Mathis in scuffle with fan after game
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The MetroStars' Clint Mathis was involved in an altercation with a fan after his team lost to the Revolution, 2-0, in their Major League Soccer playoff series opener at Giants Stadium last night.
Mathis, who has not scored a goal since Sept. 7, was apparently the target of thrown objects as he entered the runway behind the goal, and he advanced up a staircase. The altercation was broken up by several players.
Not standing pat
Pat Noonan continued his scoring streak against the MetroStars with a 65th-minute score. Noonan has eight of his 12 goals this season against the MetroStars, failing to score against them only during a 2-1 overtime loss in the US Open Cup semifinals Aug. 27. Noonan's other victims have been Alajuelense of Costa Rica, Columbus, Dallas, and San Jose.
"I was in the right place at the right time and I just pounced on it," Noonan said of his goal, following a backheel from Dario Fabbro and a defensive mixup. "There was some miscommunication by the defenders and that gave me enough time to get over and get a shot off.
"It's a nice [scoring] streak and the guys are feeding balls to me. If you put shots on net, you never know what is going to happen. You might get a deflection."
Jose Cancela survived a hard challenge from Joey DiGiamarino midway through the second half. Cancela held an icepack on his head but said he was otherwise uninjured. Referee Terry Vaughn cautioned DiGiamarino, who left the field on a stretcher, but the tackle was reckless and could have been punished by ejection.
"[DiGiamarino] should have been red-carded but I don't think he set out to do it," Revolution coach Steve Nicol said.
Marshall Leonard, 22, has been the youngest player in the Revolution starting lineup this season. Leonard, who replaced Joe Franchino (left quadriceps) last night, began playing while his father was on military duty in Frankfurt, then performed for the Atlanta Lightning, the US Under-17 and Under-20 teams, plus the University of Virginia.
"Marshall was his usual," Nicol said. "He was solid as a rock defensively and he played some good balls going forward." Leonard joined the Revolution in July 2002 but did not perform in an MLS match until the Revolution-MetroStars 3-3 tie July 12.
Before last night, Jason Moore had played only 17 minutes in two matches since July 16. But Moore replaced Brian Kamler in the second minute of the second half and contributed an impressive diagonal ball to Cancela to start the play leading to Noonan's goal.
"I got a little time on the ball and got to the top of the [penalty area], but it was congested and I saw some room to get it to Pepe," Moore said.
"I didn't really get a chance to warm up but that was good because I just had to get into game mode pretty quickly."
Said Nicol, "We know what Jason is capable of doing and he knows what we want. We want him to get forward and use his pace to go one-on-one with defenders."
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