Sunday, March 22, 2009


That might be an understatement to describe last night's game against Toronto FC. Kansas City did not look good last night, while Toronto came to play and were able to pick Kansas City apart at times. Toronto had the run of play from the opening whistle, creating the better of the chances before grabbing the lead in the 33rd minute when Graham Zusi was disposed around midfield. The ball was played to Dwayne DeRosario who dribbled deep into the Wizards end before finding Jim Brennan on the left. Brennan shot high and to the near post and beat Kevin Hartman to give TFC the lead. The Wizards made some half time changes at the half, Aaron Hohlbein was pulled at half time for Roger Espinoza, and the Wizards switched to a 3-4-3/3-5-2 to try and get into the game better, as Toronto had completely dominated the Wizards midfield with DeRosario and Amado Guevara. TFC though capitalized on the extra space in the back in the 53rd minute when Guevara received the ball at the top of the box, was able to shake his defender, turn and score to give TFC a 2-0 lead.

KC's response was almost immediate, as Davy Arnaud struck a rocket from about 25 yards out into the upper 90 to pull the Wizards back within 1. Unfortunately, KC was only within a goal for about 6 minutes before TFC restored their 2 goal lead. DeRosario was able to hold off Jonathan Leathers on the wing and got a shot off that Kevin Hartman did well to save. Unfortunately there were 3 TFC players following the play, and Guevara was the first to it, slotting it past Hartman to make it 3-1. Immediately after that goal, new signing Santiago Hirsig was introduced into the match, and his introduction did wonders for the Wizards team. Hirsig was a calming influence and the Wizards started to control the game some. Hirsig played an even bigger role in getting the Wizards back to within 1. Hirsig cleaverly brought down a cross from Espinoza and touched it back to Arnaud, who from about 20 yards out struck again into the far corner to make it 3-2 TFC. After the goal, TFC again pushed forward and had a chance to go up 4-2, when a handball was called on Michael Harrington in the box. DeRosario took the PK, but skied it over the bar. KC was unable to get many clear chances late, and fell to TFC for the first time in their history at home.

Wizards Man of the Match - Davy Arnaud - Not a hard choice for the game from last night. Hirsig was a calmling influence, but if not for Arnaud's willingness to shoot from outside, KC would have had no real offensive chances in the game.

Player Ratings Hartman 5, Leathers 4, Conrad 5, Hohlbein 4, Harrington 4, Zusi 4, Jewsbury 5, Arnaud 7, Lopez 5, Wolff 5, Gomez 5. Subs Espinoza 5, Hirsig 6


Anonymous said...

great post. I really enjoyed your view of the game and your analysis. I wonder if Hirsig should have not started. Yes, he is not 90 mins fit but I would rather have him there at the begining. In addition Hirsig is a better choice than a rookie on that side! I assume their plans had to change when souter got injured. Lack of offense is really going to haunt us all year.,,, but I hope i am wrong

Anonymous said...

the starting line-up was questionable at best, Zusi is simply not ready. Onalfo needs to go back to what works. Our front 5 needs to be this :


Anonymous said...

Just like last year. He plays one system in preseason with Herc on the side and first game comes and he throws him up top.

FO needs to light a fire under CO; players (with the exception of Davy) looked slow and tired with no emotion. Is the team not willing to drink the CO "cool aid" anymore.

Mike said...

Anon2, you're not going to see that front 5, Gomez needs to be on the field in my opinion.

Anon3, actually in the final game of the preseason (where we looked very good and dominate) the lineup we started with was the same exact lineup as we used Saturday.

szazzy said...

Lopez' set pieces were terrible. Wolff was invisible. We need more energy from both.

Toronto had a suspect central defense pairing, and we made them look like world-beaters. It's not going to get any easier from here.

Anonymous said...

Agree with you Mike, but last year they played one system in Florida and then when to Argentina and the last few games they switched from 3-5-2 to 4-4-2. They stayed with the 4-4-2 most of the preseason but have moved players all over the place.

Still, with the lack of emotion (Davy excluded) I worry that CO has lost control of the team. I remember NY a few seasons back with Arena and how it seemed the hustle and effort was lost.

Zusi looked slow (gave up the 1st goal ball and 5 minutes later did the same thing and Hartman saved it); Lopez made a horrible pass on our side of the field that led to the 2nd goal; I didn't see who lost the ball in midfield on the 3rd goal but at least they hustled back to try and get it back.

I also believe he went to the 3-4-3to quickly; only one down; he should have moved Lopez up, Herc down and Espinoza in. And by the way, Josh was either seriously overmatched or something was wrong, he was invisible.

Well, I guess when you do as bad as we did we should at some point go up.

Keep up the good work keeping us informed.

Reepicheep said...

I don't get the love for Espinoza. I'm still not seeing it.

Lopez played pretty well overall, but why does he take the kicks? He's horrible at them.

We're hurting at the centerback position. Hohlbein just isn't ready. Jimmy is it.

Anonymous said...

Well agreed.... the Wiz are in trouble... a horde of forwards and the midfield is the one scoring.

Lopez is an off the bench player, his age/effort/work rate/ speed... can only allow him to do so much. Lopez seems to me has his own game plan.. go wherever and do whatever.

Wolf.. man he is hit or miss and he definitively was a miss on this game.

WHY IS THE ROOKIE ZUSI taking the freekicks .. did the coach forget how well Hercules did last year!

Did the coach also forget how bad Mayers did last year starting as a rookie... and he makes the same mistake with Suzi .. he is not close to ready!

Why did the coach rush to change the formation... that tells me he did not believe on his game plan.

Espinoza, he is not bad offensively..not WOW but not bad..defensively he has always been weak, back to his college days. But he has potential.

Holbein... not ready
Beasler... wont be ready...

WE NEED more experience on the back not another forward that we will turn into an outside mid!

I hope I am just wrong.. I love the wiz they are my team and will always be but ... man I am scared for this season.