Sunday, April 11, 2010

Wizards Remain Undefeated

The Wizards didn't let the week off last week slow them down, they took care of business last night against the Colorado Rapids, winning 1-0 on the back of a Kei Kamara goal. Unlike opening week against DC, Colorado put up much more of a fight against the Wizards at CBA. KC started the game strongly again, and Ryan Smith almost scored inside the first 10 minutes as he beat his man down the line and tried to catch Matt Pickens off his line. Only a slight touch from Pickens pushed the ball over the bar and kept the score 0-0.

With Colorado's front line, Jimmy Nielsen was called into action more often this week. The biggest in the first half being a save on Omar Cummings that Nielsen took right off his face. The biggest talking point of the first half was the officiating, of which there were some interesting calls both ways, especially late in the half, where two fouls were accompanied by yellow cards for dissent when Pablo Mastroeni and Ryan Smith both threw the ball after separate fouls.

KC continued to pressure early in the second half, and quickly found net as a Smith freekick was headed in by Kamara over Pickens who'd come a little too far off his line. As the second half progressed both teams had their chances with both Nielsen and Pickens making saves to keep the score 1-0. Colorado had thought they pulled level when Conor Casey put the ball in the net after a Wells Thompson shot had been saved, but Cummings, who played the ball to Casey was offside when the original shot was taken. In the 72nd things changed when Julien Baudet picked up a red card for a reckless challenge on Kamara. Of the two teams, Colorado had the better chances after the red card as KC set back a bit to defend the lead. And while they had some chances, Nielsen was able to take care of all of them and keep his shutout streak to start the season in tact.

Wizards Man of the Match - Stephane Auvray - This guy is just good, he's all over the midfield and keeps teams from coming in through there. Auvray made the entire middle of the field his last night forcing Colorado to bypass the midfield more to avoid dealing with him.

Honorable Mention - Jimmy Nielsen

Player Ratings - Nielsen 8, Harrington 7, Conrad 7, Besler 8, Espinoza 8, Jewsbury 6, Arnaud 7, Auvray 9, Smith 8, Kamara 7, Wolff 7. Subs Myers 6, Bunbury 5, Rocastle NR


Reepicheep said...

Being a man of fairness, I'm impressed with Roger Espinoza's play at left back.

Smith is an excellent player, but without Auvray doing his thing, the last two games would have been much different. Auvray helps Conrad in many ways as well.

Good stuff so far. Looking forward to Tuesday night.

bstoeff said...

Auvray is sooooo smooth on the ball at mid and I have to agree Espinoza has looked great at left back. I really like him back there because he has the ability to get out wide to play wonderful balls then get back and defend.

MOUFWASH said...

Maybe a bit high on most the rankings but in relation to each other I agree with ya. I though Auvray made some bad decisions on the ball a couple times that really could have cost us, trying to control or pass under pressure when he was the last midfielder back etc. but he didnt let CRapids build at all through the middle.

Harrington was stabbing/diving a bit much at his attacker but overall our outside backs look very good this year. Absolutely love the fact they they are both skilled, fast, and play phsyical.

Besler is really coming in to his own.

We had little spurts were we tried to go route 1 to much, everyone needs to remember to keep the ball moving and the importance of switching points of attack.

I have never seen anyone in the MLS run at defenders like Smith can. I remember young Dempsey kind of being like that but Dempsey isnt even close to Smiths footspeed or speed on the ball. That multiple scissors at speed from basically half-field that was crossed to Wolff (he headed it to Kamara), was absolutely incredible. ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED, IS THIS NOT WHAT YOU CAME FOR!?!?

szazzy said...

Yeah I'd also say the ratings are a little high, and Auvray lost a couple balls, but he was still man of the match to me. One ball that he lost no one else in MLS would've won either. He does this 360 pirouette with the ball on the instep of his outside foot and kind of flings it the other way. It wasn't successful, but it was the only way Colorado wasn't running at us full speed there. He's thinking at a faster level than most other players in the league.

Also, I thought he looked quicker this week if that's possible. He looked a little slow trying to catch Moreno from behind last week.

Ron Bishop said...

Agreed - Really enjoyed watching Auvray and Espinoza! Great watching Casey getting shut down, because the man is a bulldozer.

Tuesday's rematch on artificial field should be fast and rough. Hope no one gets hurt.

MOUFWASH said...


yea i agree Auvray found himself in a some bad situations like the one u mentioned, just would like to see him clear wide or out and just give posession to the other team as opposed to having it taken off his foot. But im just nit picking.