After more than ten seasons of standing thru the test of time a single record held by a man who helped start MLS in the right direction was finally taken away. Juan Pablo Angel who was brought here from Aston Villa two years ago was on a goal scoring rampage and the only thing stopping him was injury or concussions, yet this past Sunday Afternoon at Giants Stadium against FC Dallas he started the scoring and finished it with class and grace.
A 4th minute goal as he was sprung for a chance by Albert Celades and a quick chip over Dario Sala to tie the record with 41, then with two minutes remaining in regulation time leveled at two a piece a rebound from a hard Macoumba Kandji strike saw Angel chase it and bury it to break the record and a victory for RBNY to end the winless streak. But this man who is a legend at River Plate in Argentina, a solid goal scorer for Aston Villa and a wonderful teammate who tries every single time to find a way to win either scoring or setting up a teammate. His first season saw him score 19 goals and sadly a concussion by Jay Heaps took him out of the match that would eventually spell doom in the playoffs as the New England Revolution would get that one goal to win the goal aggregate quarterfinals.
Last season a back injury limited Angel scoring two goals in the first half and when he got treatment for his injury he ripped up the second half scoring twelve and leading the club to the playoffs scoring two goals against the Dynamo and reaching their first MLS Cup Final. But as we celebrate the man who broke the record, let’s discuss the man who created the record.
After a successful World Cup back in the summer of 1994 that came to the United States there was the promise of starting up a first division league with the big cities of the country involved as well as most of the stadiums that were going to host the matches of the World Cup. Once again here in the Tri-State of New York, New Jersey & Southern Connecticut there would be a professional side returning to Giants Stadium. It would be the MetroMedia corporation that would own the club and this city hungering for a hero that remembers Pele, Beckenbauer, Messing, Roth and so on from the past. There would be a Venezuelan that applied his trade on Long Island from Long Island University and then the A-League Rough Riders till he came to Major League Soccer, that man was Giovanni Savarese.
All Savarese did was score goals from anywhere and everywhere on the field. He can make a run, he can score with a bicycle kick, he can poke in the rebounds, and he can make a long distance strike that smacked the back of the net. The one complaint from some of the supporters was that he couldn’t score a pretty goal; Gio would score the garbage goals as in the rebounds & the point blanks shots. But to me it really didn’t matter because they all count on the scoreboard.
After three seasons as a Metro and nearly eleven seasons standing the test of time, the record held by Giovanni Savarese has been surrendered to Juan Pablo Angel on Sunday, August 23rd. There was a time when Clint Mathis was with the club in his first stint that he could’ve broken the record first, but when he came back instead of the regular season he past Savarese with goals in all competitions in the first match with David Beckham two years ago. Now Angel has his sights on Mathis as he tied the all competitions record with 45. There could be more fireworks next Sunday against the Crew.
These three men that have made a name for themselves in the NYC metropolitan area starting with Savarese, moving on to Mathis and finally the current man of the moment in Angel. It’s a great thing to see when you have talented and well liked players that want to be on the big stage around the greatest city in the world.