Well that didn't take long. The Wizards trip into the 2010 US Open Cup is over before it officially got started as the Wizards were knocked out in the first round of MLS qualifying by the Colorado Rapids tonight, 2-1 on the back of two Wells Thompson goals. The game started very brightly for KC, as in the 5th minute, Teal Bunbury made a nice solo run down the left wing and played in a lofted cross. It was a poor cross that appeared headed right for Steward Ceus in the Rapids goal made a complete mess of the cross though and it went through his hands and into the net to give KC the very early lead and Bunbury his first professional goal.
Like the first game between these two teams on Saturday it was a very physical game, and the referee was letting the teams play, which led to many tackles and challenges that would at other times be fouls allowed to play on. This played more into the Rapids style of play, and the Wizards started to give up more possession. As the Rapids held more possession, the Wizards sat deeper and deeper and started to give away a few corners. On one corner, the ball was partially cleared and sent back across the box where Menhdi Ballouchy fired the ball across the face of goal, but no Rapids player got on the end of it and it was cleared for another corner. On that corner, the ball was played to the back post where Thompson headed the ball into the net to level the scores.
The goal seemed to wake the Wizards back up and they began to press again and should have added two more goals before the break. Josh Wolff played a nice ball in behind the Rapids defense that Chance Myers got on the end of, but then couldn't get a shot off to finish. Wolff himself had a chance as well on a beautiful cross field ball from Graham Zusi. Wolff's first touch off his chest though was too hard and ended up in the hands of Ceus.
At half time, coach Peter Vermes pulled Korede Aiyegbusi and Sunil Chhetri (who didn't look bad, but didn't really do much to impress in his debut) for Michael Harrington and Kei Kamara. The Wizards once again started the half as the stronger side with Kamara almost getting on the end of a Harrington cross as Ceus again spilled the ball. As the second half wore on though, it was the Rapids who started to really press the game, as Andre Akpan and Quincy Amarikwa both pushed the Wizards back line, getting called offside a number of times, but also getting their chances pushing shots just wide or forcing Eric Kronberg into saves. KC had a few chances of their own, with Zusi forcing Ceus into a decent save. The introduction of Claudio Lopez around the 80th minute turned the game as with basically his first touch he played in Thompson who beat Kronberg and gave the Rapids the lead. With the lead, Colorado was the ones who sat back and tried to absorb the pressure and did a good job of it, although KC had their chances, as Stephane Auvray had a shot blocked and it rolled just wide of the post. Then late in second half stoppage time, KC had a couple more chances, as a header was tipped over the bar by Ceus, Leathers had a shot on goal saved off the line by a Rapids defender, and another header went just wide of the post. In the end, KC couldn't find the net and Colorado advances to take on New York, Philadelphia or New England.
Wizards Man of the Match - Craig Rocastle - Rocastle was a calming, direct influence on the field tonight, he did a good job of breaking up plays and starting Wizards attacks. He also looked good with his feet, doing well to evade defenders and try to find the open man. At the same time he just collected and distributed the ball around. Nothing overly flashy, efficient.
Lineup - Kronberg 5, Aiyegbusi 4, Conrad 5, Escobar 4, Leathers 5, Rocastle 7, Zusi 6, Chhetri 4, Bunbury 5, Wolff 6, Myers 5. Subs Kamara 6, Harrington 4, Auvray 5, Diop NR.