The Wizards, 7th in the East with 11 points, will take on the LA Galaxy, 2nd in the West with 11 points, Saturday night. Both teams have records of 3-2-3 (WDL). Early this season the East is much stronger than the West. Were KC to be in the West right now, they’d be 1 point out of first place instead 8 points.
The Wizards looked much better last week against NY. But I think they need to attack more this week. LA is has a leaky backline and they are older and slower. They have given up 16 goals (only DC has given up more). However, LA has the most goals scored in MLS, 19. That’s five more than Columbus and Chicago … and ten more than the Wizards.
I think that having veterans Victorine and Arnaud on the field this week will give KC an advantage. I expect to see Davy start on the right wing if not at striker. If Davy starts on the right then Lopez will probably be paired with Scott Sealy again. The big question will be if Jewsbury starts over Zavagnin(what’s going on with him anyway?). But if Kerry is to take the field this week then I can’t see Coach Onalfo leaving Jack off the field. So, what I am saying is, if Kerry starts then we’ll see Jack on the right and Davy up top with Claudio Lopez. Carlos will be at his A-mid spot and Sasha Victorine will be on the left. Back line will remain as it has been. While I feel that Kurt Morsink is a decent player, I think he’s better off coming off the bench until he’s more refined. I also feel that Roger Espinoza needs to come off the bench until later in the season, he has some growing to do still. Off the bench is the best spot for him.
Here is the weather forecast for this game. It should be 65F, eight mph winds and only 20% chance of precipitation. Of course, it could change by tomorrow morning.
Also the official pregame is up on mlsnet. We get to see Micheal Kennedy run around (and make mistakes) as the center referee. Notice that MLS stopped putting up stats of referees for games involving each team. Hmm. Now we just get foul average, yellow average, red average and penalties. Used to get the team record involving that referee along with the stats. Maybe the league saw a glaring bias? Maybe not, who knows. I liked those stats. KC just has one injury, Lance Watson. He’s still recovering from a broken foot. LA has a few guys out but the most important player on the list is Carlos Ruiz and he is probable. We will likely see Ruiz on the pitch. LA leads KC in all time meetings with 20 wins to KC’s 15. There have been 7 draws. LA has outscored KC 67-50 (1.59 to 1.19). In LA the Galaxy lead the series 12-4 with five draws and have almost outscoured KC 2-1. Actually KC doesn’t even average a goal per game in LA. LA has won 4 of the last 6 games with the other two games being draws.
LA’s last game was a 5-1 drubbing of FC Dallas. KC meanwhile let a 1-0 lead over RBNY slip to a 1-1 result.
There’s a story today from mlsnet by Bob Rusert entitled Wizards hope to regain spark. Rusert interviews Victorine and Onalfo as they talk about what is needed to be done to win in LA.
Here’s a KC video of the LA preview from t. Has some recap of RBNY too.
From the weekly press conference Coach Onalfo said that Davy will be in the lineup. He also said that KC used the first 7 games of the season to figure out the lineup. Indicated that now we’ll have a more veteran lineup. Which seems to indicate that both Davy and Sasha will be starting. No mention of Kerry. Coach was asked about Leathers and if he’d come back a better player. Coach Onalfo made a snide remark about Eddie Johnson from last season asking the reporter rhetorically if EJ came back better… pretty funny. Sashsa was also at the press conference and talked about the clearance off the line from last week, he said it just hit him in the head, he couldn’t really react to it. Sasha was asked about covering Beckham. Said the key was to force David Beckham to put the ball on his left foot and make him beat you that way.
The game will be broadcast exclusively on HDNet. There are two official Watch Parties: Barley’s Brewhouse and O’Dowds (Zona Rosa). I think that Embassy will also show the game (if they get HDNet) and Coaches will be showing it too.
Other news: Jonathan Leathers didn’t start for the U23 team in Toulon.