Thursday, May 25, 2006

MLS Weekend Preview - 5/27/2006

As it is Memorial Day Weekend and I will be out of town from early Friday morning to late Monday evening, I will be missing several matches that would normally have me glued to the front of a TV, with beer in hand.

MLS - DC United Preview: Kansas City vs. DC United 5/27/2006
DC United continues its road trip this week as it pulls into Kansas City to face the Wizards in a matchup of Eastern Conference leaders. United leads the Wizards by 2 points, and with a victory will open up a 5 point lead. United are coming off of a dismal 1-1 road draw against a Columbus Crew club that really lived on borrowed time last week. United gave them the first 20 or so minutes of the match and didn't start playing their brand of football until they were down 1-0. Peter Nowak had better have gotten the lazy attitude out of his players, or they will be returning home as second best in the East.

Kansas City are still trying to cope with the MLS playing through the World Cup. With their starting center back and starting forwards getting ready for a trip to the Fatherland, they haven't been quite the same as the Wizards of old, losing their first match without Cup stars match 2-1 to United and lost 2-1 to that club of Gang busters, rEal Salt Lake. As they return home, they will be hoping to figure out how to score more than one goal a game without their World Cup stars.

If United play as they have shown they can play, meaning up to snuff, they should be able to avoid their second loss of the season and return to DC with the 3 points, a 5 point lead in the East and close to 3 points of FC Dallas in the Supporters Shield race. With a healthy Walker coming in off the bench as an offensive spark and fresh/fast legs against a KC depleted defense, we should get the goals. Gomez and Moreno will need to have better distribution in this match, as KC's midfielders are a step better than the Crew has, and if they still take that extra half step as they did last week, KC will clog the midfield and our attack will slog through the middle third of the field.

If Clyde Simms (questionable) can fill the holding defensive midfield role that Olsen ruled before Bruce Almighty took him for the World Cup, our defensive lapses should be less of a concern. If United show up and play as they did against Columbus in the first 20 minutes, they could very well leak goals and return home in 2nd place. I doubt that Nowak will let this happen 2 weeks in a row.
Kansas City 0 - 2 DC United


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