Live Blog: Houston Dynamo v Kansas City Wizards

10 November 2007

Starting Lineups from mlsnet.com
Houston Dynamo Starting Lineup: 18 - Pat Onstad (GK) 2 - Eddie Robinson 5 - Ryan Cochrane 9 - Brian Mullan 11 - Brad Davis 14 - Dwayne De Rosario 16 - Craig Waibel 21 - Nate Jaqua 24 - Wade Barrett 25 - Brian Ching 30 - Richard Mulrooney.
Substitutes 1 - Zach Wells (GK) 4 - Patrick Ianni 7 - Chris Wondolowski 17 - Mike Chabala 22 - Stuart Holden 26 - Corey Ashe 33 - Joseph Ngwenya
Kansas City Wizards Starting Lineup: 1 - Kevin Hartman (GK) 2 - Michael Harrington 3 - Nick Garcia 5 - Kerry Zavagnin 7 - Eddie Johnson 9 - Sasha Victorine 11 - Kurt Morsink 12 - Jimmy Conrad 14 - Jack Jewsbury 19 - Scott Sealy 22 Davy Arnaud
. Substitutes 24 - Eric Kronberg (GK) 6 - Jose Burciaga Jr. 10 - Carlos Marinelli 16 - Eloy Colombano 20 - Tyson Wahl 26 - Ryan Raybould 29 - Ryan Pore

Pre-Match Thoughts: Kansas City went from fun football to defend and pray against Chivas USA and are now here against what many would call the most balanced team in Major League Soccer. This game is going to be won and lost in the midfield and at the back. The Semi-Final question is who up front can get it going...Jaqua and Ching or Victorine and Johnson? There's only one way to find out. Ninety minutes of live blogging as fast as these fingers can type next. Also note, if your around, leave comments. You never know, they may get incorporated into this blog.
First Half
Minute 1: Houston kick off. And get an early goal kick.
Minute 2: Jimmy Conrad does well with his first touch to deny De Rosario who was rushing towards goal.
Minute 3: Brian Mullen and Eddie Johnson clash and Mullen is the worse for wear. Looked like Johnson got Mullen with the boot to the ankle. That hurt.
Minute 4: De Rosario dispossess in the midfield and off the 1-2 with Jaqua, earns the corner for Houston.
Minute 5: Off the corner which Davis takes, Hartman denies at the far post as De Rosario got in behind Hartman and would have had an empty net to head onto. Mulrooney takes corner two and it's wasted when Hartman is fouled.
Minute 7: Garcia does well to mark Ching and earns Kansas City a throw in. KC does nothing with it.
Minute 8: Mullen's cross is too deep and Hartman collects.
Minute 9: Onstad gets his first touch...off a long ball. Kansas City better start using the midfield or Houston will pick them apart.
Minute 10: Jaqua through the center of the park and Jewsbury blocks the shot. On the other end, Eddie Johnson with an effort blocked by Barrett.
Minute 11: De Rosario slips trying to turn on Zavagnin, and the ball harmlessly goes out for a goal kick.
Minute 12: Waibel concedes a free kick to Kansas City. Off the free kick, Johnson gets a great chance off the volley and goes just over the crossbar.
Minute 13: Davis with a great cross that gets Hartman to ground on the parry. De Rosario there and he tries the volley...see Eddie Johnson's effort.
Minute 15: Already got the first complaint on the comments about how the game is unwatchable because of the college football lines. I wonder what the comment would be if they were Rugby (union or League) lines? Until everyone can get into their own stadium (and as we've seen in Dallas's case it isn't always the case), you have to just simply live with it. If lines on a field are going to stop you from watching a game...find another sport to watch. Just my opinion.
Minute 16: Nate Jaqua gets a golden chance from Barrett's cross, but pushes wide of the near post.
Minute 17: Davey Arnaud with a good cross into Johnson, but he fails to properly get a good touch to it.
Minute 18: Mullen too long for Ching and in the end it's a Kansas City goal kick.
Minute 19: Updated the lineup to show what it truly was. Ching with a half chance, but Conrad there to deny.
Minute 21: Hartman at the edge of the 18 to punch. Had he missed, Ching was there and would have had the simplest of goals.
Minute 22: Now Ching with a chance. Unmarked from 13 as Jewsbury slips. Well wide of the near post though.
Minute 23: Harrington catches Mullen and Houston with a free kick. Mulrooney will take it long and misses his intended target by a good 8 yards. In the end Weibel is right to complain as that went off Hartman's hands, goal kick awarded.
Minute 26: Kansas City free kick that is just simply wasted. No possession off it and right now this game is about as close to one sided as you can get.
Minute 27: Just as I write above, Kansas City get their first long spell of possession. In the end, Barrett catches Sealy's horrible first touch and Houston breaks.
Minute 28: De Rosario with a shot blocked, but Houston keep possession and after another couple of chances, Kansas City finally clear. Houston may begin to regret these missed chances.
Minute 29: Ching gets the ball in a good place from Jaqua's header, but the bending ball to the far post was never a threat.
Minute 31: Johnson with a poor first touch and Houston takes. Ching gets a cross into De Rosario, but Conrad there to block.
Minute 32: Jaqua tries the overhead kick pass but it's too heavy and Hartman collects.
Minute 35: De Rosario tries from 30, Hartman with a great save to concede the corner. Mulrooney takes the corner AND GOAL HOUSTON, GOAL NATE JAQUA! MULROONEY SIMPLY GETS IT TO THE TALL MAN AND ROBERTSON STADIUM ERUPTS. ROBINSON GOES NEAR AND EVERYONE FOLLOWS HIM. HARTMAN MISSES THE BALL AND JAQUA SIMPLY OVER HARRINGTON AND IN. THAT WAS ABOUT AS PERFECT A CORNER KICK AS YOU CAN GET. HOUSTON DYNAMO 1 KANSAS CITY WIZARDS 0.
Minute 37: Can Kansas City finally start using the midfield to link play or...not so fast. Davis thinks he is God and from 25 losing his balance kicks a field goal over the crossbar.
The point I was trying to make is Kansas City have to start linking play in the midfield, but so far they haven't had a chance to.
Minute 40: Kansas City are getting more of the ball, but are losing it just as quick as they get it.
Minute 41: SHOVE FEST. Jaqua with an elbow to Jewsbury and that is a yellow card. There is plenty of debate about that being red, but I feel that would have been too harsh. Both teams get in each others faces, trade pushes, and order is restored as Jewsbury continues to get treated.
Minute 44: Jewsbury gets up and he looks like he's in another world. Sadly is his night over?
Minute 45: Arnaud blows by Barrett, but runs into Davis. Tried to do simply too much.
Minute 45+1: The first of four first half stoppage time minutes begins with Hartman punting the ball long.
Minute 45+2: GOAL...NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND. Mullen with a long shot blundered by Hartman, but De Rosario was offside. Off the free kick, De Rosario comes back on the run, but his cross to the far post is well wide of anyone.
Minute 45+3: Now Ching is the man offside. Houston is going for the kill, and with the way Kansas City is losing possession, why not.
Minute 45+4: Eddie Johnson refuses to do the hard work inside the penalty area and go for a bouncing ball. Shout for a penalty with Sealy being taken down in the box. Was a good one, and it should have been given. That's the last action of the first half.
HALFTIME: HOUSTON DYNAMO 1 KANSAS CITY WIZARDS 0.
First Half Thoughts: Well this was simply as one sided a playoff game as you can possibly get, the only thing is how in the hell is Houston only 1-0 up? They had six chances to legitimately score, but it took one brilliant set piece to do so. Houston have to finish one from open play here in this half. Kansas City started doing it towards the end of the first half, but the fact they are not consistently linking play through the midfield and in essence taking them out of the game by playing the long ball simply isn't working. If I was Kansas City, if your going to play the long ball, you need to go 4-3-3 because Johnson is getting neutered on the park. He's gotten one good chance, but failed to do anything with it.
Second Half
Minute 46: Kansas City kicks off. Marinelli on for Zavagnin. Jewsbury gets an immediate good chance from a Marinelli pass, but only finds side netting.
Minute 47: Ching earns Houston a corner kick.
Minute 48: Off the corner, Davis's cross causes a fracas in the box, Kansas City eventually clearing. Two good chances, nothing comes of them.
Minute 49: Ching offside.
Minute 51: Hartman nearly trips over a streamer. That would have made my top ten bloopers of all time had he fallen.
Minute 52: Marinelli finds Johnson, but Johnson can't get past the first defender, Eddie Robinson.
Minute 55: Yellow Card Nick Garcia. Takes down Ching from behind. Ching should have been booked as well for the shove.
Minute 56: Mullen takes Harrington down from behind and it should have been a yellow at best. The referee played on.
Minute 58: Morsink with a big mistake trying to switch play but finding no one. Lucky for him, Houston does nothing wit the throw. Then coming back, Onstad was well off the line and Sealy missed the ball.
Minute 58: Yellow Card Carlos Marinelli. Marinelli got Davis from behind with the boot to the back of Davis's foot.
Minute 60: Arnaud with a cross that is just way too strong. Kansas City have to get better service than that.
Minute 62: A very late offside decision given on Nate Jaqua. Was the right call, but you have to call that sooner.
Minute 63: Jaqua tries to find De Rosario, but Morsink gets to the ball first to concede the corner. Mulrooney gets two crosses with the ball, but Robinson heads out for a goal kick.
Minute 65: Whoa, Kansas City gets a corner kick. Marinelli's ball in goes through everyone and Houston clears.
Minute 66: Kansas City sub. Eloy Colombano on for Sasha Victorine. KC needed someone with pace, and now they got it.
Minute 68: De Rosario goes to ground way too easily and the referee wise to play on.
Minute 69: Davis does well to keep the ball in play close to the byline. The cross in is saved by Hartman, Ching getting injured when he gets in under Conrad.
Minute 70: Houston sub: Joseph Ngwenya on for the injured Brian Ching. Now the injury watch will begin on Ching should Houston make the final..right now that is looking very likely.
Minute 72: Colombano with a poor touch, and Barrett easily takes that off the foot.
Minute 73: Free kick to Kansas City after Barrett fouls Johnson. Marinelli takes the free kick nicely, but no one fights to get to the far post and it goes out for a goal kick. Colombano should have gotten to that.
Minute 75: Injury update from FSC. Word is Ching told the FSC sideline reporter that Ching heard a pop.
Minute 75: Marinelli lucky he isn't shown red.
Minute 75: Kansas City sub: Ryan Pore on for Jack Jewsbury.
Minute 76: Sealy tries to turn on Barrett, but Barrett dispossess.
Minute 77: Colombano goes down and it should have been a free kick. On the Houston break, De Rosario tries to center to Barrett, but Conrad's touch misses the near post by a foot. Corner to Houston.
Minute 78: Mulrooney takes the corner and Robinson offside as Jaqua tries the overhead kick again.
Minute 80: Harrington limping around after being taken down. Here's to recovering quickly.
Minute 81: De Rosario with a touch that goes backwards than forward...
Minute 82: GOAL HOUSTON GOAL DWAYNE DE ROSARIO. HE GETS A SECOND CHANCE WITH THE BALL AND HE SIMPLY BEATS HARTMAN NEAR POST. THE FIRST TOUCH IS FROM A WAIBEL CROSS. THEN AFTER KANSAS CITY LOSES THE BALL IN THE MIDFIELD, DE ROSARIO GETS LUCKY AS GARCIA DOESN'T BOTHER TO MARK AND FROM 12 OUT, GOES NEAR POST AND HARTMAN DOESN'T GET TO IT IN TIME. GREAT WORK FROM DE ROSARIO TO GET A SECOND CHANCE WITH THE BALL AND TO PUT HOUSTON INTO THE MLS CUP FINAL. HOUSTON DYNAMO 2 KANSAS CITY WIZARDS 0.
Minute 83: I love how Bretos is talking about this great atmosphere, but to us viewers at home...well IT'S FREAKING MUTED! Great work there FSC in muting what looks like a very rowdy crowd.
Minute 85: Houston Sub: Stuart Holden on for Dwayne De Rosario.
Minute 87: Colombano with a decent cross to Johnson, but Johnson is unable to get boot to ball and it's a goal kick to Houston.
Minute 90: Johnson finds Arnaud out wide and as a streamer is thrown his way, Mullen gets caught in the middle of it...then follows Arnaud for 30 yards.
Minute 90+1: The first of the final four minutes of Kansas City's season start with them on the ball, until the start of their attacking third when Houston dispossesses. It sounds like a recording. On the other end, Holden gets Houston a free kick.
Minute 90+2: Houston take the passing route, and as Davis goes corner shopping, is caught offside.
Minute 90+3: Davy Arnaud gets a frustration yellow for taking down Brad Davis.
Minute 90+4: Free kick to Houston as Colombano takes down Ngwenya in the corner. Houston just pass the ball around...AND THAT IS IT!
FULLTIME: HOUSTON DYNAMO 2 KANSAS CITY WIZARDS 0. HOUSTON DYNAMO WILL TAKE ON THE NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION IN THE MLS CUP FINAL!
Final Thoughts: What can be said about this Houston side? They took the game to Kansas City in a way that only possibly came closest when Chicago dominated Los Angeles on the final day of the season. Kansas City lost this game by completely taking the midfield out of the equation on their attack. Houston just picked them apart and did the rest. The only big question is how fit will Brian Ching be for Houston next Sunday?

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read. Until I write again, all feedback is welcome. The Houston Dynamo are Western Conference Champions.

1 comments:

The Gaffer November 10, 2007 at 8:47 PM  

Sorry, but this game is unwatchable. The first impression I got when I switched it on was a sickening one. What the f*** are they thinking with these bloody American football markings on the pitch? It hurts my eyes watching the game.

Cheers,
The Gaffer

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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