Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Wizards Bow Out of Open Cup

In a move that shocked me, the Wizards played mostly starters last night in Seattle against the Sounders in the US Open Cup. Unfortunately that was not enough, as the Wizards fell to the Sounders 1-0 on an 89th minute penalty kick. There was no video broadcast of the game last night, only an audio cast to follow online through the Sounders website.

Based on the broadcast, it sounded like the Sounders took the game to the Wizards for most of the night, creating many chances and half chances but not able to find the net until late in the game, when Kevin Hartman was called for bringing down Fredy Montero as he tried to round the Wizards keeper. Sebastien Le Toux stepped up and put the penalty kick away to give the Sounders the goal they needed. Kansas City on the other hand seemed to struggle once again to produce chances offensively. This issue can't continue if the Wizards hope to do anything in the league (the only competition left).

The Sounders goal was not without controversy though, as the Wizards protested at the time and after the game, with goalkeeping coach, John Pascarella having to be restrained by the fourth official as the picture below by Rick Morrison with shows. Post game, Onalfo had some harsh words about the call made by Abbey Okulaja. Onalfo makes comments to the previous times that Okulaja has played a major role in a Wizards game. Also on the site I just linked with the quotes from Onalfo is some highlights of last night's game from the Sounders website, including the tackle that led to the penalty kick. You can make your own opinion on the call, but for me the call is iffy at best and at worse should have been a yellow to Montero for a dive. Montero takes the ball into the box and as Hartman comes out, Montero tries to touch the ball around him. His touch though goes well ahead of him, he had no chance to get to that ball before it went out of bounds. On top of it looks like there was little to no contact made by Hartman, backing up the statement he made that he didn't even touch Montero.

Wizards Man of the Match - Rauwshan McKenzie - It's hard to pick a man of the match in a game you can't see, but based on comments made by the Sounders broadcasters last night, McKenzie had himself a very good game, stopping multiple Sounder attacks throughout the night.

Player Ratings - Without seeing the full game I'm not going to do full ratings for this game.


Anonymous said...

After seeing that highlight of the PK tackle and thinking back to the commentary we heard from Seattle... I start to wonder if we were really being outplayed as much as the commentators made it out to be...

Like, there was a moment where the commentators got _really_ excited for something like a long ball over the top that Hartman came out to take. From how they reacted, it sounded like a clear-cut goal scoring opportunity, but thinking back to it, it wasn't all that special.

Add to that the fact that they could barely remember the Wizard's names in order to describe what those players were doing and that they barely raised their voice when the Wizards had opportunities (even when they later said that it was a really good opportunity)... Well, I just think that it's hard enough to understand how well we played without video, even harder when listening to non-neutral audio commentary.

Not saying that I could really say one way or another on how well we played, just that we should take what we heard with a grain of salt.

Another interesting thought is - if Montero does get a yellow for diving there, that would've been _his_ second yellow.

Ultimately, water under the bridge now... but just something to think about.

laurie said...

A dive? Please.

laurie said...

Try again.

Anonymous said...

There's barely any contact when that picture is taken and his foot is basically already off the ground. He was already going down before contact was made, therefore, a dive.

Tim said...

His foot is off the ground cause he was sprinting at the goal. Any contact on a players legs in that situation is going to send the player flying. You can't come out as the keeper and miss the ball completely and hit the player. Its a penalty... Great photography btw. I think the only sign of a conspiracy is the photographer was ready and waiting to snap that shot! ;)

Mike said...

The last anon. is partially right, it certainly looks like Montero had already started to go down before contact was made. But this is certainly better evidence than the video I was basing my opinion off of earlier. I'm not completely convinced any more that it was a dive.