Saturday, August 15, 2009

Back to Work

After a very slow week off (as the lack of posts show) the Wizards are back in action tomorrow against the Chicago Fire at Community America Ballpark. The Wizards stole a 2-2 draw in Chicago earlier this season, and can win the season series against the Fire with a win or a lower scoring draw tomorrow. That's going to be important potentially later in the season if it comes to tie breakers. The Fire come in with a few injuries and will likely be putting out a very patch work back line. Gonzalo Segares and Daniel Woolard are both out with injury, while it appears Wilman Conde could also miss the game with injury. Also, word is that Bakary Soumare may still be in France after his international friendly there with Mali. If so, all this puts a huge dent in the Fire's back line. Speaking of defenders, this will be former Wizard, Brandon Prideaux's last trip to KC as a player, as he will retire at the end of the season.

The Wizards lineup will be interesting to see tomorrow as well, as it'll be the first real game that Peter Vermes has been in charge of since taking over for Curt Onalfo. The team will be without Claudio Lopez and Davy Arnaud due to suspensions they picked up during the Dallas game the other week. With those 2 out, the offense will take on a completely different look then it has previously. It also appears that Jimmy Conrad will return to the starting lineup as well. Since I have not been out at practice this week, I'm going to guess the lineup will be fairly similar to that which was put out against the Brass last Friday, with maybe a few changes. I see Adam Cristman getting the start over Zoltan and I could see Roger Espinoza getting the start over Michael Harrington if he is healthy now. Other than that I don't expect much change, but who knows what Vermes has seen in the two weeks of practice he's had with the team.

Watson - Conrad - Hohlbein - Besler
Gomez - Jewsbury - Harrington
Cristman - Wolff

Key Match Up - Jimmy Conrad vs Chris Rolfe - With Brian McBride out injured for the Fire, much of the offensive pressure now falls on Rolfe. Rolfe continues to play well for Chicago whether it be on the wing or up top. I have a feeling with that this game we'll be seeing Rolfe up top meaning a match up with captain Conrad.

PREDICTION - Chicago is the best road team in the league they've only loss twice on the road this season. Getting a win, even with the patchwork backline they'll have won't be easy. Cuauhtemoc Blanco is always going to be a threat no matter if he's starting or coming off the bench. It's hard to make a prediciton for this game not knowing how Vermes is going to play the team now, but Chicago's road record speaks for itself, as does the Wizards current form.

KC - 1 (Wolff)
CHI - 1 (Rolfe)

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