Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Defensive Woes Continue for Wizards

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.


bfos said...

I saw the defense asthe best segment of our team tonight. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, good was done in the other 2/3.

I was all over the defense on Sat, and I called Conrad out for being the worst of all of them against NY. But, he came back and played solidly. But, I'm sorry, if the rest of the team is not going to play soccer, you're going to yield goals. It might be a credit to the back line that we only gave up 2.

You mentioned the coaching, and you're right on. They weren't ready for the game, and the lineup was STUPID. Onalfo took Marineli out of the game in the 0th minute by playing him as a forward.

Sealy isn't getting his touch back, because he doesn't have one. Not only that, but he is lazy. He never makes a run to get into space. He wants his midfielders to do all the work for him. As I said on BS, he might as well have been an extra Crew defender. Why is Sealy still starting Kurt? Please don't continue with this mistake. If Sealy wants to get his fitness back, let him do it off the bench. Yura looked like a God compared to Sealy.

Crap of game, all around.

Unknown said...

Appreciate the comment.

Marinelli has spent quite a bit of time as the withdrawn forward this season. He played it quite a bit in New York, as well as Chicago, Dallas, Toronto, etc. Onalfo likes to play Marinelli in the withdrawn role.

As for Sealy, yes he was really bad tonight, but Yura isn't much better. I'm not a huge fan of his, his touch is just as bad as Sealy's most of the time, plus his continual want to take guys on and ratherly if ever beat them is has gotten really old over the past few years. Maybe I'm too hard on Yura, but I just see Sealy as a more complete player. That said, I think Sealy may have played himself out of being a starter.

My comments about the defense isn't just in regards to our back 4, it's in regards to the entire team, sure we're attacking more, but plenty of team's attack and don't give up an average of 2 goals a game, which is what we're basically doing the past 2 months or so.

I mean as a Wizards fan haven't you come to expect a tight unit on defense from the boys in blue? Sure it's a different coach, but with most of the same personel, you'd expect a little of the philosophy to remain.