Wizards Press Conference/Brad Porter Blog

Wizards held their weekly press conference today.  As alway Coach Onalfo speaks to the press and is then asked questions, then a player, this week Davy Arnaud, gets a question-answer time.

I am going to write up a summary of the News Conference, the highlights, but probably won’t put stuff in direct quotes.  Just wanted to state that up front.

Coach Onalfo started off by telling us that David Beckham told him after the game that KC was the best team he’d played against in MLS and that KC was probably the best team in MLS.  Now that doesn’t change the fact that our boys are 3-4-2 but it is a good compliment nonetheless.

In the first half of the game Coach Onalfo, like the rest of us, felt pretty darn good about the first half.  He stated that our team had them (LA) penned in.  As for the offensive side, the final pass was not that great and that KC should have had 2, 3 goals.

In regards to losing the game on poor referreeing … well he has told the team to not complain or leave the blame to the officials and that more goals scored can overcome being on the short-end of calls.  Basically do not leave the game in the hands of the officials.

One of the reporters asked about Hartman coming out in 94th minute and Coach defended it.  He likes the team to take risks.  He (Onalfo) takes risks.  There was no second guessing Kevin coming up the pitch.  When the team has chance to get a draw on the road, they will go for it.

This week the team has a new motto:  We don’t make excuses; we find solutions.

That said the team will be modifying the formation.  Currently the Wizards use a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield.  Instead of a diamond the team will go to a flat midfield, bringing the wing players more into the attack.  Coach said that the diamond caused some over-compensation to the middle of the field.   The midfield shape change is for the longevity of the team.  To be better able to defend a lead yet also attack more.  States that the wide players will be like adding playmakers to get the ball to the forwards.

Mentioned that Carlos Marinelli will most likely play on the left side of the midfield ( being left footed this makes sense of course).    Also very likely that Kerry Zavagnin will return the starting lineup and that without him on the field the teams lacks some leadership and organization, especially when it comes to tactical decisions.  Coach also said that this flat midfield will allow the team to keep 3 across the midfield by shifting whenever a wide player pushes up. 

I guess we’ll have to see how this works out.  And we’ll find out some this weekend against CSD Municipal.  According to Davy Arnaud the team is taking only 22 players.  We’ll probably see a lot of substitutions but also the formation change.  Coach called this game good because it allows the team to experiment.  Davy said it was good for two reasons. 1- good routine, a game every weekend and 2-playing against a good team and a chance to “right the ship”.

There are some injuries, they aren’t bad but will keep some players out this weekend’s game.  Espinoza is out 7-10 days with an ankle issue.  Sasha has a groin problem.  Lopez has a knee issue, not bad, but better safe than sorry.  There was some question about Marinelli too but I couldn’t make out the problem on the broadcast.  Also Scott Sealy is not going as his wife is about to have a baby.  (Would it be innappropriate to mention something about Scotty scoring?  Too late.  Just joking anyway.  Scott-Congratulations to you and the wife!)

On the US Open Cup.  Coach takes this game “very, very seriously”.  This is good!  We’ll see as much of the first team as possible.   There’s money on the line.  But also that it would be great to have fans cheering for them.  I can’t wait for this game.

Brad Porter also wrote up in his blog about the formation tweaking.

I guess we’ll see about this formation change.  Maybe it will help.  Carlos being on the left is good I think.  Assume that Davy will be on the right.  Sounds like Kerry will come back to the starting lineup.  The other middle midfielder I guess will be Jack Jewsbury.  But there are also the likes of Kurt Morsink and Sasha Victorine.  I’ll be interested to see the outcome of the CSD Municpal game.



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