“A soccer game without goals is like an afternoon without sunshine.”
— Argentine star Alfredo Di Stefano
Wizards fans suffered through both on Saturday. I’ll be the first to admit I was expecting a much more entertaining affair. Having been in the stands for the Western Conference Championship last November, I still had a sour taste from the 2-0 loss at the hands of Houston and I thought the Wizards would be out for a little redemption after being eliminated by the eventual champions. Couple that with coming off Wednesday’s 3-1 defeat and the insertions of both first round draft picks into the starting lineups, and I would’ve predicted anything but a scoreless draw. The Wizards best scoring chance is pictured above, a Sealy 1v1 with Dynamo backup Tony Caig in the 36th minute. Nevertheless, the Wizards have the most points in the league (with an extra game played) while Houston sits with the second fewest.
My musings from the match:
- Eddie Robinson: This tops the list, hands down (or should I say elbows up?). Robinson’s cheap shot luckily only left Tyson Wahl with a gashed lip (though his extended treatment on the sideline allowed for at least one Houston scoring opportunity), but it went unpunished and presumably unnoticed by referee Baldomero Toledo. He should have been ejected and if there is any justice, he will be suspended by the league’s disciplinary committee. Even Houston fans are conceding as much. Robinson has a history of such violent disregard for his opponents, having led the league in cautions the last two seasons and ranking second in fouls committed in 2005 and 2007. Elbows appear to be a particular specialty, having twice targeted Carlos Ruiz; ejected for one incident in 2006 and cautioned for another last year. He also received a red last year for a last-man tackle on Salt Lake’s Kyle Beckerman, and two in 2005 for violent conduct (a fist fight with Carey Talley) and serious foul play (a studs up challenge on the Revs’ Shalrie Joseph). UPDATED: Dynamo beat reporter Glenn Davis had this to say on the incident: “The bad: Eddie Robinson throwing a forearm at Tyson Wahl which is sure to get him suspended unless that is no one watched the game on HDNET in the MLS office.” Which elicited this comment from a reader: “Eddie Robinson is the best defender in MLS to me but his forearm/elbow was, unfortunately, a cheap shot. And as a Dynamo fan I love the guy but I actually rewatched the plays leading up to his elbow and it did not look like he was provoked. Usually there is some jostling and pushing/shoving, etc. in the box but he just blasted Wahl. It would not surprise me if he gets 3-6 games only because it really wasn’t in the run of play.”
- Offsides: KC’s 10 flaggings on Saturday was one short of the team record for a single game, as was the two team’s combined 15 offenses. In context, the Wizards had more offsides than the Chicago-San Jose, Dallas-New York, and DC-Salt Lake games combined. As a result, KC has three players in the top 10 for offsides in MLS this season, with Sealy leading the league despite his limited minutes.
- Attendance: Needless to say, given the wintry conditions, there were not 9,500+ fans at CAB as the announced attendance suggests. In the Wizards four-game homestand, fans were welcomed by a little bit of it all — rain, snow, and sun. The only constant seemed to be the CAB’s trademark strong winds. The team’s next four games could be as cold as the last four as the Wizards now travel northeast to play in Chicago, Toronto, Columbus, and New York.
- Kerry Zavagnin: The veteran midfielder tied the mark for most appearances in a Wizards uniform (224). Not bad for a player undrafted out of college, then taken in the last round of the next year’s supplemental draft, then played two seasons in New York (traded there for none other than current Wizards technical director Peter Vermes) before ending up in the A-League, and eventually selected in the third round of the 2000 SuperDraft by the Wizards — coincidentally, the same draft the Wizards picked Nick Garcia, the player Kerry is tied with atop the all-time appearances list. Now in his 9th season with the team, it was ironically only his 6th appearance as a substitute.
- Reserves: The Wizards reserves won 5-0 over the University of Memphis on Sunday morning at the team’s training facility. Goals by Colombano (2), Trujillo, Pore, and McMahen. The victory improves their record to 2-1-1 in all competitions.
Filed under: Uncategorized |