The Wizards 2-0 loss to Chivas USA yesterday was their entire season wrapped into one game. The Wizards held possession, and controlled the game, but mental lapses by a central defender leads to the opposition getting a goal or two. Meanwhile the offense looks inept in the offensive third and KC gets shutout.
Basically that's how last night's game played out out at Community America Ballpark. In the first half the Wizards had a few chances, testing Zach Thornton, specifically through Kei Kamara off a free kick in the 30th minute. Kamara hit a blast after Davy Arnaud back healed the free kick to him, but Thornton got down well and parried the ball wide. Thornton left the game shortly after that with an ankle injury and was replaced by Dan Kennedy. With the new keeper in net, KC didn't really test him, creating half chances, but nothing that truly tested him.
In the second half, the Wizards had their first big defensive slip up of the game when Jimmy Conrad hit an attempted clearance off the back of a Chivas player. The ball went into the path of Justin Braun who dribbled in on goal and beat Jimmy Nielsen, giving Chivas the 1-0 lead. KC continued to hold possession and had a fantastic opportunity to tie the game in the 68th minute. A nice ball into the box by Ryan Smith was met by Arnaud. Arnaud's header looped over Kennedy but hit the bar and bounced out. In the 74th, the Wizards should have equalized, as Graham Zusi played in a great corner that found Stephane Auvray at the back post unmarked, but Auvray put his header just the wrong side of the post. The Wizards paid for not finding the equalizer in the 87th minute, when Conrad played a hospital ball to defensive partner Shavar Thomas. Braun intercepted the pass and got around Thomas as he tried to foul him. Braun then beat Nielsen again and gave Chivas the 3 points.
Another really disappointing game. And while Vermes can say we dominated the game, domination means absolutely nothing when you can't put the ball in the net. We could control 90 percent of games, but until we stop making silly defensive mistakes and start putting the ball in the net, this team is going to continue to underachieve for the talent level that they have. Some change needs to be made and needs to happen sooner rather than later.
Wizards Man of the Match - Michael Harrington - Shut down Chivas' left wing for much of the game, unfortunately the center of defense didn't do as much shutting down Chivas. But Harrington has been solid for much of the season whether it's been on the left or the right side of defense.
Player Ratings - Nielsen 5, Espinoza 5, Conrad 3, Thomas 4, Harrington 5, Auvray 5, Jewsbury 4, Arnaud 4, Kamara 4, Wolff 4, Smith 4. Subs Zusi 5, Bunbury 3.