done it before."

Califf, rookie defender, scored his first professional goal to make it 2-0 in the 40th minute. One step ahead of his marker, he redirected a Greg Vanney corner kick past goalkeeper Scott Garlick.

The Mutiny (8-7, 24 points) wasted a golden opportunity to close the gap in the 48th minute when Vanney was called for fouling Manny Lagos in the penalty area. Carlos Valderrama, however, sent his kick caroming off the goalpost and back into play. Tampa Bay has converted just two of is five penalty-kick attempts this season, the second worst conversion ratio in the league.

Valderrama extended his point-scoring streak to seven games a minute into injury time, feeding Lagos who ruined keeper Kevin Hartman’s shutout from directly in front of the Galaxy net.

Los Angeles Galaxy 2, Tampa Bay Mutiny 1

Lineups: Los Angeles - Kevin Hartman, Greg Vanney, Robin Fraser, Paul Caligiuri, Danny Califf, Zak Ibsen, Mauricio Cienfuegos, Sasha Victorine (Ivan Polic 85), Simon Elliott (Peter Vagenas 74), Cobi Jones, Luis Hernandez. Tampa Bay - Scott Garlick, Steve Trittschuh, Chad McCarty, Joseph Addo, Ritchie Kotschau, Josh Keller, Carlos Valderrama, Manuel Lagos, Steve Ralston, Eric Quill (Dominic Kinnear 46), Mamadou Diallo..

Los Angeles - Elliott (unassisted) 9.
Los Angeles - Califf (Vanney) 40.
Tampa Bay - Lagos (Valderrama, Kinnear) 91+.

Total shots: Los Angeles 17 (Hernandez 5), Tampa Bay 8 (McCarty 2, Diallo 2, Lagos 2). Shots on goal: Los Angeles 8 (Ibsen 2), Tampa Bay 4 (four players with 1). Saves: Los Angeles - Hartman 3; Tampa Bay - Garlick 4. Fouls: Los Angeles 22 (Victorine 5), Tampa Bay 19 (Diallo 7). Offside: Los Angeles 8, Tampa Bay 2. Corner kicks: Los Angeles 10, Tampa Bay 4. Yellow card cautions: Los Angeles - Vanney 48; Tampa Bay - Diallo 26, Kotschau 30, McCarty 88. Possession percentage: Los Angeles 52, Tampa Bay 48.

Referee: Noel Kenny. Referee's assistants: Roger Itaya, Miguel Chicas. Attendance: 14,603 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Weather: Warm, Slight breeze.

San Jose Earthquakes 3, Miami Fusion 1

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Abdul Thompson Conteh scored twice and rookie Wojtek Krakowiak’s first MLS goal was the decisive tally in the San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 triumph over the Miami Fusion before 12,063 at Spartan Stadium

Despite having the league’s second worst record, San Jose (4-7-4, 16 points) is now 4-0-2 at home, having outscored opponents 16-5 at Spartan Stadium. The Earthquakes extended their league record home unbeaten streak to 12 games, dating back to August of 1999.

"This was pretty good for four of our guys being out," Earthquakes coach Lothar Osiander said. "It's tough to play without some of your big-timers. But we do well at home and the spectators were outstanding tonight. Wojtek was solid and did a nice job replacing (Khodadad) Azizi."

Nine minutes after entering the game as a substitution, Krakowiak broke a 1-1 tie, sliding onto the end of a Richard Mulrooney volley along the six yard box, finding net for a 2-1 advantage in the 55th minute.

"I told my roommates that if I got in I would make something happen," Krakowiak said. "I had a good night. I'm really happy, because we did what we needed to do at home. We gave it all we had."

Conteh added his second goal of the game, giving the Earthquakes a 3-1 cushion in the 87th minute. Ian Russell played a cross from the right wing that Miami goalkeeper Nick Rimando mishandled, allowing Conteh an easy tap in.

The teams traded goals in the first half. San Jose struck first, with Conteh, while fallilng backward, heading home Mulrooney’s corner kick to the six-yard line past Rimando make it 1-0 in the 19th minute.

Miami tied the match at 1-1 against the run of play in the 45th minute. Diego Serna was hauled down in the box by Earthquakes defender Dan Calichman and Henry Gutierrez slotted home the ensuing penalty kick.

San Jose Earthquakes 3, Miami Fusion 1

Lineups: San Jose - Joe Cannon, Dan Calichman, Jim Conrad, Mike Burns, Richard Mulrooney, Dario Brose, Mauricio Solis, Harut Karapetyan, Abdul Thompson Conteh, Ian Russell, Khodadad Azizi (Wojtek Krakowiak 46). Miami - Nick Rimando, Jay Heaps, Leo Cullen, Brian Kamler, Pablo Mastroeni, Henry Gutierrez, Martin Machon, Andy Williams, Nelson Vargas, Welton, Diego Serna.

San Jose - Conteh (Mulrooney) 19.
Miami - Gutierrez (penalty kick) 45.
San Jose - Krakowiak (Mulrooney, Burns) 55.
San Jose - Conteh (Russell) 87.

Total shots: San Jose 9 (Krakowiak 3), Miami 10 (Gutierrez 4). Shots on goal: San Jose 5 (Karapetyan 2, Conteh 2), Miami 5 (Gutierrez 3). Saves: San Jose - Cannon 4; Miami - Rimando 2. Fouls: San Jose 23 (Conrad 6), Miami 8 (Gutierrez 2, Williams 2). Offside: San Jose 6, Miami 6. Corner kicks: San Jose 5, Miami 8. Yellow card cautions: San Jose - Solis 68, Mulrooney 73, Brose 76, Calichman 78; Miami - Kamler 50, Heaps 78. Possession percentage: San Jose 50, Miami 50.

Referee: Ted Covaciu. Referee's assistants: Jorge Reyes, Cory Dean. Attendance: 12,063 at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif. Weather: Hot, clear.

Chicago Fire 3, D.C. United 2

CHICAGO -- Peter Nowak had a goal and two assists in a wild second half, leading Chicago past D.C. United 3-2 Saturday night before 15,177 at Soldier Field.

All five goals came in a 15-minute span after the match remained scoreless into the 68th minute. Some horrendous goalkeeping on both sides facilitated the spree.

With the score tied at 2-2 in the 83rd minute, Nowak took a feed from Josh Wolff across the top of the box and beat United keeper Tom Presthus from the left wing, sending a shot that didn’t appear to be on frame caroming off the keeper’s arms and into the net for the 3-2 final.

Chicago evened the score at 2-2 six minutes earlier when Diego Gutierrez scored from a sharp angle. Nowak won the ball in the left hand corner and sprang Gutierrez, who fired the ball in from 10 yards out, past a diving Presthus.

Wolff got the Fire (9-7-1, 28 points) on the scoreboard first in the 68th minute, capping off a nice one-two with Nowak. Wolff speared down a through ball at midfield and immediately made a run towards the box. Nowak collected the ball and led Wolff into the box. Wolff slotted the ball past Presthus to make it 1-0.

In the 71st minute, United striker Jaime Moreno was fouled at the top of the arc by Gutierrez. Midfielder Marco Etcheverry sent the free kick around the Fire wall at goalkeeper Zach Thornton, who seemed to have the ball, but let it trickle through his legs to knot the score at 1-1.

United (3-10-3) went up 2-1 in the 75th minute. Moreno dribbled through traffic at the top of the box and found a wide open Judah Cooks sprinting into the penalty area. Thornton cheated toward the center and Cooks slid the ball between Thornton and the near post for his second goal of the season.

Both teams had quality chances in the scoreless first half. Chicago's Ante Razov had a sure goal stopped by midfielder Richie Williams, who threw his body in the path of theh shot in the 13th minute. Razov launched a header inches wide of the postin the 25th minute.

Forward Raul Diaz Arce had United's best chance in the first half, a open blast from the right from 10 yards out that Thornton got a foot on to deflect wide.

Chicago Fire 3, D.C. United 2

Lineups: Chicago - Zach Thornton, C.J. Brown, Andrew Lewis, Carlos Bocanegra, Chris Armas, Jesse Marsch, Dema Kovalenko (Evan Whitfield 80), Diego Gutierrez, Peter Nowak, Josh Wolff (John Wolyniec 94+), Ante Razov (Tom Soehn 91+). D.C. United - Tom Presthus, Judah Cooks, Carlos Llamosa, Eddie Pope, Carey Talley (A.J. Wood 86), Richie Williams, Chris Albright (Eric Denton 52), Ben Olsen (Geoff Aunger 77), Marco Etcheverry, Jaime Moreno, Raul Diaz Arce.

Scoring: Scoring Summary:
Chicago - Wolff (Nowak) 68.
D.C. United - Etcheverry (unassisted) 71.
D.C. United - Cooks (Moreno) 75.
Chicago - Gutierrez (Nowak) 77.
Chicago - Nowak (Wolff, Marsch) 83.

Total shots: Chicago 14 (Wolff 4, Razov 4), D.C. United 8 (Etcheverry 3). Shots on goal: Chicago 9 (Wolff 3), D.C. United 4 (four players with 1). Saves: Chicago - Thornton 2; D.C. United - Presthus 5. Fouls: Chicago 13 (Armas 3, Gutierrez 3), D.C. United 19 (Williams 6). Offside: Chicago 1, D.C. United 5. Corner kicks: Chicago 1, D.C. United 5. Yellow card caution: D.C. United - Diaz Arce 90. Possession percentage: Chicago 49, D.C. United 51.

Referee: Kevin Stott. Referee's assistants: Craig Lowry, Nathan Clement. Attendance: 15,177 at Soldier Field. Weather: Overcast, 61 degrees.

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