Kansas City continued their home shutout streak last night against LA, but could not find the net themselves as the two teams finished last night 0-0. The big question coming in, was how KC was going to stop the LA attack, specifically Edson Buddle, especially without Jimmy Conrad in the lineup. But Pablo Escobar and Matt Besler did a very good job of shutting the striker down, allowing him only 1 shot the entire game. Stephane Auvray and the two center backs also did a good job of keeping Landon Donovan from stepping up and being the difference maker as well.
KC started the game well enough, and should have taken the lead in the 17th minute when Davy Arnaud was played in on goal, Arnaud's original shot was partially blocked by Donovan Ricketts and was rolling along the goal line just needing a touch to put KC up. Kei Kamara came running in for the final touch, but slipped, missed, and then slide through the ball knocking it in with his hand. A horror miss for Kamara, how can't really explain what exactly happened on the play. The rest of the first half, KC and LA traded chances with Jimmy Nielsen and Ricketts both making saves to keep the game tied. KC tested Ricketts as much as he'd been tested the past 4 games combined annd Ricketts passed the test.
In the second half, KC continued to push for the goal and had plenty of chances to grab a goal, with Kamara, Jack Jewsbury, Davy Arnaud, and Roger Espinoza all have chances saved by Ricketts. Jewsbury had the best of those chances with Ricketts making a diving save and another that went into the hands of Ricketts. LA's best chance of the second half came from one of KC's chances as LA did a quick counter that Donovan got to, but Nielsen basically sat on the ball as Donovan tried to 5 hole him. KC continued to push, but their attack didn't seem the same the last few minutes after Kamara was subbed out for Birahim Diop. Diop just didn't seem into the game and struggled to provide the same knock down service that Kamara had been providing as a center forward. A nice statement game for the Wizards defense, a defense that has allowed a total of 1 goal in 4 league games this season, and last night it was done without the team's leader on the back line, Jimmy Conrad. The offense though needs to pick it up a little bit though, as the team has scored only 1 goal in the previous 3 league games. Smith hasn't been as involved the past few games, I'd like to see him go at more defenders during the game, I think that was an area he could have exploited last night but he didn't go at defenders enough I thought.
Wizards Man of the Match - Matt Besler - Was an anchor in the back for the Wizards defense last night, together with Pablo Escobar and Stephane Auvray, and later Aaron Hohlbein, Besler shut down the LA front line of Buddle and Donovan.
Honorable Mention - Auvray, Nielsen
Player Ratings - Nielsen 7, Harrington 6, Escobar 6, Besler 7, Espinoza 6, Arnaud 5, Auvray 7, Jewsbury 6, Smith 5, Kamara 5, Wolff 5. Subs Hohlbein 6, Myers 5, Diop 4.