Another road game, another loss for KC, their fourth in a row and their fifth of the season in LA 4-1 last night. KC is now winless in 6 games after beating Chivas USA in the season opener. Silly mistakes ended up costing KC more than anything, stupid fouls and more lackadaisical defending, the things that have defined KC's season so far. The offense didn't bring much of anything to the game either as the lone goal was an own goal, and KC didn't really look like scoring other than that.
There was a big surprise before the game even started as Eric Kronberg got the start in goal ahead of Jimmy Nielsen. A surprising decision because while KC had allowed 13 goals, Nielsen has been arguably KC's best player this season. Kronberg was tested inside the first two minutes on a nice shot by Landon Donovan. KC was able to weather the early storm, with Kronberg making a few saves to keep the score level. In the 39th minute, KC grabbed a surprising lead as Milos Stojcev played a cross into the box for Kei Kamara. Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez stuck a foot out to keep the ball from going to Kamara, but ended up deflecting the cross past Josh Saunders and into his own net giving KC the lead.
But the lead didn't last long, as a disturbing trend for KC of allowing goals within five minutes of scoring popped up again. David Beckham played a cross into the box that Roger Espinoza tried to take off his chest instead of just heading clear. Todd Dunivant hassled Espinoza enough after the play to cause him to give the ball away to Beckham in the corner of the box. Espinoza went in with a high boot catching Beckham in the thigh, an easy penalty kick for Baldomero Toledo. Landon Donovan stepped up and buried the PK, sending Kronberg the wrong way.
At half time you would think that KC might be able to hold out and maybe steal a point from the Galaxy. But those hopes were dashed inside the first minute of the second half when LA virtually came right down the field and scored to make it 2-1. Off a quick throw from LA, Donovan ran at the KC goal with Espinoza on his hip, Espinoza slid in and knocked the ball away, but the ball went to Chad Barrett who knocked the ball back into the path of Donovan who beat Kronberg to give LA the lead. KC had a chance to equalize in the 62nd after Kamara played Graham Zusi into the box. Zusi had time to get a good shot off, but instead fired the shot wide of the goal.
That miss came back to haunt KC moments later. A long ball from the back was headed by Juan Pablo Angel to Donovan who then heading it back to Angel who had made his run behind Julio Cesar who got caught ball watching along with Aurelien Collin. Angel raced in 1v1 against Kronberg and slotted home to make it 3-1 to the Galaxy. The Galaxy continued to push for a fourth, Kronberg made a good save on a Beckham free kick in the 75th minute, and then in the 81st Barrett shot over the bar after he held off and spun Cesar too easily. The Galaxy always looked the more likely to find a 4th and they did in the 87th. After Davy Arnaud was called for a fairly weak foul on Beckham out to Kronberg's right, about 25 yards out, Beckham stepped up an blasted a "Beckham Special" curling the ball into the top corner leaving Kronberg with no chance and giving LA their fourth goal.
Ryan Smith forced a good save from Saunders almost immediately after the goal, possibly the best chance KC produced all game outside the goal. Donovan almost completed his hattrick in stoppage time as he was played through as Collin slipped. Kronberg did well to cut the angle down and as Donovan tried to round him Michael Harrington recovered and was able to knock the ball away.
WIZARDS Man of the Match - Eric Kronberg - Really I almost gave this to no one this week, but after rewatching the game I'm giving it to Kronberg. Kronberg got hung out to dry on virtually each one of the goals by his defense. He had a decent game coming up with some big saves, but there were so many issues with the team last night.
Player Ratings - Kronberg 5, Harrington 3, Cesar 2, Collin 4, Espinoza 2, Auvray 4, Arnaud 4, Stojcev 4, Zusi 3, Bunbury 3, Kamara 3. Myers 4, Smith 4, Sapong 4.