The Mississauga MetroStars finished off their four-game road trip in Utica, New York on Sunday afternoon against Eastern Division leaders Utica City FC.
Travelling without two of their highest-scoring players, Mo Babouli and Dwayne De Rosario, the MetroStars used Adrian Becic and Marco Rodriguez as their two co-captains. Adrian Cann is usually the co-captain with De Rosario, and was playing, but not named as one for Sunday’s match.
Bo Jelovac got Utica on the board right away, scoring just 18 seconds into the match. Just over two minutes later, he doubled his tally, giving the home side an early two goal advantage.
At the ten minute mark, Damion Graham scored his 10th goal of the season, beating Utica goalkeeper Andrew Coughlin with his first shot of the game. He became the second player in club history to reach 10 goals, following teammate Mo Babouli.
Jelovac restored the two-goal lead at 11:56, completing his hat trick. The first quarter would end with the home side up 3-1.
Utica City got off to another quick start in the second period, as Logan Roberts scored just 1:43 into the quarter.
At 3:24, MetroStars defender Josip Keran scored for the MetroStars, bringing them back within 2 goals and at 11:06 Damion Graham scored his second of the game to bring the visitors within one. It was Graham’s 11th goal of the season, bringing him within one of Mo Babouli’s team-leading twelve.
20 seconds after Graham scored, Darren Toby put Utica up by two, just over a minute before Bo Jelovac got involved again.
The Serbian defender scored his 4th goal of the match at 12:40, giving the home side the 6-3 lead that they would take into halftime.
Mississauga’s Luis Rocha scored his first goal of the season after the break, scoring at the 3:30 mark of the 3rd quarter. He has been limited to just five games this season due to injuries.
Stephen Deroux replied at 4:36, giving Utica a 7-4 lead that would last until the 11:55 mark, when Joey Tavernese scored his 15th goal of the season.
The third quarter would end with Mississauga trailing 8-4.
At the 3:57 mark of the fourth quarter, Darren Chambers pulled one back for Mississauga with his second goal of the season.
Utica exploded for five goals after that as Nate Bourdeau, Mauricio Salles, Joey Tavernese, Logan Roberts and Lucio Gonzaga all scored for the hosts. The last three were empty net goals as Mississauga used an extra attacker for the final 8 minutes.
Matthew Rios picked up three assists on the night, giving him 13 points on the season. With his two goals, Damion Graham is now up to 11 on the season, and a total of 19 points through 10 games. He overtakes Mo Babouli (who has 18) for the team lead.
Dwayne De Rosario is still out because of injury, and is listed as “day-to-day.”
The MetroStars are losers of 7 straight and now sit at 2-10 through their first 12 games, the halfway point of the season. They will try to break that losing streak when they return home on Friday, February 15th to play the Baltimore Blast.
February 15th is also a significant day for the MASL as it is the scheduled to be the first appearance for Landon Donovan. One of the best American soccer players of all time is coming out of retirement for the third time, joining one of the best Canadian soccer players of all time in the MASL when his San Diego Sockers take on the Tacoma Stars.
As mentioned above, we have now reached the halfway point of the season. If you have any questions about the MetroStars or arena soccer in general, ask them on Twitter by replying to the tweet below or leave them in the comments section!