Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bring on the Crew

The Wizards will go into the playoffs on a high, after dispatching the New England Revolution last night in New England, 3-1. The game started off a little slow, but it was the Wizards who had the best chance early, as a cross by Claudio Lopez bounced right through the box, unfortunately Abe Thompson was not able to catch up with it. The game changed dramatically in the 26th minute. A kick taken by Kevin Hartman bounced over the New England back line. Lopez ran onto the ball, getting behind his defender, when Gabriel Badilla pulled him back by his collar bone. Referee, Kevin Stott, had no hesitation, reaching for his back pocket and giving Badilla the red card. Lopez stepped up and drove the PK straight up the middle after sending Matt Reis to his left.

Things got worse for New England just before half time, when Herculez Gomez had the ball in the corner, he touched it to go around Revolution midfielder, Khano Smith. Smith, though, had messured Gomez up and made a scissor kick tackle through Gomez. Again Stott and his assistant made no hesitation immediately giving Smith a red card for the blatant attempt to take out Gomez. The tackle was horrible and is definitely deserving of more than the 1 game suspension that you get for red cards. At half time, Coach Onalfo made the right move, getting Gomez off the field before anything else happened.

The Wizards pressured in the second half, against the 9 men Revolution and should have gone up another goal in the 52nd minute, as Lopez was played through alone on goal, but pushed his shot just wide of the post. Less than a minute later, though, the Wizards had their second goal, as Lopez played a long cross to the opposite side of the field, where Roger Espinoza headed it back into the path of Davy Arnaud who took a touch and then touched the ball past Reis for his 7th goal of the season. Ten minutes later, the Wizards again had a golden opportunity, as Lopez played Thompson in on goal alone with Reis, but he too pushed his shot wide.

In the 81st minute, Coach Onalfo inserted midfielder Kerry Zavagnin, giving him a run out in his last regular season game of his career. The Wizards weren't done, though, and in the 88th minute, they went up 3-0, as Ivan Trujillo had his cross poked away by Michael Parkhurst. The problem was that Reis had moved to cover the cross and the ball dribbled into the empty net to give the Wizards another goal. Late in the match, the Wizards lost the shutout, though, as Jeff Larentowicz took a long shot that deflected off Jimmy Conrad and past Kevin Hartman, leaving Hartman tied with John Busch for the league lead in shutouts.

Wizards Man of the Match - Claudio Lopez - Lopez has been reinvigurated the past few weeks, and has 2 goals and 3 assists in that time. Certainly the time to get hot, especially if Josh Wolff can't go in the playoffs. Lopez was all over the field again, and should have had at least 2 goals tonight along with another assist.

Honorable Mention - Davy Arnaud

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