Sunday, April 08, 2012

Staying On Top

For the first time in the post shootout era of MLS, an MLS team has started the season with 5 straight wins. KC became that team on Saturday with a 1-0 win that wasn't as close as the score showed. KC dominated possession for long stretches of time, especially in the first half when they had about 68% possession of the ball. Even with KC controlling the game in the first half, it was the Galaxy that created the first chance, through Robbie Keane. Keane received the ball and ran at Aurelien Collin and Chance Myers. With those two back pedaling, Keane laid the ball off to Mike Magee as he ran past the two KC defenders. In alone on Jimmy Nielsen though, Magee put his shot wide off the net keeping the game tied. KC continued to push the game against the Galaxy and in the 25th minute, KC almost grabbed the lead themselves. Roger Espinoza did a good job on the left wing cutting back before playing in a cross that got past CJ Sapong and Kei Kamara to Chance Myers, whose one time was heading into the net, but Josh Saunders got down well to parry the chance away for a corner. The goal was coming though, and finally in the 40th minute, it came. Espinoza found Bobby Convey out wide on the right hand side. Convey cut inside on his defender and lofted a ball to the back post, where Kamara had lost Sean Franklin and with a free header just had to redirect it past Saunders to give KC a 1-0 half time lead. Magee almost responded immediately for LA, but his shot went wide of the post as the teams went into the half up 1-0.

KC continued to push the game in the early part of the second half, and Espinoza almost grabbed his first goal of the season, collecting a pass from about 25 yards out and letting fly, but his shot went just wide of the post. Shortly after Espinoza's chance, Kamara almost got his second of the game. After receiving the ball at midfield, Kamara got space to dribble and took the ball right at AJ De La Garza. Went De La Garza went down, Kamara was in alone on Saunders, but Saunders made the save at the near post with his feet. KC started to sit back a little more as the game went on, letting LA dictate more of the game. KC's defense though shut down LA's offense very well for the most part, limiting them to very few chances, including zero shots on goal. The best late chance for LA unfortunately for them, fell to Chad Barrett in the 82nd as he got played in behind KC's defense, but Barrett pulled a Barrett and pushed the shot wide keeping it 1-0 KC. Late on in stoppage time KC had another opportunity for an insurance goal, when substitute Teal Bunbury got in behind LA's defense, but like Kamara earlier, he went near post and Saunders beat the shot away for a corner. But the corner killed enough time to end the game, giving KC another win.

WIZARDS Man of the Match - Aurelien Collin - There are a number of players that could have gotten this award for the game yesterday, Collin, Espinoza, Seth Sinovic, just to name a few. But I'm giving the aware to the Frenchman this week. He played Edson Buddle out off the game so well that he was subbed out before the hour mark. He had two absolute text book tackles to win the ball against Buddle and assisted in keeping Robbie Keane in check as well.

Honorable Mention - Roger Espinoza, Seth Sinovic

Player Ratings - Nielsen 7, Myers 8, Collin 8, Besler 8, Sinovic 8, Cesar 7, Espinoza 8, Zusi 7, Kamara 8, Sapong 8, Convey 7. Subs Peterson 6, Nagamura 6, Bunbury NR.


Kevin said...

Could not agree with you more on Collin as the Man of the Match, I said it right after the game to some people that he played amazing. Best part was he did it without a yellow again.

Seth also seemed to own Donovan most of the game as well, especially when he was attacking.

With the D we are playing it is rushing other teams to take the few chances we do give up and so far is resulting in NO shots on goal.

Anonymous said...

CHAMPIONSHIP FORM...we could beat a bayern or arsenal-level side right now. the streak will hit 9.

Anonymous said...

Great synopsis. Really wish Chance would have scored but that was a great stop by Saunders. BTW you need to edit the first paragraph. Team went into the half 1-0 not 1-1.

Nathan Martin said...

If our attackers ever find the finishers touch, this could be the best KC team ever. Miklos Molnar would score +15 goals on this team.

Coach Vermes needs to come up with a better late-game clock management tactic than Kei losing the ball in the corner. It is farcically bad.

Eat the clock by passing to the open man.