Sunday, July 26, 2009

Not a Loss, but Still Winless

The Wizards took the early lead against the Galaxy, but couldn't hold on and stretched their winless streak to 8 games now. The Galaxy came out from the start and were the more aggressive team from the beginning. Kevin Hartman was forced to make a few early saves on Landon Donovan and a David Beckham cross to keep the game scoreless. In the 26th minute, Herculez Gomez cleared a long throw by Todd Dunivant to Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez around midfield. Gonzalez made a mess of his first touch which went right to Claudio Lopez. Lopez took a touch towards the middle of the field, saw that Donovan Ricketts was off his line and fired a shot that went just over the Galaxy keepers hand and into the net giving the Wizards a 1-0 lead. On the play, Ricketts hit the post and ended up having to be subbed out.

Less than 10 minutes after that goal, though, the Galaxy were level. Santiago Hirsig gave the ball away easily around midfield to Beckham, who immediately found Donovan. Donovan dribbled at the Wizards defense, cut in and put a shot just out of reach of Hartman and into the net. Late in the first half, Donovan had the chance to make it two after getting played in behind the Wizards defense, but Hartman came off his line quickly and was able to block the shot.

In the second half, the Wizards started early and tried to find a second, as Lopez forced a good save out of Josh Saunders on a free kick from the right side. Neither side created any great scoring chances as the half went on, but of the chances created, it was the Galaxy that seemed to get the better ones. In the 78th, Lopez once again was going for goal from a free kick, this time from out by the right side line. Lopez's shot rattled the cross bar came down and struck Gonzalez in the arm before it was cleared, but no penalty was called on the play. In the end, the Wizards had picked up the pressure in the second half, but were unable to get a goal or many dangerous chances other than Lopez's two free kicks.

Also during the game, Beckham once again got into a small confrontation with a fan, only this time, the fan didn't come onto the field to shake Beckham's hand after the guy made comments about his wife. Considering that he's played in some pretty hostile environments around the world, how he has such thin skin that it annoys him enough to call the guy a disgrace is just mind boggling.

Wizards Man of the Match - Kevin Hartman - Hartman came up big multiple times during the game making good saves mainly on Donovan but on other players as well.

Honorable Mention - Rauwshan McKenzie

Player Ratings - Hartman 7, Leathers 5, Hohlbein 5, McKenzie 6, Besler 5, Hirsig 4, Gomez 5, Jewsbury 5, Espinoza 4, Wolff 5, Lopez 6. Subs Cristman 5, Thompson NR


Kevin said...

Keeping count. Hirsig has given away 5 balls in the midfield this season that have led to goals (2 in games against TOR; 1 CHI; 1 C-bus; 1 LA) plus suspect on another, just can't remember (add the ones KH has saved through the season). He almost made it half a dozen on the play that KH saved the Donovan close shot last night.

I'd take the "calming influence" argument everyone uses with him if our midfield actually controlled or held the ball.

How about some JJ in the holding mid and give Hirsig some time on the bench to think about this? Had this been a keeper giving 5 or 6 soft goals he'd be riding the bench.

mattsui said...

You wouldn't feel the same way if someone was saying nasty things about your wife? Stop looking for ways to rip Beckham.

Anonymous said...

And he's probably heard things 10 times worse than what that guy said last night. Why's he all of the sudden reacting to it? Cause he wants a way out, he doesn't want to be here.

Mike said...

Actually I'd probably ignore them if they were saying stuff about my wife because if they're saying stuff like that they're probably idiots that don't deserve a response. It's idiotic for a professional athlete to react the way he has (watching the Gold Cup preview show on ESPN right now Claudio Reyna and Tommy Smyth both agree with me that there's no reason for someone that's played every where he has to have such thin skin).

Why should I stop ripping on a player who has blatantly come out and ripped the league that I care about? Are you saying the same thing about people that rip on Manny or Bonds or other players in professional sports?

J said...

Agree with Mike. Becks got hell in every stadium in England after his red card in France 98, and many of those taunts also attacked Posh. I don't recall Beckham then getting into it with fans in the Kop or at Highbury, etc. Now, he's just after headlines, generating publicity and furthering the Beckham brand, and trying to maneuver for an exit out of the USA so he make one last shot at England's World Cup roster for 2010.