photo courtesy Jarred Donalson
In my preview for the game last night against Montreal, I said that there were two ways that KC was likely to come out, either they'd comes out a little flat and deflated from the week off and the loss in Portland, or the loss to Portland would have them stewing for 2 weeks and they'd come out and totally destroy Montreal. In the end it was the former that ended up being the way KC came out, and KC fell to the expansion Impact 2-0 at LSP. KC had plenty of possession as Montreal sat back and let KC attack them. But once KC got into the offensive 3rd of the field, Montreal got behind the ball and cut down angles. And KC really couldn't find a way through, they ran out of ideas to break Montreal down. The old stand by in that situation has been for KC to go for set pieces and try to score off of one those to try to force Montreal to come out of their shell. KC couldn't find the net though. In the end, Jesse Marsch did the same thing that Dominic Kinnear did in the Eastern Conference finals last year, and did it well. He out coached Peter Vermes and KC couldn't adjust their game plan to break down the Impact.
KC was on the front foot from the beginning of the game trying to find an early goal against the Impact. CJ Sapong forced a good save out of Donovan Ricketts in the 15th minute after he was played in by Graham Zusi. KC continued to come forward in waves, trying to break down Montreal's defense. Zusi tried his luck from range in the 27th, forcing Ricketts to push the ball wide for a corner. In the 30th minute, the Impact got a goal out of virtually nothing. After losing the ball off a throw in, the ball got played in to Justin Braun. Braun laid the ball back to on on running Felipe Martins. Martins took a touch toward the middle and let fly from about 30 yards out. The went past Jimmy Nielsen, as the Dane could only get a hand to it, and couldn't keep the ball out of the net.
KC continued to push in the second half, while Montreal sat back letting them get to about 30 yards out and then completely shutting down passing lanes on KC. KC started taking more shots from outside, but most were not on target. In the 62nd minute, things got worse for KC. Lamar Neagle cut through 4 KC defenders and raced in on Nielsen's goal. Aurelien Collin came in with a sliding tackle, and appeared to get the ball, but also got Neagle, who went down and the referee called the foul and pointed to the spot. I have no problem with the call as a whole, Collin and the KC defense put themselves in that situation and it was a stupid Patrice Bernier stepped up and sent Nielsen the wrong way, doubling Montreal's lead. After the goal, it became even more one way traffic towards the Montreal net. Julio Cesar had a chance cleared off the line, while Roger Espinoza forced a good save out of Ricketts and Collin was offside on the rebound. Collin had another chance off another KC set piece, but Ricketts saved it. In the end KC didn't do enough with all the possession that they had and Montreal executed their game plan very well.
Wizards Man of the Match - Roger Espinoza - Nobody really had that good of a game last night, many of them even admitted to it on Twitter post game. Espinoza did his best to help control the midfield, and was his normal self in the midfield. Unfortunately too many other players poor performances couldn't be over come.
Player Ratings - Nielsen 4, Myers 4, Collin 4, Besler 4, Harrington 3, Cesar 4, Espinoza 5, Zusi 3, Convey 3, Sapong 4, Kamara 3. Subs Bunbury 3, Nagamura 5