The dog days of summer have descended upon MLS. While both San Jose and Kansas City can basically forget about postseason play, this game provided a glimpse into the future. And, not surprisingly, neither team appears any closer to steadying the ship. San Jose scored to claim a 1-0 victory in stoppage time, but neither team deserved the moniker “winner.”
1) A Forward’s Weight in Gold – neither side can count on a reliable forward. Josh Wolff has not scored for Kansas City in over a month, while San Jose’s Cornell Glenn has showed his age as of late. Glenn did attempt an audacious chip and had a goal incorrectly ruled out early on, but he came off just before the half for fatigue. Both sides need improved forward options.
2) The Watson Watch – Kansas City’s backline is young and green at times, but Watson did a fantastic job against both Alvarez and Huckerby. Huckerby, the sensation of last season, struggled to match Watson stride-for-stride, an impressive feat for the young right back. His focus may lack at certain moments, but the future looks bright.
3) The Argentine Connection Destruction – Marinelli. Hirzig. Lopez. The Kansas City Wizards continue to roll the dice with unfit Argentine players, and the result has been a major bust. Hirzig did impress early on, but since then his fitness has dipped considerably. The travel, the physicality, a thousand excuses surface – but Kansas City’s bedrock distributor has gone soft in the tackle and uncertain in the pass.
4) The Disappearing Davy – After 2 cracking goals in the season opener, Davy Arnaud has gone the way of the bison. While the new coach has pushed him forwards, Arnaud has struggled to find the ball in dangerous positions. Given the drop-off in form of Hirzig, perhaps another shot at centermid alongside Jewsbury is in order.
5) Leaning Left – twice, the San Jose Earthquakes lined freekicks from the left channel, and each time three left-footed players hovered over the ball. The problem? Without a right-footed option, Hartmann’s job went from difficult to easy. The lack of an out-swinging option hindered the Quakes’ variety, at least until a KC mental lapse gifted them a goal deep in extra-time.
But such gifts will not come cheaply in September, and even less so in October.
Elliott Tucker is the editor of futfanatico.com