After the US crashed out of the World Cup earlier in the day, I was ready to get that taste out of my mouth with the Wizards coming back to action against the New York Red Bulls. Unfortunately the Wizards ended up playing like a team that was still on break, especially late and for the third time this year, the Wizards lost by 3 goals. The Wizards started out as the more aggressive team, creating half chances that kind of tested Bouna Coundoul but not incredibly seriously. Kei Kamara had a chance that he pushed wide, as did Davy Arnaud. As that half wore on, New York started to pick up a few chances. In the 43rd minute, both teams were lucky not to go down to 10 men after Jimmy Conrad fouled Joel Lindpere. The foul by Conrad was tactical as Lindpere was breaking in on goal. Instead of yellow Conrad could have seen red. As referee Ricardo Salazar had pulled out the yellow and was going towards Conrad, Lindpere got up (presumably saw it was only going to be a yellow) and pushed out at Salazar. Lindpere also only got a yellow for pushing out at the referee, although we could see the league step in and review it later, but we'll have to wait and see on that. KC also had a late chance as Coundoul came up with a nice save on a cross by Jimmy Conrad with Josh Wolff lurking in the box.
In the second half, KC continued to control the game, but still lacked in getting any real dangerous chances. Ryan Smith tested Coundoul, but his shot was right at the Red Bulls keeper, and Arnaud had a chance but couldn't make good contact with the ball. Jack Jewsbury also had a chance, almost redirectly a cross by Smith. Off the ensuing goal kick, the Wizards found themselves down 1-0 as Coundoul's goal kick was headed on behind the Wizards defense. Aaron Hohlbein attempted to head it back to Jimmy Nielsen, but didn't get enough on it. Nielsen then started to come out and attack the ball but stopped his charge, leaving him in no man's land, allowing Salou Ibrahim to head the ball over him and into the net. KC almost responded immediately as Kamara took a pass from Arnaud off a free kick and first timed it on net forcing a good save from Coundoul. The game at this point was stretched, as New York than basically came back down the field and Seth Stammler blasted a 25 yard shot off the bar almost doubling New York's lead. The back and forth play continued as the Wizards came right back down the field with Kamara laying the ball off to Arnaud who had his shot parried away by Coundoul. Stammler again almost doubled New York's lead in the 65th, but Nielsen made a nice save. The rebound fell to Juan Pablo Angel, who also had his show saved, but he was offside and the play was waived off. Both teams had chances, but it was New York that doubled their lead in the 82nd. Another goal kick by Coundoul towards Angel got by both him and Hohlbein, but Angel was the quicker to react, easily getting around Holhbein. Angel got in on goal and fired a shot that Nielsen should have saved, but the ball went under him and into the net giving New York the 2-0 lead.
From there, things just continued to fall apart for KC as they didn't really threaten New York the rest of the game. Instead it was New York that grabbed a third, again through the mismatch of Hohlbein and Angel. Hohlbein and Angel muscled for a long ball over the top. Both players went down, but Angel was the quickest to react, getting back to his feet and collecting the ball. Nielsen had come out to the edge of the box to challenge for the ball and Angel easily passed him and had an open net to slot the ball into to make it 3-0. To pour more salt in the wound, in stoppage time, Arnaud made a stupid, reckless, studs up challenge on Lindpere and was given a straight red for it, his third red card of the season. Arnaud can complain about the fact that he didn't actually get Lindpere, but the red card on the challenge could just as easily been handed out for the intent of the challenge. As captain, Arnaud has to be smarter than that in those situations, it's a stupid card.
Wizards Man of the Match - Craig Rocastle - I'm surprised I'm saying it after seeing his name in the starting lineup, but Rocastle had a strong game. He did well to control the game and the ball for the Wizards. He had a strong influence on the game, and while I'm still not a big fan of his, he did well last night.
Player Ratings - Nielsen 3, Myers 4, Conrad 4, Hohlbein 1, Harrington 4, Rocastle 5, Jewsbury 4, Arnaud 3, Wolff 3, Kamara 4, Smith 3. Subs Zusi 4, Bunbury 4, Diop NR.