Sunday, July 28, 2013

Stoppage Time Giveth and Stoppage Time Taketh Away

Last week KC won three points against Salt Lake in stoppage time thanks to a late goal. This week things went the other way for KC. A very late goal by Blake Smith gave Montreal a 1-0 win over KC and made the Eastern Conference as a whole a lot tighter.

Kansas City had the possession in the early going of the game, but were able to create chances from it. It was actually Montreal that probably should have grabbed the lead in the 20th minute through Sanna Nyassi.  Justin Mapp started a very good counter and then found Nyassi wide open on the left.  Nyassi dribbled in alone on Jimmy Nielsen, but Nielsen got an arm up and knocked the ball away from danger. That was the best chance for either side in the first half of action. Sporting's best chances in the firts half came from outside the box.  Kei Kamara fired a shot from distance over the goal while Claudio Bieler fired a shot right at Troy Perkins in the Montreal goal.

Sporting came out in the second half playing better than they had in the first and almost grabbed the lead in the 52nd. A long ball over the top was headed into the middle by Ike Opara towards Bieler.  Bieler hit the shot on the half volley. The ball bounced off the crowd and looked to be headed towards the top corner, but Perkins didd well to get a hand to it and tip it wide for a corner. Off the ensuing corner, the ball got knocked to the back post to an open Opara, but he couldn't strike it first time to knock it in. KC continued to have the better off play in the half.  KC again could have taken the lead in the 63rd.  A cross into the box wasn't dealt with by Perkins and went to Bieler at the back post. The Montreal defense got in the way though blocking the effort. The game looked headed towards a 0-0 draw as the game ticked down.  Late on though, the Impact were the ones controlling the game.  KC was having issues clearing their own end. With two head injuries that had blood, there were 7 minutes of extra time for either side to find a winner. In the 3rd minute of stoppage time Sporting KC partially cleared a cross into the path of Smith who controlled it with his chest than volleyed the ball on net.  Nielsen though made a nice save pushing the ball over the goal for a corner.  The pressure was coming from Montreal though and a goal seemed inevitable. It finally came in the 96th minute.  A low cross to the top of the box was collected by Marco Di Vaio and slid through for Smith who was 1v1 with Nielsen.  Smith slotted the ball between Nielsen's legs for what proved to be the winner.  On the play, Chance Myers had gotten sucked into the middle as a Montreal player ran across the front of goal and Myers followed him.

Wizards Man of the Match - Jimmy Nielsen - He possibly could have done better on the goal, but he did a very good job with keeping the game scoreless coming up with two very big saves.

Player Ratings - Nielsen 6, Myers 3, Olum 4, Opara 5, Sinovic 5, Rosell 4, Joseph 4, Zusi 4, Saad 4, Bieler 5, Kamara 4. Subs Feilhaber 5, Dwyer 4, Sapong NR.


Nathan Martin said...

Missed second defensive-minded midfielder. Looking forward to Nagamura stepping into a midfield with Zusi. (Only played 56 minutes together against Dallas before he was injured: up 1-0.)

Withheld judgment on Dwyer, but he's seen enough time now to say that he is behind Sapong and Bunbury as a sub for Bieler. That is, until later in the year when Bieler isn't subbed at all.

Off the field, Saad will be resigned once his Generation Adidas status lapses (I believe he is still GA. Correct me if wrong.) and sold to a 2nd division Turkish team in the next 3 transfer windows. Puts him closer to Lebanon as they start WCQ in 2015.

Finally, another reason to hope for CCL success is it lessens the likelihood of Besler being sold before the WC. Maybe it's already zero percent because Besler doesn't want to change that close to the WC.

Geoff Cameron was sold for $2.7 M with 4 caps: his other 6 in 2012 were after his sale to Stoke. Besler's up to 10(?) now and ~13 by winter.

CCL next Spring might bring his asking price up from a hypothetical +$3.0 M to perhaps +$3.5-$4.0M. In which case, if somebody wants to pay that and Besler wants to go then so be it, but SKC won't negotiate down with CCL home games still a possibility.

MOUF said...

gotta get Zusi back to his best spot, we cant have our best player struggling for streaks of games like this

hartley said...

Maybe Myers didn't have a good game. And he did get sucked in on that side during the play that led to the goal. But if Opara steps up instead of deep, then Smith is offsides. I have seen Opara do this many times this season. He turns and steps deeper, instead of just turning. He must step up on plays to keep the line.

I fault that goal to poor communication and Opara, who could see the play, not stepping up.

I don't see Saad being sold any time soon. And without him, we would be at least six points worse.

And I don't see Besler going anywhere until after the WC. He has a new contract and wants to succeed here. The best center back in the pool is getting better by playing here -- not hurting himself by going overseas when it isn't necessary.

So, MOUF, what is Zusi's best spot? In my opinion, his best spot is A-Mid. But he is having trouble getting deeper upfield when we don't have a true D-Mid [Cameron, Beckerman] covering. And when Benny gets on the field, Zusi has to work even harder defensively.

Anonymous said...

probably best to look at the 2 stoppage time wins together as being better than 2 draws. 3 points instead of 2.

Anonymous said...

i don't even want to talk about nagamura, i don't think hes ever going to play for us again. but i do think they should start olum in the midfield. but, of course, that wasn't an option this game, they needed him at CB.

i feel the same about dwyer. well, maybe not bunbury. i have no idea where bunbury is. but sapong for sure is better than dwyer right now. dwyer has really lacked poise since he was called up. maybe he has the talent but he is not going to show it till he settles down mentally.

i doubt they sell saad. he is the future.

i also doubt they sell besler. he wants to play here.

Nathan Martin said...

It's a 14 hour flight from KC to Beirut.

If Soony wants to go, he'll go. Given SKC's smart pre-signing since Roger, I'd wager sale as opposed to free transfer.

3 transfer windows is ~1.5 years. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't. Putting it out there.
The average player on Stoke City in 2012 received ~$1.8 M a year.

Even if that number is inflated by forwards, would SKC turn down $3.5 M and then pay Besler $1M/year?

Maybe, but I doubt it.

Nathan Martin said...

As of May 1, Besler's compensation was $180,000. Not sure if that counts "retention funds" which could mean let's say $250,000.

Saad is getting $46,500. Again, not sure if Generation Adidas pays him a little extra off record or not.

Nathan Martin said...

Nagamura was asked to play a different position than Olum.

I want to see Nagamura play along side Rosell, like Olum. I don't want to see him at the point.

Mike said...

Besler is going no where at least no where before the World Cup. The year before the World Cup you want to be playing consistently to keep your spot. That means if you got a good thing and are playing consistently, he's not going to want to leave and have to fight for playing time.

Nathan Martin said...

Yes, I agree the winter transfer prospects are minimal. My CCL comments were about taking the chance from low to zero.

The secondary comments were in response to the statements about Besler staying with SKC indefinitely. Barring injury, he will be sold.