- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 22, 2001


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. In less than 30 minutes, D.C. United defender Carey Talley experienced the ecstasy and the agony that soccer can bring.
With his team facing the New York/New Jersey MetroStars for the third time this season, Talley tied the match in the 58th minute when he scored his second goal of the season.
Twenty-eight minutes later, however, he misplayed a clearing attempt and sent the ball rolling into United's open net to give the MetroStars a 2-1 victory at Giants Stadium.
The loss continued the road woes for United (6-12-1), now 2-9-0 in away matches, and kept it out of playoff position as Major League Soccer neared the All-Star break.
"I think the goal-against typifies a little bit what our season is all about just a little short," United coach Thomas Rongen said.
United had plenty of chances to break the tie in the second half, including a 10-yard rip by midfielder Bryan Namoff that sailed off the crossbar in the 84th minute.
"We clearly had the opportunity to finish the job, and we didn't," Rongen said.
United's many quality offensive opportunities were overshadowed by the defensive breakdown that occurred two minutes after Namoff's shot.
MetroStars defender Steve Jolley, playing up in the midfield, found a huge hole in United's flat four. He sent a leading pass past United forward Eddie Pope to forward Rodrigo Faria as Faria sprinted into the left side of the box.
United goalkeeper Mike Ammann left his line to go after the ball, but he missed on his slide. Too close to the end line to attempt a shot on the open goal, Faria impatiently sent an out-curving cross toward three United defenders. No MetroStars ran on to the ball, but the ill-advised maneuver turned golden as Talley met it and, spinning in midair, back-heeled the ball into United's goal.
"I go to play the ball, but it catches me in the middle of my legs and when I swing at it, my back left heel hits it," Talley said. "It probably wouldn't happen in a million years if I tried to do it again.
"Things like that happen, it's just freak. You hardly ever see that in soccer and then it happens to me it happens to us."
The mistake offset Talley's goal for United that came off a 20-yard free kick by midfielder Marco Etcheverry.
Etcheverry sent a cross from the left side of the box toward Talley as he ran to the far post. Talley's header to the ground was deflected back to him by MetroStars goalie Tim Howard. Talley then knocked it in with his right foot as he fell away.
"I was slowing down," Talley said, "and it just happened to be where my foot was."
Etcheverry was awarded his 11th assist and he now leads MLS in that category.
The MetroStars' first goal came in the sixth minute, also on another United defensive mistake. Off a corner kick, New York/New Jersey midfielder Mark Chung hit a left-footed volley that was tipped in the air by Ammann. Unmarked MetroStars midfielder Billy Walsh ran through to beat United midfielder Stephen Armstrong to the descending ball and head it in.
Notes Two United players were subbed out at halftime because of injuries, midfielder Mark Lisi with a strained left hamstring and defender Scott Vermillion with a strained abdomen… . The MetroStars were given three yellow cards in a physical game that had 40 fouls called.

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