For the second time in 4 days the Wizards made a poor start to the game. Unlike Wednesday's 4-3 win over Houston, the Wizards were unable to recover against the more talented FC Dallas team. Only 4 minutes into the game KC found themselves trailing a goal as Dallas passed around KC like they were traffic cones. Marvin Chavez played the ball to David Ferreira who chipped the ball into the box as Chavez continued his run. Chavez easily beat Jimmy Nielsen to the near post giving Dallas the early 1-0 lead. I had said pre-game that the Wizards couldn't afford to have a half like they did against Houston. Unfortunately in only the 12th minute KC found themselves once again down two goals. Milton Rodriguez made it 2-0 when Atiba Harris flicked on a Jackson Goncalves pass. On the play Jimmy Conrad committed to Harris and when he didn't beat him to the ball the ball got through to Rodriguez, who took a touch and then beat Nielsen to the far post. Those were Dallas' only two shots on goal in the first half. Dallas started to sit back holding onto their 2-0 lead. As an effect of that KC held more possession and created some chances. Unfortunately with the chances they did create they didn't really threaten Dario Sala in the Dallas net. All their good chances were right at the Dallas keeper.
KC made 1 change after only half an hour bringing in Wednesday's hero Josh Wolff for Stephane Auvray in what appeared to be a tactically move as Auvray had not been having a good half. But the goals don't really fall on Auvray as much as the complete lack of speed from our center backs. Conrad and Shavar Thomas have been protected a bit during this good run of form thanks to Auvray's good play. But with Auvray's form taking a bit of a dip lately KC's defensive liabilities are more apparent.
For the second game in a row, Birahim Diop was subbed out at half time for Teal Bunbury. I'd harp more on the fact that Diop continues to get starts when he's uneffective, but no one offensively was really effective last night. Still it's time to drop this love affair with starting Diop, and maybe now with the Wizards not being "unbeaten" when Diop starts will change that.
In the second half, KC continued to control possession and were creating a few more dangerous chances compared to the first half. Some of the Wizards best chances ended up not even being on goal. Thomas put a header just wide of the post early in the second half. Shortly after Thomas' chance, Bunbury forced a good save from Sala on a shot from outside the box that Sala didn't see until late. Shortly after KC got themselves on the board after Ryan Smith played the ball to Kei Kamara who picked out Wolff. Wolff's first touch was heavy but took the ball back into the path of Smith who one timed his shot on goal. The shot took a deflection that took it past Sala and cut the lead in half.
KC continued to press the game, Conrad put a ball just wide of the post off a Davy Arnaud corner kick. Later Kamara also put a header just wide of the other post. In the 82nd minute, Dallas put the game away as Ferreira found Jeff Cunningham down the left wing. Calls of Cunningham being offside were misplaced as he was held on by Thomas. From a sharp angle Cunningham beat Nielsen and restored the 2 goal lead. Soon after Eric Alexander could have made it 4-1, but Nielsen came up with a good foot save.
The loss seemed to be a return to form from May and June when KC would hold possession but wouldn't really create many dangerous chances. the result for the Wizards and the other results around the league leave the Wizards playoff hopes just hanging on. The Wizards are 5 points out of a playoff spot, behind Colorado who currently holds the 8th spot.
Wizards Man of the Match - Kei Kamara - Kamara was all over the place last night although not really successful. Kamara continues to put up an MVP performance for the Wizards this season.
Player Ratings Nielsen 4, Harrington 5, Conrad 4, Thomas 3, Espinoza 5, Auvray 4, Rocastle 5, Arnaud 5, Kamara 5, Diop 3, Smith 5. Subs Wolff 5, Bunbury 4, Jewsbury 4.