The team had some great traveling support but minus Herculez Gomez and a 7th minute goal by the Crew’s Brad Evans really hurt KC’s chances. The whole game the KC defense did not look good. In fact, the whole team did not look good. They haven’t played that poorly since the loss at Chivas. There was a lot of … risky … passes. No one seemed to be thinking about the offensive play. No holding onto the ball. On defense the Crew had too many balls rolling across the front of the goal. Then on the goal by Robbie Rogers there was no one back on the right side after the pass to Rogers. Leathers was caught in the middle of the field having to decide who to cover and Rogers drilled it near post. There were also the weird substitutions of Kraus and Marquess. Especially Marquess late in the game. No matter, the Crew were way more composed than KC was. The Crew advance on a 2-0 win; 3-1 aggregate. Good luck against Chicago (not an endorsement as I don’t really care which team wins).
But let’s be honest. At the 2/3 mark of the season KC seemed to be circling the drain. Just making the playoffs is an achievement. Yes, not the stated goal of the team/coach from earlier this season, but after a 1-2-3 (WDL) road trip following the hot home start it was apparant that KC was a middle of the pack at best team. Then we got our asses handed to us 3-0 at home by the Crew – our first league home game in 2 months and 2 days. We only had 3 more wins until our late season run.
I liked what I saw when Gomez was on the field. Well, except for his first game. After that he was integral. Claudio Lopez finished out the season on great form. Josh ended on a bit of a whimper, but he did alright. Davy Arnaud has to be the offensive team MVP. He makes the team run and his move to midfield with Jack Jewsbury was very good. JImmy and Kevin Hartman on defense were good all year. Although I really like Aaron Hohlbein, and think he’s a better player, I am impressed with Tyson Wahl. Harrington did just fine at left back after being moved from right wing when Marquess couldn’t continue playing. It seems that Harrington will be there for the duration with the acquisition of Gomez to play on the right midfield. Nor can Micheal move up on the left side with Souter and Espinoza there. I know a lot of fans would like to see him in the midfield, but I just don’t see it happening. KC really need to find a right back. Leathers is fast and pretty decent but I am hopeful for Chance Myers for next season. It seems that Jack Jewsbury has found a home … finally. He’s played striker, right wing, right back, center mid … has he played left mid? … and now is basically a holding mid but also could be considered a two-way mid. Hopefully he stays there for next season. I like Morsink to continue to back him up. For strikers we know that Josh Wolff will be here next season. And I think that Lopez will too. But after that, we don’t have anyone. Thompson has a contract up, and while he helped the offense out a lot with his size, he might be off to play elsewhere. We need an improvement there and with backups.
Next up for KC is the expansion draft and who to protect. After that is the draft and pre-season. I am guessing a trip to Mexico or South America again. Then we’ll all show up again at CAB on a cold and windy day to kick off the 2009 season.
Oh yeah, somewhere in there will hopefull by a groundbreaking for the new stadium and a few impact player signings.