Sunday, June 06, 2010

At Least It's Not a Loss

The Wizards are now winless in 9 games in all competitions after starting the season 2-0, but at least they didn't lose yesterday up in Toronto. Two red cards were the main talking points of what was overall a fairly dull game, especially in the second half. Early on, it was Toronto who controlled the play and had some good chances to take the lead. The first good chance fell to Jacob Peterson who got in behind the Wizards defense and 1v1 with Jimmy Nielsen. Nielsen though made the save with his face for the second time this season. The shot appeared to knock Nielsen unconscious at least for a split second as he laid of the field not moving for a few seconds after the save. Nielsen was able to continue and shortly after came up with a big save although it likely won't go down as one officially. Chad Barrett had gotten into the Wizards box and tried to play the ball across the box that would have been an easy tap in at the back post, but Nielsen got a leg out and knocked the ball away.

The game turned in the 27th minute when Nick Garcia was red carded for a poor play on a ball with Kei Kamara. The ball had been cleared up the field and both Garcia and Kamara went for the ball. Garcia came in with his leg up and missed the ball, cleating Kamara in the thigh and leaving a nice gash. Referee Baldomero Toledo had no hesitation going immediately to his back pocket for the red card. The red card was seen as a little questionable, but it was a reckless challenge by Garcia.

With the man advantage, KC controlled the possession, but were unable to really take much of an advantage of it. Once again the Wizards struggled to create real dangerous chances, this time with a man advantage. The Wizards best chance while a man up came from Ryan Smith as he cut in from the left and put a nice right footed shot on goal that Stefan Frei did well to tip out for a Wizards corner. Toronto was able to create some chances while down a man, as Nielsen once again came up with a big save on Julian De Guzman. On the same play there were shouts for a PK for Toronto as Dwayne De Rosario was knocked over by Michael Harrington, but no PK was called.

In the second half, KC continued to control the game, but in the 57th Craig Rocastle picked up his second yellow for a poor challenge on De Guzman and was sent off as well. Rocastle's first yellow was very questionable, but Rocastle has to be smarter and know he's on a yellow in that situation as he ended up hitting De Guzman up around the knee. People who have seen Rocastle play lately shouldn't really be surprised by the red card as Rocastle probably could have been sent off twice before this season for reckless challenges that only got him yellows at the time. I know as soon as I saw Rocastle starting that was my immediate worry, especially with a referee like Toledo on the field who has close to 50 red cards handed out in less than 100 MLS matches.

After the red card to Rocastle, the game really died down, with both teams having some possession, but not having really dangerous chances. The game became the stereotypical dull 0-0 game. Kamara had the Wizards best chance, another long distance shot just wide of Frei's post. Toronto's best chance came just before stoppage time, when De Guzman fired well over the bar from the top of the 18 after Jimmy Conrad's header clearance didn't make it quite far enough out.

While the draw continues the winless streak, there are a few positives from the game. We finally picked up at least a point on the road (although we need to start stealing a few wins on the road) and we're the first team to take points off of Toronto at home this season.

Wizards Man of the Match - Jimmy Nielsen - After allowing four goals last week in Salt Lake, Nielsen turned things around this week making some big saves to keep the game scoreless and give the Wizards at least a point out of this game.

Player Ratings - Nielsen 7, Myers 5, Conrad 6, Escobar 5, Harrington 6, Jewsbury 5, Rocastle 2, Wolff 4, Smith 5, Kamara 4, Bunbury 4. Subs Aiyegbusi 4, Leathers 5, Zusi 4.


Nathan W Martin said...

I think everybody was hoping that Rocastle would be subbed at half. He is way too slow for MLS and more importantly because of the inevitable second yellow that most all fans fretted.

Myers probably needs a fresh start somewhere else as his confidence seems shot.

I thought Korede Aiyegbusi played pretty well and is about as close to filling the role of Stephane as anybody.

We need more offensive options off the bench whether that be Chetri or the newly signed Beasley because when Leathers and Zusi are your best sub options that is not a good sign.

Has anybody with connections to the club heard any increased urgency to pick up a DP or at least make some moves after the World Cup?

Reepicheep said...

Rocastle offers nothing to the Wizards other players can't provide.

Vermes' overall judgment is unfortunately questionable.

My optimism about this season is quickly disappearing as realism sets in.

Ongoal has to be thinking about a regime change heading in to the new stadium.