Monday, June 08, 2009

Playing a Man Up

Saturday night was the fourth time this season that the Wizards have played a man up this season. In those 4 games, the Wizards have spent 229 minutes a man up. That's over 2 and a half games being up a man! In those 229 minutes, the Wizards have scored a total of 3 goals. And given up 2. The old adage is that teams down a man play better because they're forced to focus more. Still playing 2 and a half games up a man, you would expect the Wizards to be able to wear teams down and score more than just 3 goals.

The most glaring example of this, is the game earlier this year against New York. The Red Bulls got a red card in only the second minute, and yet the Wizards couldn't get anything other than the PK they got on the same call that produced the red card. In fact in parts of that game (and the game against Seattle), the Wizards looked like they were the team that was playing a man down.

Up until last week, the Wizards lack of putting the opponent under had not cost the Wizards point. But last week in LA it finally did. The Wizards were a man up for 31 minutes against the LA Galaxy, and could only score the one goal. That ended up costing them when they gave up an equalizer 4 minutes before the end of the game. This past Saturday, the Wizards inability to score a man up cost them again. A man up for almost 40 minutes, the Wizards could not score against the Crew defense, and when they gave up a PK while down a man, the game was basically over. On the small field at CAB, the Crew were able to close off all space and get compact in the box to keep the Wizards from getting a goal.

It's frustrating seeing the Wizards play up a man so much so far this season and struggle to create dangerous chances and put balls in the net. The struggle to do this in the past two games could end up costing the team later in the season.


Reepicheep said...

Excellent analysis.

MVK said...

certainly is frustrating, our finishing is horrible and our crossing might be even worse. I dont know what needs to happen but something needs to change...

Robbie said...

Great analysis Mike. Thank you.

By the way and a bit off topic, since we're seeing some movement in the trade market have you heard anything about KC making a move. We do have some needs and some young players that aren't really playing that much or have been out of favor with the coach that we could move for veterans (Morsink, Harrington etc. + a draft pick).

Keep up the awesome blogging my man.

Mike said...


Thanks for the kind words. As you probably saw in the paper today, Vermes talks about offers, but apparently none that intrigue him. So I'd say there's likely no real trades in the work (at least within MLS).