Saturday, May 22, 2010

Crew Come to Town

Tomorrow at CAB, the Wizards are back in league action as they'll take on the Columbus Crew. With this game, the Wizards only have 4 games left before the World Cup break that MLS is taking this year. Columbus will be without two of their starters for the game as Chad Marshall and Robbie Rogers are still with the US national team after being named to the preliminary roster. Columbus also come into this game on the back of a 3-1 win over New York in New York on Thursday night. With the short rest and Marshall and Rogers being gone would seem to put things in the Wizards favor. But Columbus looked good in their win over the Red Bulls and even did it without their best player, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who was suspended for the game for an elbow in the Crew's game against Chivas.

The Wizards have a World Cup absence of their own, with Roger Espinoza with the Honduran team. KC also will be without Stephane Auvray who is having a scope done on his knee. Overall, KC has not been playing their best soccer as of late, the team hasn't won a game since the second game of the season and no one other than Kei Kamara has scored since opening day against DC. Those are two disturbing factors that the Wizards need to address. Not Kamara's scoring, because he's having himself a very good early season, but KC needs guys like Ryan Smith, Davy Arnaud, and Josh Wolff to start finding net as well or this season isn't going to turn out much better than last year. Other than Auvray and Espinoza (and Zoltan Hercegfalvi of course) the team appears to be pretty healthy and ready to go. The big question is who's going to take over Espinoza's position. Here's my thought on what I think we'll see, although with the way Vermes has played it lately, I could see Pablo Escobar in place of Matt Besler.

Leathers - Conrad - Besler - Harrington
Zusi - Jewsbury - Arnaud
Wolff - Kamara - Smith

Key Match Up - Conrad vs Steven Lenhart - I could go with Schelotto vs someone, but I think the Conrad v Lenhart match up will be the one to watch. Lenhart is becoming an important part of the Crew's offense and shutting him down will be very important for the Wizards.

PREDICTION - Columbus is a good team, and KC hasn't exactly been lighting things up lately. The game against New York on Thursday was very impressive. Without Auvray to help contain Schelotto it'll make things difficult for KC. KC has not won in KC against the Crew since 2007 at Arrowhead, a 3-2 victory. Since then the Wizards only have 1 point in KC against the Crew, a draw in the 2008 playoffs. I struggle to see the Wizards breaking that trend tomorrow out at CAB, I want it to happen, but I just don't see it.

KC - 1 (Kamara)
CLB - 2 (Lenhart, Schelotto)


pbunyar said...

I think this would be a time to make a change that would stir things up and get the Crew thinking. Shouldn't Teal have a start instead of Wolff? We need speed out there to challenge the defense. Also, the Gaffer needs to show he can make the necessary adjustments to win matches.

Anonymous said...

Should he? maybe, but he hasn't shown a lot either.

pbunyar said...

Well, I think the Wizards looked a lot more dangerous today with Teal out there. But it's the same old thing. The Wizards seem to think they can go out and do the same things over and over and get results. I don't see much hunger or desire from this team. It's not even June and we are toast.