PLAYOFFS: Wizards host Shield winners

October 31, 2008

So, if you read this blog regularly you will have seen a lot of good news this week for KC.  Back to back seasons in the playoffs.  Two Wizards goals up for Goal of the Year:  Davy vs LA and Josh’s bicycle goal.  Jimmy Conrad is in contention for Defender of the Year.  And our very own DP, Claudio Lopez, is up for Newcomer of the Year.  Season ticket prices for 2009 going down.  Very nice if you are in the Cauldron!.   And one last bit of good news.  Khano Smith got 2 extra games on his suspension from the Gomez tackle.  If NE somehow makes MLS Cup, then Smith can play.

The Wizards do host the Crew this weekend.  It will be the final 2008 game at CAB for KC.  Being the 4th seed we won’t get to host the Conference Final.  This will be the final chance for KC fans to get to see Kerry Zavagnin.  And a chance for KC to avenge the humilating 3-0 loss to Columbus from earlier this season.  Since that loss at home, KC went 7-3-0 (WDL) on home turf.

Despite what is in the injury report: Josh, Roger, Jack, Jonny and Lance.  It seems that we’ll only still miss Wolff.  The lineup should be the same as it has been for the last two weeks.  The Crew haven’t seen this KC team with Davy and Jack in the middle.  Or with newboys Souter, Gomez and Thompson on the attack.  An experienced and fresh Lopez should continue to make KC very dangerous on offense.  So long as KC keeps up the attack of the past few weeks, and close on opportunities, we could see another multi-goal win for KC.

But still, remember that Columbus are the Supporter’s Shield winners.  Since KC and C-bus played to a 3-3 draw in Columbus, the Crew have been 9-2-2.   However they did lose 3-1 two weeks ago to NY and barely won over DC last weekend.  This is a formidable team.  The Crew tied for the best road record at 6-4-5 (WDL), but actually gave up more goals than they scored (even with the 3-0 KC beatdown).  Of course, you only need to be mediocre on the road in MLS to be considered good 🙂

KC is on the rise, the Crew are cooling off.  I expect a great game.  Just hope I get to see it.  The wife is due any moment now.  If this baby is to be any kind of future soccer fan, then it should know to wait until Sunday 🙂



KC defeat 9 man Revolution; Clinch 4th in MLS East

October 27, 2008

The Wizards won 3-1 against New England in a rainy contest.  KC led 3-0 until the 90th minute.  Lopez was awarded a PK in the first half in a situation that saw Badilla sent off for denying Lopez a goal scoring opportunity.  Lopez buried the PK, his 6th goal for the year.  Then New England had Khano Smith sent off late in the first half when he tried to take out Gomez.  Remember, Gomez was involved in the play two weeks ago that saw Ralston break his leg.  Khano seemed to have it out for Gomez in the first half.  In the second half Espinoza come on for Herculez and in the 53rd he headed a Lopez cross back to Arnaud who scored his 7th goal of the season.  KC really did miss some chances at scoring several more goals.  At times it was hard to tell that NE was down two men.  Trujillo eventually came on for Lopez and Kerry Zavagnin played the final 9 minutes.  Trujillo had a shot in the 88th that was deflected for an own goal past Reis.  A turnover in the 90th minute allowed Larentowicz to pull one back for the Revs.

The Wizards end the season with 11 wins, 9 draws and 10 losses for 42 points.  Just one point behind New England.  We’ve now won three in a row.  KC now has a date with the Columbus Crew on at CAB this Saturday.

For Players of the Game.  I have to go with Claudio Lopez again this week.  He had a goal and an assist.  Also had a few other opportunities.  Then Davy Arnaud, good play, awesome goal.  Third player is Herculez Gomez for keeping his cool for his 45 minutes on the field despite having a huge target on his back!

Check out POTG page for the final Player of the Game standings.


Happy Birthday Roger Espinoza

October 25, 2008

Roger Espinoza turns 22 today.  He was born in Honduras and has lived in the US for 10 years now.  He was selected by KC as the 11th overall pick in the latest MLS draft out of Ohio State University.  He had a broken foot early on in the season but has come back to play fairly well.   He has appeared 21 times for KC with 12 starts.  He plays on the left side of the midfield.  Roger has one goal, a beautiful one against the Columbus Crew back in July.  Unfortunately Roger has more red cards than goals this season.  He has accumulated two of them so far.  Some fans have named him “Roger the Red” and since those reds were early on, he has had to overcome that stigma.  But still, he’s young and in his first season.  I feel he has a future with the Wizards and look forward to his ball skill and hopefully scoring ability.

Happy 22nd Roger.