Monday, July 02, 2007

Poor Shooting Dooms Wizards


Twentyfive shots. You would think that'd be enough to win you any soccer game. Not so Sunday for the Wizards, who drew with Toronto FC 1-1 at Arrowhead Stadium. The Wizards started the game out slow, but quickly started to turn the game around. They finally broke the game open in the 18th minute. A quick counter off of a Toronto corner, found KC in a numbers up fast break. Carlos Marinelli found Michael Harrington streaking down the line. Harrington finished the ball to the far corner to give the Wizards a 1-0 lead. The Wizards continued to threaten, during the half, but Toronto had the better chances, as Danny Dichio and Jeff Cunningham gave Aaron Hohlbein and Nick Garcia trouble. The defense though played well and held up under the pressure leading KC into the half with a 1-0 lead.

That score changed very early in the second half, as Dichio equalized on a cross by Ronnie O'Brien. The early second half strike was probably a result of a lack of communication in the back, as the Wizards subbed out two defenders (Hohlbein and Jose Burciaga) due to injury at halftime. After that goal, though, the floodgates opened in a matter of speaking. Kansas City peppered the Toronto goal, testing keeper Sam Reynolds, who was starting his first match for TFC. Reynolds though was up to the challenge, standing on his head many times, making great plays. The Wizards got more help in the 76th minute, when Andrew Boyens picked up a second yellow for a late challenge on Sasha Victorine. Reynolds, though, was able to get Toronto a share of the points, stopping Yura Movsisyan on a 1 on 1. And saving a Scott Sealy blast from 25 yards out.

That said, the Wizards only put 7 of their 25 shots on net. The shooting for the Wizards was piss poor much of the time. The shot selection was another problem. On Sealy's 25 yard blast, he was in 1 on 1 with the keeper, but instead of dribbling into the box and taking the keeper on, Sealy blasts a one timer from 25 yards out that Reynolds did well to save. I don't like making a big deal of referee decisions, but KC can't seem to buy a PK this season. Sealy basically got mugged in the box as he tried to turn on Boyens, was brought down, and later gets a lecture from referee, Ricardo Salazar, telling him not to dive like that again. It's kind of hard to dive when you mark has his arms wrapped around you.

Enough bad stuff, I did find one good point in tonight's match, the Wizards are tied for second now in the East, on 21 points with New York, and only 1 point behind first place New England, both of whom lost this week.

3 Stars of the Game
1. Sam Reynolds - TFC - The debutant in net for TFC stood on his head to get Toronto a share of the points.
2. Michael Harrington - KC - Was up and down the wing all night for KC, clinically finishing on the goal, and helped to create numerous chances when the game was tied at 1-1.
3. Carlos Marinelli & Danny Dichio - KC & TFC - Both of these guys had big time effects on the game. Marinelli can just do amazing things on the ball making players look incredibly stupid. Dichio is just a beast, his size alone is a major plus, he gave Hohlbein, Wahl, and Garcia trouble all night.

1 comment:

still kicking said...

I agree that the Wizards were firing wide on too many of their opportunities, but Sam Reynolds looked like a star.
I would give some credit to Toronto's defending.
I think that the TFC road game problems meant that Mo had his team thinking about the goals against all night. It was a shame that it was a short-lived experiment, but when Boyens was red carded, Dichio went back into the midfield and I think Edu went to the back four. I would love to see Dichio in a defensive midfield role for extended minutes.
PS it was a gripping game, but the quality of the television feed we were watching in Canada was not high, sometimes it looked the fuzzy blue guys against the fuzzy red guys and I have hd. Check out my blog if you want to know my take on the KC announcers....