Friday, August 13, 2010

Back on the Road

After a few weeks at home for the Wizards, the team goes back on the road this weekend to take on the San Jose Earthquakes. The Wizards will look to continue their 4 game unbeaten run, going 2-0-2. In this run, the team is 1-0-1 on the road. KC will see a few familiar faces potentially on the field for San Jose. Scott Sealy came back to MLS this year, and just this week, Khari Stephenson signed on with San Jose as well and appears set to start for San Jose. San Jose is also fighting with their own injury issues, as one of their brighter spots, rookie Ike Opara, is out injured along with a few other Quakes players, which could end up leading to a bit of a makeshift lineup for San Jose.

The Wizards on the other hand are fairly healthy, as the only two players on the injured list are Zoltan Hercegfalvi and Birahim Diop. Ryan Smith is not on the injured list any more, which could be a lot of trouble for the Earthquakes, as Smith had a fantastic game last week against Real Salt Lake. Overall, this is a very important game for KC, as San Jose is currently sitting 9th in the single table, only 3 points ahead of the Wizards. The bad news is that the Wizards have not had a lot of luck in San Jose for the last decade. The Wizards are 0-7-4 in league play since 2000 in San Jose. Add that to the Wizards two playoff losses since 2000 in San Jose and the Wizards have not won in 13 games in Bay Area. And that's including the fact that San Jose was out of the league for a few years after their initial move to Houston.

Harrington - Conrad - Thomas - Espinoza
Arnaud - Auvray - Rocastle
Kamara - Bunbury - Smith

Key Match Up - Ryan Smith vs Tim Ward/right back - Smith had a fantastic game against the defending champs last week and if he can have a similar performance tomorrow vs San Jose, the Wizards should come away with 3 points. But after that performance, you know San Jose is going to be playing him a lot tighter this weekend.

PREDICTION - A win on the road would be huge for KC. With only 5 home games remaining, the Wizards are going to have to get points on the road in their final 12 games, including a win or two. Facing a San Jose team that is banged up defensively would seem to be the perfect opportunity for the Wizards to pick up 3 points. With KC struggling to score more than a goal a game this could be a good game for the Wizards to break out of that slump. If KC wants to make the playoffs, winning these games when they are in better form and better health has to happen, even if it is on the road, and even if KC hasn't won in San Jose in a decade.

KC - 2 (Kamara, Bunbury)
SJ - 0

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