Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mathematically Alive

But realistically, the season is over. Last night's 2-1 loss to the Seattle Sounder virtually put an end to the Wizards playoff hopes, with this result and San Jose's win over DC, the only team that KC can still catch is Colorado, but they just need to pick up 1 point in their final 2 games. KC can also be eliminated if they drop any more points this season in their final 3 games, meaning they face 3 must wins, two of which are on the road.

Last night KC once again suffered from the same inability to finish that has haunted them all season, while they've led the league in shots on goal, they are one of the lowest scoring teams in the league. The first half wasn't the most exciting half of soccer you'll ever see. KC controlled the game and had some chances, but the most threatening chance for either side came in the 11th minute, when Matt Besler put a header on goal from a Ryan Smith free kick. Seattle goalkeeper, Kasey Keller batted the ball away though and left the game scoreless. Besler had the only other shot on goal in the half on a shot that Keller held easily, other than that the half saw lots of possession with no real goal for either side.

The second half started out much the same way with KC having plenty of possession, but not being able to do much with that possession. In the 67th minute, KC got a dagger to the heart as Sanna Nyassi played a give and go with Nate Jaqua. Craig Rocastle could not stay with Nyassi's speed as he made his way into the box. Jimmy Nielsen committed a bit to much to his left, and then had to dive back right and knocked away Nyassi's initial shot, but the rebound fell back into Nyassi's path and he calmly put the ball in the net for his 4th goal in 3 games in all competitions. Seattle sat back a bit after the goal and allowed KC to come at them, but KC continued to not get much of their opportunities, putting the ball over the top of the goal more than once. In the 78th, Seattle doubled their lead through Uruguayan midfielder, Alvaro Fernandez. Fernandez received a ball inside the Wizards defensive half Fernandez shrugged Jimmy Conrad off and then turned Besler the wrong way making his way into the box. Nielsen came off his line a bit early and Fernandez slid the ball past him and into the net doubling the lead.

KC really started to push the game from there, Graham Zusi had a half chance as he was wide open on a quick free kick, but Seattle did a good job of closing down the second year midfielder immediately not allowing him a clear look at goal. In the 83rd minute, KC got a lifeline. Teal Bunbury was 1v1 with Seattle defender Jeff Parke, Bunbury went at Parke, and got past him and into the box. Parke clipped Bunbury's left heal as he ran by. Watching the replays it's hard to argue with a penalty, but Bunbury certainly made the most of the contact, to make sure that the penalty was called. Davy Arnaud stepped up to take the PK and buried it into the corner, out of reach of Keller's outstretched hand. KC continued to push and came extremely close to an equalizer right as the game entered stoppage time. Birahim Diop challenged for a long ball that was knocked down to Bunbury. Bunbury collected and turned to face goal, sliding a ball in to Kei Kamara at the near post, Kamara's touch beat the on rushing Keller, but the shot hit off the post and bounced back into play. The play was the Wizards last good chance as the playoffs now totally look out of reach and will take a colossal collapse by Colorado and a great run of form from KC to get in.

Wizards Man of the Match - Davy Arnaud - No one really stood out for having a really good game last night, the center backs again struggled, the wingbacks were uncharacteristically bad, the defensive midfield didn't had much bite, and the forwards continue their struggles to make good chances. Arnaud was the best of what wasn't a great overall performance. He helped control possession and finished a PK clinically into side netting.

Player Ratings - Nielsen 4, Harrington 4, Conrad 4, Besler 4, Espinoza 5, Arnaud 5, Jewsbury 5, Rocastle 4, Kamara 4, Bunbury 4, Smith 4. Subs Wolff 5, Zusi 5, Diop N/R

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