MLS MVP nets hat trick vs. Rapids

Published: Tuesday, May 3 2005 1:55 a.m. MDT

The reigning Major League Soccer MVP finally has something to smile about.

On a snowy Saturday night in Denver, the MetroStars Amado Guevara's notched a hat trick against Colorado's Joe Cannon, last year's MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.

For now, at least, Guevara's critics are happy.

In the first three games of the season, Guevara seemed invisible at times and making matters worse, he missed a penalty kick in a 1-0 loss to Chicago two weeks ago.

Appropriately enough, it was a 23rd-minute penalty kick against the Rapids that got Guevara going, and helped the Metros win their first game of the season.

The Honduran internationals other two goals were scintillating finishes.

Late in the first half, Guevara raced onto an Eddie Gaven centering pass after it had skipped across the six-yard box, and one-timed the bouncing ball past a diving Cannon.

His hat trick capper was a MLS Goal of the Week candidate.

After having his corner kick deflected back toward him at the edge of the penalty area 10 yards off the endline, Guevara noticed a narrow opening between the near post and Cannon. Incredibly, he managed to thread the 18-yard, one-timed shot into the upper right-hand corner of the net.

Guevara's trifecta sealed the upset of the week. Playing without injured starters Youri Djorkaeff, John Wolyniec, Jeff Agoos and Jeff Parke, the MetroStars were heavy underdogs against an opponent that hadn't lost at home since June 9, 2004, a span of 13 regular season home matches.

Ironically, the shorthanded MetroStars played their best game of the season.

The same couldn't be said about a hyped-up game in Kansas City.

Saturday's MLS Cup rematch between D.C. United and the Kansas City Wizards might go down as the most boring match in 2005 — and there's still five months remaining in the season.

If you didn't see the game, take a moment to yawn, and there's your Cliff Notes recap.

Aside for a stoppage time close-range shot from United's Freddy Adu, it was a game plagued by virtually no creativity, no passion and no energy.

And fortunately for ESPN2, it was lucky enough to broadcast all 90 boring minutes of the 0-0 game.

The result begs the question, what happened?

Last year these squads played one of the more entertaining MLS Cup's in recent history, with D.C. prevailing 3-2 on a pair of goals from Cup MVP Alecko Eskandarian. A year later, K.C. (1-1-2) and D.C. (1-2-2) are stuck on five points at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings with the MetroStars.

Due to expansion this year, the Wizards moved from the Western Conference to the Eastern Conference, and most people figured the East would be a two-horse race between K.C. and D.C. That scenario hasn't materialized yet, and may never with the developments in the Northeast.

The beast of the East continues to be the New England Revolution. With a 3-0 victory at Chicago on Wednesday, and then 1-0 home win against Chivas USA Saturday, the Revs (4-0-1) wrapped up their first undefeated April.

Leading the charge right now is Clint Dempsey, whose four goals and three assists are tops in the MLS in both categories. Amazingly, all four of his goals have been nominated for MLS Goal of the Week.

And finally, what happened to FC Dallas?

A week after a dominating 3-0 home win over Real Salt Lake, Dallas was humbled mightily by the surging Los Angeles Galaxy at the Home Depot Center.

Was the outcome an aberration? Or, is Los Angeles' attack that good, and Dallas' defense that sub-par?

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