Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wizards Win Intersquad Scrimmage

As was expected tonight, the Wizards won their game against, the Wizards. In a closed to the public scrimmage tonight out at CAB, the Wizards white defeated the Wizards blue 5-2. Chance Myers and Josh Wolff each had a brace while Ryan Smith added one. Blue got their goals from Kei Kamara and Teal Bunbury. Judging by the lineups I posted in the play-by-play posting, the white team would appear to be a likely starting lineup if the season starts on time. That team got a quick start with Myers opening the scoring in the 9th minute with his head off a cross from Michael Harrington after he worked a good sequence with Davy Arnaud. Harrington was involved in the second goal as well when he played in Wolff who got in front of his man enough to get a shot off that 5-holed Eric Kronberg in the blue net to double the lead in the 13th. Blue continued to dominate play, with Wolff having another goal called back for being offside. Blue did have some decent moments in the first half though, but didn't really test Jimmy Nielsen much. Their best chance in the first half came when Nielsen made a mess of a clearance, but recovered in time to keep Bunbury from scoring.

At half time, Jack Jewsbury (who is still recovering from offseason surgery) made way for Igor Kostrov. As the half wore on, Mauro Fuzetti came on for an injured Jonathan Leathers and Boris Pardo entered for Kronberg, but that was the extent of the subs. The rest of the players got their first 90 minute game of the season. Myers made it 3-0 in the 54th minute, and only a few minutes later Smith had to just tap the ball in after Arnaud had drawn the defenders to his side of the field making it 4-0. As the game wore on, both teams started to get tired and the game opened up a lot more with breaks for each time almost one after the other. During this time we got to see what Nielsen could do and he made some very good saves on shots by Graham Zusi and Kamara. You knew that blue was going to score the way the game was going, but it took a brilliant goal by Kamara to finally breach Nielsen's net. Kamara received the ball at the top of the penalty circle with his back to goal, faked to his right, cut back left, turned and hit a rocket into the upper 90 of Nielsen's near post. An amazing goal that left Nielsen with no chance, very nice.

White came back down the field immediately though and regained their 4 goal lead, as Myers was brought down in the box. Wolff stepped up and buried the PK making it 5-1. White continued to push for a 6th, with Wolff going wide and then having a shot nicely saved by Pardo. Bunbury finished off the scoring in the 86th. Kamara dribbled into the box, going at Harrington and turning him, Kamara picked out Bunbury about 10 yards from goal, he took a touch and shot, the ball deflected off the hand of Matt Besler, but still trickled into the net, as Nielsen had already committed himself the other way to try and save Bunbury's inital shot before it deflected.

Overall it was an impressive performance from both teams, even though the score appears lopsided. The Wizards are going to be extremely dangerous this year on the wings, Smith and Roger Espinoza did extremely well working together on their wing working 1-2s and overlapping runs. The same was true on the right for Myers and Harrington they're going to be threats all season. My one issue is I'd like a taller forward like Kamara on the field to get on the end of their crosses. Stephane Auvray and Birahim Diop controlled the center of midfield making it hard for blue to develop their attack. Zoltan Hercegfalvi for blue also had some very good moments in helping develop attacks for blue but couldn't get people on the end for shots. While Kamara showed a willingness to go at defender and try to beat them which is something the team sorely lacked last season.

Wizards Man of the Match - Ryan Smith - After seeing him tonight, I am becoming a big fan he looks extremely impressive. He's going to surprise a lot of teams I think, he's fast not just speed, but speed of play, he sees the field well and makes good decisions.

Honorable mention - Chance Myers, Josh Wolff, Kei Kamara


Morry said...

can we start getting excited?

Mike said...

I'm getting plenty excited, but I'm also trying to quell it because this was just an intersquad scrimmage, but I liked what I saw in the game.

MOUFWASH said...

so glad we have a new midfield this year, and I still cant understand how Onalfo had Harrington on the bench.. have fun with that DC :)

Nathan Martin said...

The White's seem to be the likely starting team although I would think Kei will get a number of starts. So here are some questions since you were able to see the scrimmage.
Are we still playing a similar formation as last year (4-4-2 with 2 "holding" center mids)?
How comfortable did Espinoza look at left back? Has Harrington improved his right foot which has been ok but maybe not ideal in the past? What's the dynamic between Diop and Auvaray (take turns going forward or one predominately stays more defensive)?
I have more questions but don't want to pester you so any insight would be much appreciated.

Mike said...


Based off of last night defensively it looks like the 2 dmid formation from last year, offensively, Diop is getting forward a lot more than the mids last year.

Espinoza looked pretty good at left back, much better than I expected.
Harrington looked comfrotable on the right, he played in the cross for Myers first goal with his right.

Diop seemed to go forward more than Auvray but they both went forward.

cheezwiz said...

I'm excited about the speed and creativity people are speaking about of Ryan Smith. It's also good to see Chance progressing.

Nathan Martin said...

Thanks for the insight.