Playoff Push: Wizards at Chivas USA

September 27, 2008

With back to back wins the Wizards are back in the playoff race and looking better…. though that was against two teams that were on the bottom their respective conferences. 

This week KC take on Chivas USA.  The little Goats are currently in second in the MLS West but have just 1 more point than KC does.   Wins by Colorado, Salt Lake and FC Dallas, all results that would greatly help the Wizards will crash Chivas USA to 5th in the West.

As noted, KC are coming of back to back 2-0 wins.  This is the first time they have won back to back games since starting the season 2-0-0.  Chivas were the first team to win at Rice-Eccles last week, but were trounced 4-0 the week before in New England.   The little Goats recent home MLS record is 2-3-0 (WDL).  Last time they lost at home was to Chicago in June.  For KC, their only win on the road all season was in Chicago back in April.

The last game between KC and Chivas was one where KC jumped out to a 3-0 lead and had to hold on for a 3-2 win.  This was at home.   The Wizards also blew two other games late after this meltdown.  However KC has added Herculez Gomez and Abe Thompson since then, and moved Davy Arnaud and Jack Jewsbury to the midfield.   This has helped KC to re-focus their hold on games and put together more complete games overall.

Unfortunately Jack Jewsbury will not be in the lineup tonight due to yellow card accumulation.  Rather it should be Kurt Morsink out there with Davy.  I expect the rest of the lineup to remain the same as it was last week (and the week before).

It looks like only Myers is out with “injury” for KC; he has mono.  For Chivas, they have a laundry list of injuries and several that are questionable/doubtful for the game: Galindo, Bornstein, Nagamura, Talley and Zotinca.  Three of them played last week.

Chivas also have a roster full of former Wizards players.  Most recent addition is Sasha Victorine.  They have Talley, Shavar Thomas and Alex Zotinca.  I think we could see possibly three of them on the field tonight.

It should be a beautiful day in Carson, CA.  Forecast says mid 70’s for game time, no chance of rain and low winds.

If KC can keep up their newly found attacking form from the last two weeks then I can see a one or two goal victory.


26 Sept. News and Blogs you might have Missed

September 26, 2008

Kansas City Wizards practice 09-25-2008 and press conference

Eleven Big Issues Facing MLS

Wizards’ Souter relishing opportunity

Weekend Soccer to Watch 

On Soccer: Playoff race hot in the East, too

Soccer team wins both Homecoming games “In the first game, senior Roger Espinoza scored his first career goal. He scored again on Saturday. The other two scorers Wednesday were Danny Lopez and …” I think the Wizards should adopt this team, Espinoza, Lopez.


Two Victories for KC

September 23, 2008

Saturday night the Wizards moved closer to the playoffs.  In a game that played out a lot like the LA Galaxy game, the Wizards got rolling late in the first half and then got two second half goals for the 2-0 win over Toronto FC.  Josh Wolff was taken down in the box and Jack Jewsbury scored on the ensuing PK in the 63rd minute.   Then in the 79th Wolff and Espinoza set up rookie and tryout winner Kevin Souter who chipped/floated the ball over Sutton.  Souter’s goal is up for Goal of the Week on MLSNet.  This was Kevin’s first goal of his career.

The KC defense was pretty strong in this game.   The boys only allowed three shots the entire night, though the set piece by Guevara was damn good.  TFC had no shots on goal.  That is pretty amazing right there if you ask me.  Probably speaks more to TFC ineptness though.    So, no saves for Hartman.

On offense KC had 14 shots and 5 on goal.  Sutton made a few nice saves.  The buildup to the PK and even Souter’s goal was great.  You could almost anticipate a KC goal.  They just kept attacking and regrouping.  This is more of what we have wanted to see all year.

My Player of the Game this week will go to Josh Wolff.  He was all over the field tonight.  Drew the penalty, assisted on the Souter goal, actually provided some energy on the offsense.  He’s stepped it up the last two games.  Second player will go to Abe Thompson.  Finally some presence up top, might have finished the game had he not dinged his shoulder (Souter came in for him).  Third player will be Souter for his first goal and a very nice one at that.

Win puts KC 1 point behind DC United, who lost to LA 5-2, and three points behind NY, who lost to Cbus on Thursday.  And a special prize too… KC are now only 6 points behind Chicago who where demolished by FC Dallas 4-1 on Sunday.  Right now KC are 1 point out fo the playoffs.  Next week the Wizards travel to LA to play Chivas USA(2nd in the West at 33 points).  DC will play Sunday against FC Dallas.  NY takes on Colorado.  With the right results KC could be in the thick of controlling their playoff position and looking at three home games in row.

One not for the Chivas game.  Jewsbury will be unavailable due to yellow accumulation.  I expect we’ll see Zavagnin or Morsink alongside Davy next week.

Reserves destroy TFC

The second win this weekend was a 6-0 demolition of the TFC reserves.  Ivan Trujillo got a hattrick, Ryan Pore added two more while Carlos Marinelli got his first reserve goal.  KC now have 6 wins, 1 loss and 2 draws.