Sunday, May 31, 2009

Points Dropped

The Wizards had a goal lead and a man advantage with 6 minutes left in the game, but let the lead slip away and ended up coming away with only 1 point last night in LA. KC was outplayed early, but held on and took advantage of a Gregg Berhalter red card to get a 1-0 through Davy Arnaud, but couldn't hold the lead late, as Edson Buddle equalized for LA.

The Wizards made three changes to their lineup against Chivas, with Michael Harrington, Herculez Gomez, and Kevin Souter coming into the lineup. KC came out and started by passing the ball pretty well early on, but that passing didn't lead to any real dangerous attacks, as they didn't even test Donovan Ricketts in the LA net. The Galaxy started to get more of the possession and dominate the game, as Lance Watson had trouble dealing with Eddie Lewis on the Galaxy's left side. Thankfully for the Wizards, they had the post on their side, and Alan Gordon on the field for the Galaxy. Gordon missed a hattrick of good chances over the course of the game. His first came on a through ball, but Kevin Hartman got off his line well to stuff Gordon. Later in the half, Gordon hit the cross bar after a Lewis cross. On the rebound, Hartman did enough to throw off Landon Donovan, who headed over the bar. LA continued to pressure, but couldn't get a goal. The Wizards best chance of the first half came very late in the half when Claudio Lopez played a cross field ball to Matt Besler, whose cross was met by Arnaud. Arnaud's redirection hit Ricketts in the chest and bounced back out into play.

LA came out in the second half and continued to pressure. Gordon missed his third chance of the game when he ran onto a Demo Kovalenko cross, but put his shot over. The tone of the game changed in the 59th minute though. Lopez was played through one-on-one with Ricketts, but Berhalter grabbed Lopez's shorts as he tried to pull away from the Galaxy defender. The pull on the shorts was enough for referee Terry Vaughn to red card Berhalter for denying a goal scoring opportunity. After the red card, KC started to have more of the possession and took the game to LA, but still could not find net. Instead, it was the Galaxy who would get the next best chances. Chris Klein, a second half sub forced a fantastic one handed save from Hartman after he cut inside on Matt Besler. Off the ensuing corner, LA again hit the cross bar, this time through Buddle. Finally in the 84th minute, KC broke down the Galaxy defense. Roger Espinoza did a good job of keeping a cross in bounds by crossing it back into the goal box, there Gomez met it with a diving header. The header was going wide, but Arnaud was able to turn the ball into the open net after Ricketts had committed himself on the header.

The Galaxy still pushed the game though, and a poor give away by Jack Jewsbury was played to Donovan who found Buddle streaking into the box. Buddle's shot beat Hartman to the near post, leveling the score. A disappointing result for KC, being a man up and giving away a goal like that to give LA a share of the points (their 9th draw of the season).

Wizards Man of the Match - Kevin Hartman - The near post goal aside, Hartman saved the Wizards tonight. He did well getting off his line to stop Gordon early in the game, and made a fantastic save on Klein to keep the score level.

Player Ratings - Hartman 6, Watson 3, Conrad 5, Hohlbein 5, Besler 4, Arnaud 6, Jewsbury 5, Harrington 3, Souter 4, Gomez 5, Lopez 4. Subs Espinoza 5, Zusi 5, Thompson NR.


MVK said...

that first Arnaud shot went off the keepers face, not his chest.

The Jewsbury turnover in the midfield is completely unacceptable, and what is worse is we had turnovers in the midfield back to back, and we paid for it the 2nd time. These mistakes should not be made by "professionals", you are a goal and a man up with 6 mins to play, dont make mistakes and keep play in front of you.

MVK said...


Do you guys think having the defensive bite of Jewsbury as an attacking mid is a better option than the scoring threat tha Davy is in that spot?

Robbie said...


I've liked Jack as an attacking mid with Davy on the wing. I'm not sold on Hirsig since he has not played a one-touch ball all year and tends to slow the team down at times; plus he's not that good a defender. He'll hold on to it too much and has lost balls in the midfield leading to goals. IMHO D-mid is a sore spot for the team.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what the obsession with Hirsig not one-touching the ball is. I've seen a few people mention it. His job as a d-mid is to slow the game down. He's a calming influence. I prefer Jack up in the attacking mid position as I think he's a better 2 way midfielder than Davy is. Although the counter to that is that all of Davy's goals have come when he's been in the middle of the field (3 from attacking mid, 1 from forward)

Mike said...

I think it's a bit of a toss up with Jack and Davy in the center of midfield. Jack gives more of a two way play (as was mentioned), and can certainly strike the ball as well. But Davy provides just a bit more offensive punch, and as was pointed out, his goals have come when he's played more centrally.

As for Hirsig, I like the guy. You don't very often in MLS get players that can hold the ball up and are willing to slow the game down. He's a calming influence in the midfield.