Sunday, April 05, 2009

Cold, Windy, Wet, and a Win

It was a cold, wet, windy, miserable day out at Community America Ballpark today as the Wizards took on the San Jose Earthquakes. Rain and snow along with 40 mph winds made for a difficult game on the field for both teams as well as in the stands. The Wizards came out the quickest of the two teams and seemed to be the quicker to adjust to the elements as well. KC had the majority of possession to start the game and had a few chances early to take the lead. The best of those chances was when Josh Wolff put a low shot just wide of the net. In the 28th minute, though, Kansas City had their first lead of the season. Claudio Lopez played in a long corner that was controlled by Davy Arnaud. Arnaud controlled the ball and then shot. Joe Cannon made the original save, but was immediately forced to make another save. This time the ball fell to Aaron Hohlbein who had an open net to put the ball into for his first MLS goal.

Kansas City continued to dominate after the goal, but could not find the second goal in the first half. The domination by the Wizards continued in the second half as well, as San Jose was completely shut down in the offensive half of the field. Outside backs Matt Besler and Lance Watson did a good job of shutting down the Earthquakes attacks through Darren Huckerby and Arturo Alvarez. It took until the 78th minute, but Kansas City finally got their deserved second goal through Lopez. Herculez Gomez plalyed a long over the top from the right side of the field to the left, where Lopez ran onto it. Lopez took a few touches and then buried the shot low to Cannon's far post. San Jose put up a little more threat after the second goal, but not enough to really trouble the Wizards.

Wizards Man of the Match - Santiago Hirsig - Nothing really stat wise for Hirsig, but his ability to conrol the midfield played a huge part for Kansas City today. He's a calming influence and is able to put his foot on the ball and pick a player out.

Player Ratings - Hartman 6, Watson 6, Conrad 6, Hohlbein 6, Besler 5, Gomez 6, Jewsbury 5, Hirsig 7, Wolff 5, Lopez 5, Arnaud 6. Subs Kraus NR, Espinoza NR


Anonymous said...

if hirsig was starting the first two games probably coulve been different. i like zusi and he was a great player and i believe he will be a good starer in a couple years but Hirsig just was a role player off a team who tied for the cluasaura in aregentina and played at a high level for a long time. there arent many midfielders in the mls with his poise vision, technique and calmness. kind of like claudio reyna in his day. if he doesnt start the whole season over zusi onalfo has to go.

Anonymous said...

Hirsig didnt start the first two games because he was not fit. He had not played in a while for San Lorezo due to a contract dispute that lead to him getting out of his contract.

He didnt start the first few games because he couldnt go a full 90, and would have more of an impact in the last half than the first.

He WILL be a starter for the rest of the season (fitness pending that is)

Anonymous said...

Though conditions for the boys to play made the game a bit sloppy but ... we will take the win! I must admit I was not very hopeful for Lance in the right back but he did great!

Anonymous said...

I agree, I have never been a big Lance Watson Fan, but as of late he's done a good job filling in where we need him. Go WIZ

Reepicheep said...

Mike, you're hard on Lopez. I thought his energy was good and he created chances. He deserves a "7".

As for Hirsig, I am trying to be calmly excited about him. He actually holds the ball at midfield! I can't remember the last time we had a center midfielder who did that consistently. He could be a MAJOR contributor going forward. I liked that line up Sat.

Anonymous said...

Was it just me or Hirsig looked the most comfortable as he cheated into the center, I don't really see him as an outside mid. Perhaps this would fix our possession problem 4-5-1.

Lopez left mid, center mids Jack deffensive, Davy and Hirsig attacking cm, right Hercules, up front Wolf.
Defense as last game.... just my thoughts

Mike said...

Last Anon. He wasn't really cheating into the center, he was playing as our center midfielder yesterday, with Gomez and Wolff on the wings behind Lopez and Arnaud. Although those 4 did a lot of switching between positions.