Miguel Almiron suffered a similar fate as Peter Nowak did, almost 20 years to the exact date. (Photo courtesy of NYCFC)
By Michael Lewis
While watching New York City FC’s 2-2 tie with Atlanta United FC I had a deja vu feeling, a feeling that went back some 20 years ago.
It seemed every time Atlanta United’s Miguel Almiron got fouled in the match, an NYCFC player was slapped with a yellow card by referee Allen Chapman.
In fact, Alex Ring (32nd minute), Maxi Moralez (55th minute) and Yangel Herrera (80th) did exactly that.
An interesting way to defend one of the opposition’s leading players, don’t you think?
It certainly wasn’t the first time it happened in MLS.
The MetroStars used that strategy in a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Fire almost 20 years to the day — April 17, 1998.
After dropping their first three matches, the MetroStars needed a win as they took on the expansion Chicago Fire at Soldier Field.
As it turned out, various MetroStars players fouled Peter Nowak throughout the match, sometimes incurring a yellow card.
The MetroStars were whistled for 29 fouls and were awarded seven yellow cards and if my memory is correct (which is pretty good), many of them were due to fouls on Nowak.
With a different player treating the star midfielder roughly, the MetroStars stayed away from a player getting awarded a red card.
And who scored the lone goal of the match? Alexi Lalas, who worked Sunday night’s game on FS1. He scored on a header off a Kerry Zavagnin free kick against Mexican international goalkeeper Jorge Campos in the 14th minute before a crowd of 24,661.
“They didn’t come to play and they snuck out with a win,” Fire midfielder Jorge Salcedo said. “It’s a win they shouldn’t have had.”
BTW, Chicago head coach Bob Bradley inserted Campos as a forward for the final four minutes of regulation as the home team tried for the equalizer and to break its scoreless streak of 272 minutes.