Monday, May 30, 2011

A Road Point

So my original prediction of the team needing 10 points on this road trip can now no longer happen. But at least KC ended their long term losing streak in league play as they came from behind to draw with the Colorado Rapids, 1-1 out in Colorado. KC came out strong from the start and put good pressure on the Rapids. Chance Myers had the first good chance in the 9th minute when he stripped Wells Thompson of the ball and fired a shot that Rapids goalkeeper, Matt Pickens had to tip wide. Shortly after Myers' attempt, KC found themselves down a goal due to a defensive mistake, this time by Aurelien Collin. On a ball over the top, Collin tried to play the ball calmly back to Jimmy Nielsen, but his pass didn't have anything on it and ended up being too slow. Conor Casey raced by Collin, rounded Nielsen and passed the ball into the net before Matt Besler could slide in to recover. KC continued to be the more aggressive side throughout the first half, controlling possession, but as has been the story for the team for much of the season, they could not find that final pass that would set up the goal for KC. The lack of a central midfielder that can create and find that final pass is seen more and more each game.

KC continued to push in the second half, and should have probably equalized within 2 minutes of the half time break. After some good possession, Myers fired a cross in to Graham Zusi, who did a good job of controlling the ball and then flicking it over his head to Omar Bravo who controlled the ball, did a nice step to get Pickens to go to ground, but Pickens recovered enough to get a hand on Bravo's chipped effort and keep it out as Colorado continued to lead. KC continued to possess, but Colorado created the better chances as the half continued. Collin again was almost responsible for giving CO a two goal lead in the 63rd minute, as he played another hospital ball this time directly to Casey who dribbled at the defense before passing off to Jeff Larentowicz. Besler missed on a sliding chance to knock the ball away and Larentowicz was in on goal, but he fired his shot high of the net keeping the scores level.

Teal Bunbury, a second half sub had a chance to score on a break away after being played in behind by Ryan Smith, but Bunbury got caught from behind by Marvell Wynne, who knocked the ball out for a corner. Shortly after Bunbury's attempt, Colorado again had a chance to grab the lead through Andre Akpan, but Nielsen came up with a good save on the play. In the 75th, KC got themselves back on level terms. Bunbury received a ball on the right side and tried to carry the ball into the middle, twice it appeared that he'd lost the ball, but both times recovered. Bunbury played the ball to Smith who dribbled at Kosuke Kimura, forcing him onto his heals. Smith got into the box and then fired a laser into the far upper90, leaving Pickens with no chance to get a hand on it.

After the goal, KC continued to push, but could not find a winner. Bunbury had a great chance to pull out a winner, but couldn't finish his chance. Colorado also had one more good chance as Akpan deflected a Caleb Folan shot just wide of Nielsen's post. The draw gives KC their first league points since their 3-3 draw with Vancouver on April second, almost 2 months ago. A good performance by KC in Colorado as they outplayed the Rapids and if not for a lack of the final pass, could have gotten all 3 points in the game. With only 1 road game left on the road trip, hopefully KC can finish the trip on a high note.

WIZARDS Man of the Match - Ryan Smith - Changed the game for KC when he came on at half time. While KC still had trouble with the final ball, Smith at least did a better job at it than had been happening in the game up to his entry in the game.

Player Ratings - Nielsen 5, Harrington 5, Collin 4, Besler 4, Sinovic 5, Rocastle 6, Arnaud 6, Zusi 5, Myers 5, Sapong 5, Bravo 6. Subs Smith 7, Bunbury 5, Diop NR.

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