Friday, June 26, 2009

Win and You're In

That's basically the key about the final SuperLiga group play game for the Wizards. A win over Mexican side, Santos Laguna, and the Wizards are into the semifinals of the tournament. Should they not win, there are still possibilities for the Wizards to go through. Santos comes into the game with 1 point in their first two games, losing 4-2 to New England and drawing 0-0 with Atlas. This game is the renewal of a minor rivalry as the Wizards had played Santos in the 2001 Copa Mercanorte and 2002 CONCACAF Champion's Cup. In the 2002 Champion's Cup, the Wizards became the first and so far only MLS side to win a home and home series with a Mexican side. Sadly this rivalry didn't continue beyond a 2003 friendly in Houston.

This is the last game that the Wizards will have Jimmy Conrad, Davy Arnaud, and Roger Espinoza as those 3 will leave to join their respective national teams for the upcoming Gold Cup. With the reserves likely set to play on Tuesday in the US Open Cup against Minnesota, I'd expect to see the first team out for this game against Santos.
Watson - Hohlbein - Conrad - Besler
Jewsbury - Arnaud - Gomez
Wolff - Lopez

Key Match Up - Wizards forwards vs Oswaldo Sanchez - The Mexican international is a favorite to taunt by US fans when the US plays Mexico, and is prone to giving up a gaff goal or two. Still at times he's a good keeper and will be hard for the Wizards to beat.

PREDICTION - The Wizards need a win, and if what has been said by the players and coaches, they are taking this seriously. I'd expect KC to come out ready to win this game. With the way that Sanchez is prone to play, if the Wizards can get one, they'll get a few more.

KC - 2 (Lopez, Arnaud)
SL - 1

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