Friday, April 13, 2007

Kansas City vs DC United preview

The last of MLS's 13 teams kicks off it's season this Saturday in DC as the Kansas City Wizards take on DC United. This is the Wizards first game of the season after sitting out league games last week due to an odd number of teams this year. Meanwhile, DC was at the opening of Colorado's Dick's Park, where they lost 2-1 to the Rapids.

Kansas City comes into the game after beating USL-1 side, the Seattle Sounders 3-2 last Saturday at Blue Valley District Athletic Complex. The Wizards will be without defender Nick Garcia who's red card at the end of the season against New York carries over to this season. New signing Carlos Marinelli is not likely to be playing with the team either this Saturday, although according to Wizards president Robb Heineman, Marinelli's visa is processed and done, so he should be playing soon, so who knows he could make an appearance. Those 2 I would expect will get their first run out in the US Open Cup match against Salt Lake next week. This week though, what can we expect for a starting lineup? Hartman is easily the number 1 choice in net. According to Curt Onalfo last night on the Wizards Weekly show on Metro Sports, Aaron Hohlbein will get the start alongside Conrad since Garcia is out and Tyson Wahl is coming back from a broken leg. So basically the lineup will be the same for this game as it was for the start of the game against the Sounders.
Jewsbury - Hohlbein - Conrad - Burciaga
Arnaud - Victorine - Harrington
Sealy - Johnson

While DC comes into this game 0-1 this season, they're still the team to beat in the East this season. They're a very talented attacking team, with 3 of the best attackers in the league (Christian Gomez, Jaime Moreno, and Luciano Emilio). They've also got the Brazilian Fred who played in Australia last season and should be working himself into the starting lineup soon I would think. My feeling on their last result is that they were physically and metally worn out from their CONCACAF Champion's Cup match in Mexico against Chivas. The weak point of the team is likely their defense, which seems to be guility of at least 1 or 2 brain lapses a game. The Wizards will need to take advantage of those. As for what DC will come out in:
Erpen - Boswell - Namoff
Simms - Carroll
Olsen - Gomez - Gros
Moreno - Emilio

While I wanna be postive about this match, it's hard to be. DC is a very strong team, one of the strongest ever in MLS if they play up to their potential. Hohlbein will get a rude awaking to MLS going up against Moreno and Emilio, Conrad will definitly have to help him out in the middle of the defense.

Wizards - 1 (Sealy)
DC - 2 (Gomez, Emilio)

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