The Wizards defense continues to have trouble, and up until tonight, the offense had been pulling them out of that trouble. Tonight, though, the Wizards offense was not able to over come the problems in the Wizards defense. The Wizards back line, which supposedly got an upgrade at keeper this offseason, is pretty much the same that it was last year, when the Wizards defense seemed to be stronger. Yet this season, that same defense has looked poor most of the time. Center backs Jimmy Conrad and Nick Garcia are not looking like the force in the back they have been. Jose Burciaga Jr., after some shinning defensive moments earlier in the season, seems to be slipping back into his old habits. And Jack Jewsbury, while better than the platoon that played right back last season, is NOT the answer at that position.
Until tonight though, the Wizards high powered offense has bailed them out. Tonight, the Columbus Crew's defense was able to shut down the Wizards attack, and hand the Wizards a 2-1 loss. A late Jack Jewsbury strike kept the Wizards from being shut out for the first time this season. The Wizards seemed to play slow, uninterested soccer. If that's because they over looked Columbus, then that's shame on the coaching staff for letting that happen. If it's because it's their 2nd game in 5 games, then I'm really dreading Sunday when they play their 3rd in 9 days. This was the worst performance of the season I've seen out of the Wizards.
With them losing, it also brings out another point that has been apparent the last 4 games, but since they've ended up with points out of those, it's gone rather unnoticed. With the loss now, it's on the surface. The Wizards last scored first in a game, back on May 5th at home against the Crew. Since then the Wizards have started down 2-0, 1-0, 2-0, 1-0, 2-0, and 2-0. The offense can not always be bailing out the defense. I love the Wizards new attacking style, but some times I long for a well grounded out 1-0 win. Or at least a time where the Wizards don't have to play from behind.
As for tonight as a whole, Carlos Marinelli, was invisible for much of the game, Scott Sealy's touch is still not back yet, Yura Movsisyan's touch is still terrible, Davy Arnaud needs to whine a bit less when he doesn't get calls.
We can complain about possible hand balls before Gaven scored, or Ezra using Victorine as a ladder on the second goal, but in the end the Wizards didn't deserve to win this game.
3 Stars of the Game
1. Stefani Miglioranzi - Columbus - Shut down Arnaud on the wing all night, and scored a goal as well.
2. Danny O'Rourke - Columbus - Completely marked Marinelli out of the game. Never let him get into the game, got him frustrated, and in the end he was subbed out early.
3. Guillermo Barros Schelotto - Columbus - Proved to be the better of the two Argentine's tonight played well, and combined well with the other forwards.
Yes I did not give a single Wizard a mention tonight. If you think any Wizard deserved to be on the list over these 3, please feel free to make a case for any of them. The only one that comes close in my opinion is Michael Harrington, the rookie was our best player tonight, which isn't saying much, but does say a lot about the rookie's play this season.