Sunday, September 20, 2009

Still Fighting

The Wizards still are very unlikely to qualify for the playoffs this year, but they're not going down this year without a fight. KC came back from being a goal down to take all 3 points last night out at Community America Ballpark against Dallas, winning 3-2. Jimmy Conrad picked up the winner after having a howler of a night in the defensive third of the field giving the ball away for both of Dallas' goals last night.

The game as a whole was marred with poor defensive play. It started early Santiago Hirsig completely lost his mark on a corner in the 9th minute and had the easiest of headers to put away to give KC the 1-0 lead. The teams continued to go back and forth for much of the rest of the half with a few half chances, but no real chances on goal. Dallas' best opportunity came on a lofted ball into the box for Jeff Cunningham. Kevin Hartman saved his header, but Cunningham was offside anyways. Then late in the first half on a routine throw in, Conrad played the ball up the field directly to Dax McCarty, who dribbled to the two of the penalty circle before firing a low shot past Hartman to level the scores.

Early in the second half, Conrad made another bad defensive error. Conrad mistouched a bouncing ball that he was trying to settle, David Ferreira stepped in and stole the ball off of Conrad. Ferreira dribbled into the KC area, got Hartman to commit and then squared the ball to Cunningham who had an open net to finish into to give Dallas the 2-1 lead in the 53rd. KC then started to press the game, getting forward when they could as Dallas sat back to try to defend their 2-1 lead. The Wizards came close to leveling the score when Davy Arnaud had his shot nicely saved by Dario Sala and Kei Kamara headed the rebounded cross just over the bar. KC finally got the equalizer in the 77th off another corner. Claudio Lopez's corner went to the back post to Zoltan Hercegfalvi, who had just entered the game. With his first touch, Hercegfalvi fired in a shot on goal, which Josh Wolff redirected into the net to level the scores at 2. Only a few minutes later, KC found the winner. Lopez took the ball down the left wing and played in a cross which was headed at Sala by his own player. Sala did well to parry the ball away, but it fell right to Conrad who had moved forward. Conrad, with the whole goal to shot for headed the ball into the empty net to give the Wizards the lead again. KC held onto the lead for the last 10 minutes with Hartman making a big save on Heath Pearce to preserve the lead.

Wizards Man of the Math - Claudio Lopez - Lopez played a part in all 3 goals last night with two assists off corners and his cross leading to the winning goal by Conrad. Another good outing by Lopez.

Honorable Mention - Santiago Hirsig

Player Ratings - Hartman 5, Leathers 4, Conrad 5, Besler 5, Harrington 4, Gomez 4, Hirsig 5, Morsink 4, Lopez 6, Arnaud 4, Wolff 5. Subs Kamara 5, Zusi 4, Hercegfalvi 5


J said...

Nice write-up, and it was a great game to attend.

What exactly are our playoff scenarios? I forget how many teams make the playoffs and whether/how the selection winds up disregarding conference standings in favor of overall standings...

In any event, I thought Kei Kamara looked very dangerous and a great addition to the squad. As noted, it will be difficult/interesting to keep a hold of him, but I hope we do. He's a massive upgrade to our attacking options. When I saw he was on at halftime, I struggled for about 10 minutes trying to figure out who he came on for. Hmm, Lopez still on. Kamara is up front with Josh, so Davy must be out. Nope. Hmm...Morsink is still out there...Finally I realized it was Gomez who came off. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention in the first half, but it seemed pretty damning to me that I could not even remember Gomez being out there when it came to figuring out who Kamara had replaced.

W said...

Mike, how can you give Harrington and Morsink both a 4 -both players I think did a good job- while giving Jimmy, who had 2 very costly mistakes, a 5? Don't understand your ratings.
Never-the-less, nice write-up

Mike said...

I felt Dallas' best attacks came down the wings, against our backs, and I felt that Morsink didn't have a solid game.

Jimmy's may be a little higher, it was going to be a 3 for those defensive mistakes, but the game winner bumped him up some.

MOUFWASH said...

Morsink rating was fair, but Harrington was solid (as he had been since getting the left back spot back)..

You have to remember who is playing in front of Harrington(Lopez), meaning he has 2 players running at him. Put Chance at LW and that side is completely shut down (not saying do this, as Lopez is the vital cog of attack). He (Harrington) actually deals with it very well and provides compsure on the ball and distribution that is extremely rare for a LB in the MLS. If he isnt injuried early in the year and in turn loses his spot, I seriously think he is in the discussion for options other than Bornstein at LB for the national team. The guy is a complete player with elite athleticism.

Whereismyrobot said...

Great blog. I was in Kansas City for this game supporting Dallas and I want to thank you for your hospitality (and the BBQ!). It was an exciting game and I can't wait for you guys to get your own stadium.

See you next year.