Saturday, January 23, 2010

Highs and Lows For Wizards in US-Honduras Game

Depending on how you want to look at tonight's USA-Honduras friendly out in LA, you could see it as a very bad night or a good night. From the aspect of a Wizards fan, it was a mixed bag. First on the bad side, Wizards goalkeeper, Kevin Hartman did not even make the bench as Troy Perkins started and Nick Rimando was on the bench. Things only got worse for the US contingent of US players, as only 18 minutes into the game Wizards and US captain, Jimmy Conrad picked up a second yellow and was shown the door. Conrad's first yellow was in the 6th minute for a tactical foul after a USA corner. The second was for a shirt pull. And while I think it was a bit harsh, in that situation, Conrad has to be smarter. The call also led to a penalty kick and Honduras grabbed a 1-0 lead.

On the other side of the ball, Wizards midfielder, Roger Espinoza had a himself a strong game. Espinoza caused issues down both wings at different times throughout the game. Espinoza set up the second goal after a long ball over the top to Carlos Pavon, who found Jerry Palacios. And while that goal could also be blamed on the US defense (particularly Chad Marshall), Honduras looked the more likely to get a second. Espinoza was rewarded for his work in the 53rd minute when he worked a give and go with Palacios and buried his shot to the far post. The US did pull a goal back in the 70th minute through Clarence Goodson off of a corner kick, but overall the US was outplayed and Honduras was really the only team deserving a win tonight.

From a Wizards fan perspective, Espinoza showed quite well as he came off just before second half stoppage time and certainly kept himself in the mind of the Honduran coach for the World Cup.


Reepicheep said...

Best showing EVER by Espinosa. I would love to see something that vaguely resembles an iota of that this season...haven't thus far for KC.

Anonymous said...

i didn't get a chance to see this game but i'm really happy for roger. i hope he can continue to show he can play at that level. its great news for kc. as a huge jimmy can i'm really disappointed he got sent off so early. any chance he can still make the world cup squad?

Anonymous said...

Hartman would have just punched the ball out to Honduras to let them score near post on him so its probably better he didn't make the bench, and that is really unfortunate about Jimmy. I am really happy to hear about Roger I really did not understand why he fell out of favor last year. Yeah he had some dumb younger player mistakes but so did Besler and some how stayed in the starting 11.

Mike said...

I don't know for sure why Espinoza fell out of favor last season, but my initial thought is not that he fell out of favor, but that the team limited his minutes so that he would not graduate from the generation adidas program. That's just my thought though.

As for Jimmy's World Cup chances, they were low before this camp and the red card didn't help. With the stuff Ives posted Friday about Gooch being on the recovery road, that'd give the US Gooch, Boca, Demerit, and Spector all on the WC roster all able to play center back. Then I still rank Marshall ahead of Conrad (although he too had a howler last night). Roger is more likely to be at the cup than Jimmy at this point.

MOUFWASH said...

Espinoza looked like he was never sure what to do when he played with Wizards last year; he seems to play simpler and quicker with Honduras.

Hope this isnt a sign to come for Jimmy (both yellows were due to him being a step or two behind), but we should probably not ignore that a decent number CBs were brought in and drafted this year.

US MLS based midfield is pretty far below par now with Clark and Holden across the pond.