Dismal offense dooms Metros to 6th loss in row

Monday, June 16, 2008 at 1:10am

It’s not hard to nail down the biggest problem of the Nashville Metros – the guys just can’t score goals.

Clearly, the lack of offense has been the burr which has saddled the Metros (2-8) with six straight soccer losses, the latest coming in a 2-0 shutout loss to the Atlanta Silverback at Ezell Park Saturday.

Of note:

• The Metros have been shut out six times and have scored just six total goals (and only one at home) in their 10 games. They have been outscored 24-6. Last year, they scored a franchise-low 12 goals, a record which appears to be in jeopardy.

• Only twice have they scored as many as two goals in a game, one of which they won in a May 11, second-game victory at Cary, N.C.

• Counting Saturday’s loss, rival Atlanta has outscored the Metros 11-1 in three games (including a Metros season-low 7-1 road loss Thursday) to clinch the annual Willie B. Cup rivalry. They were out-shot 14-6 Saturday.

“That (7-1) loss was clearly the low point of our season,’’ said Metros coach Rico Laise whose team, with six games left, is nearing mathematical elimination in the Premier Development League playoff chase.

“We gave up a goal in the 17th minute (Thursday), we hung our heads a little, and they (Atlanta) scored 28 seconds later,’’ he said. “It just snowballed after that.

“At least (Saturday), we came in with some pride about ourselves, and we fought to the end,’’ Laise said after the game. “That was quite an effort we put up against a quality team like Atlanta.’’

In fairness, the Metros were without some of their top guns Saturday. “We played without Carmen Brown (who leads the Metros with two goals), Michael Martin (one goal) and (defenseman) Ryan McDonald,’’ Laise said.

There are bright spots. Energetic Nata Oropeza, who leads the Metros with nine shots, just missed on his two attempts Saturday. He was named Metros player of the game. And goalkeeper Kyle Roelke had another solid game, turning back 12 of 14 shots.

But the shiny spots have become too few and far between. With four of the last six games at home, the Metros must quickly start to pick up their offense.

• The Metros have added a new owner to their franchise – Martin Sanchez, who will also serve as assistant coach. He joins majority owners Devinder Sandhu and Lynn Agee.

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