Friday, June 13, 2008

Returning Home

The Wizards finally return home in MLS play this weekend, when the Columbus Crew come to Kansas City tomorrow. This is the Wizards first home game in league play since a 0-0 draw with Houston on the 12th of April. Tomorrow's game will be the 2nd time the Wizards will play Columbus this season. On the third game of the team's last 6 game road trip, the Wizards lost to Columbus 2-1. Claudio Lopez got the one tally from the penalty spot, and Roger Espinoza got a first half red card (he hasn't played any first team minutes since then). The Crew at the time were one of the hottest teams in MLS (they were 5-1 after beating the Wizards), and since then, the team has cooled off, and has a record of 6-4-1. Their scoring has dried up, they haven't scored a league goal since beating San Jose 3-2 the week after they played KC, so 4 games now. Kansas City, though has been just as inept in front of goal, as during their 6 game road trip they only scored 3 goals.

Kansas City comes into the game on the heals of a 0-0 draw with Real Salt Lake to end their road trip. Columbus comes in off of a loss on Wednesday in their US Open Cup qualifier 3-2 after extra time to Chicago. So the Crew are on the same amount of rest the Wizards had heading into Salt Lake. The other good news, beside the lack of rest by Columbus, is the fact that Columbus comes in with a major case of the injury bug, with multiple starters missing due to injury. They will also be missing captain, Frankie Hejduk, who is with the US National team for the start of World Cup Qualifying.

As for the Wizards, their injury list is small and only has players that would likely play no role in the game tomorrow. So the Wizards should have their full starting lineup out there.
Leathers - Conrad - Hohlbein - Harrington
Arnaud - Zavagnin - Jewsbury - Marinelli
Sealy - Lopez

PREDICTION - Both teams have had trouble scoring lately, and both teams have been conceding goals, so which one is going to continue? I'd love to see the Wizards come home, have a break out game, and absolutely stomp Columbus, but I don't see that happening. I expect another low scoring game, with the odd goal deciding it. Columbus' form has been just as low as KC lately so I'll give the edge to KC.

KC - 1 (Lopez)
Cbus - 0

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