Friday, May 14, 2010

Wizards Back in Action Against the Fire

After having last weekend off, the Wizards are back at CAB hoping to break their 2 game losing streak and 4 game winless streak. In that stretch, the Wizards have only scored 1 goal and that was in second half stoppage time in their last game. Tomorrow the Wizards take on the Chicago Fire. The Fire have 1 more point than the Wizards with one more game played. In their last game over the weekend, the Fire lost 4-1 on a very windy day up in Toronto. Chicago will be still be without John Thorrington due to injury and appear likely to be missing Tim Ward and Baggio Husidic, who have both been getting plenty of minutes for the Fire. Their forwards Brian McBride and Collins John have struggled a bit early this season, while Patrick Nyarko has been a good offensive weapon for them. Even with their struggles, the Fire is always a difficult team for the Wizards to face.

The Wizards are also suffering from some injuries and it would appear that they could be without two starters. Both Davy Arnaud and Stephane Auvray are listed as questionable for the Wizards and could leave big holes in the Wizards midfield on Saturday. Replacements for Arnaud and Auvray could be Santiago Hirsig, Craig Rocastle, Birahim Diop, or Graham Zusi. Two of those guys appear set to make the start on Saturday if Arnaud and Auvray can't play. The team will miss both players in midfield. Arnaud's absence was noticed in the losses to Houston and DC. And while Auvray only missed the end DC game, his style of play and ability on the field will definitely be missed. This will also be Roger Espinoza's last game with KC before he departs for the World Cup camp with the Honduran national team. Based off of Tweets from Wednesday's scrimmage and some guesses here's my take on the starting lineup.

Harrington - Conrad - Besler - Espinoza
Rocastle - Zusi - Jewsbury
Wolff - Kamara - Smith

Key Match Up - Kei Kamara vs Wilman Conde - Kamara's been the Wizards leading goalscorer and probably their most consistent attacking player, his play will be a major part of the game tomorrow as he goes up against Chicago's best defender in Conde. With the inexperienced Andrew Dykstra behind him, keeping Kamara in check will be a big key.

PREDICTION - This isn't a complete must win, but if the Wizards really want to compete for a top spot in the East, they need to win their home games. Getting the full 3 points at home is a big must in regards to being a top seed, especially against other teams in the East. The Fire, like the Wizards have struggled with consistency issues. Hopefully the Wizards can break out of their scoring slump, after beating DC 4-0 on opening day, the Wizards have only scored twice.

KC - 2 (Wolff, Kamara)
Chi - 1 (McBride)

1 comment:

Reepicheep said...

I just can't get my head around so much responsibility for Zusi. Rocastle doesn't move well. These are some significant injury problems to say the least.