Friday, April 23, 2010

Back Home Against the Unbeaten

The Wizards return home after the disappointing result in Seattle last week that saw the Wizards drop a point late on the road. The "road", as it is, doesn't get easier for KC this weekend, as coming to town this weekend is probably the hottest team in MLS, the LA Galaxy. And on the Galaxy is the hottest player in MLS, Edson Buddle who has scored all 7 of LA's goals this season. Buddle isn't the only weapon though, as Landon Donovan is also on the Galaxy and can't be overlooked by the Wizards defense. Not only do they have a good attack, they have a strong defense anchored by second year defender Omar Gonzalez, who looks set to become a national team defender. Still, I think this weekend will be the biggest test for the Galaxy back line.

KC is back home in their friendly confines where they've yet to allow a goal this season. And while that's a nice stat looking, it'll be interesting to see how it stands up against a stronger offense like LA. Especially with defender Jimmy Conrad set to have to pass a fitness test on Saturday to be available to play. If Conrad can't go, we can expect to see Matt Besler and Pablo Escobar man the two central defensive positions. Besler and Escobar, though, filled in well against Seattle last week, so if they have to go, they'll hopefully be able to hold the center of defense down. Other than Conrad, I'd expect basically the same lineup we've seen the first few games of this season. If Conrad can go, then I think we could see Escobar move back to the bench. Right now I'm going to treat it like Conrad won't be able to go tomorrow.

Harrington - Escobar - Besler - Espinoza
Arnaud - Auvray - Jewsbury
Kamara - Wolff - Smith

Key Match Up - Besler and Escobar vs Buddle - The man has scored 7 goals in the first 4 games of the season for LA, and while Donovan is the more talented player, you have to shut down the hot hand first and foremost, and they don't get much hotter than Buddle is right now.

PREDICTION - This is the biggest and toughest game of the season so far, even more so than the Seattle game I think. LA is playing some good soccer right now, they're scoring a goal and then shutting teams down. They've already defeated Houston on the road and took down defending champion Real Salt Lake at home last week. I really think KC can take this one, but they'll have to make sure they shut down both Buddle and Donovan, and the scoring touch is going to have to come back as well. I want a win and certainly think it's possible.

KC - 2 (Smith, Arnaud)
LA - 1 (Donovan)


MOUFWASH said...


lets go Wizards, this one is big

we took Sounders down for their first time last year, lets do it again

Reepicheep said...


But yes- Let's go Wizards!

A huge statement can be made with this game.