Kansas City Wizards Fight Back From 2-Goal Deficit for Thrilling 2-2 Tie at Chicago Fire Saturday
Striker Josh Wolff Scores 2 Stellar Goals After 75th Minute Against his Former Club; Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman Makes Season-High 6 Saves to Extend Career MLS Record to 1148
Major League Soccer Game 5
Saturday, April 18, 2009 – 7:30 p.m. (CT)
English TV: Fox Soccer Channel; Español TV: Fox Sports en Español
Español Radio: 1340 La Gran D
TOYOTA Park – Bridgeview, Illinois
Weather: 60 and cloudy
Score: 1 2 F
Chicago Fire (2-0-3, 9 pts) 2 0 2
Kansas City Wizards (2-2-1, 7 pts) 0 2 2
CHI – Brian McBride 3 (Wilman Conde 1) 13’
CHI – Brian McBride 4 (Cuauhtémoc Blanco 2) 20’
KC – Josh Wolff 1 (Claudio Lopez 2) 78’
KC – Josh Wolff 2 (Michael Harrington 1, Claudio Lopez 3) 89’
(April 18, 2009) – The Kansas City Wizards came back from a two-goal deficit to earn a point for the 12th time in team history Saturday night. Striker Josh Wolff scored goals in the 78th and 89th minutes against his former team to leapfrog Mo Johnston into 4th place on Kansas City’s career goals list and earn the Wizards a valuable road point. Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman made six saves, including four highlight-reel efforts after halftime to keep Kansas City in the match. Hartman’s last-second fingertip save off a Chris Rolfe header preserved the tie for Kansas City and pushed his MLS-record career total to 1148. The Wizards remained in 3rd place in the East behind Chicago and New England on seven points.
Chicago came out of the gates quickly, jumping ahead 2-0 through a Brian McBride double inside of 20 minutes. After Wilman Conde captured a loose ball inside the penalty area and laid off a pass in the 13th minute, McBride put home a back-post shot from 19 yards out. In the 20th minute, McBride nodded down a free kick from Cuauhtémoc Blanco for a 2-0 Fire lead and his 4th tally of the young MLS season.
Hartman made the first of his spectacular saves in the 60th minute, pushing wide a 15-yard effort off the foot of John Thorrington. Chicago left back Gonzalo Segares got behind the Wizards defense on the left after a quick give-and-go with Marco Pappa, eventually slotting a ball diagonally backward for Thorrington in the center of the penalty area. Thorrington blasted a right-footed shot toward the near post as Hartman moved from right to left, but Hartman quickly changed directions to palm the shot around the post and out of play for a corner kick. Then in the 72nd and 73rd minutes, Hartman made smooth near-post saves off rockets from Cuauhtémoc Blanco and Patrick Nyarko, respectively.
Shortly after Hartman’s heroics to keep the Wizards within two goals, Kansas City began its comeback through a moment of brilliance from Claudio Lopez and Josh Wolff. Lopez stepped in to steal a Chicago pass on the left flank, then immediately sidestepped a hard-charging defender. Lopez then hit a bending ball to the back post on his next touch, connecting with Wolff who was completing a 35-yard run out of midfield. Wolff slid to volley-home a shot from the top of the six-yard area to bring the Wizards within a goal.
Kansas City almost equalized two minutes later after a long-range bullet off the foot of Herculez Gomez was stopped but not secured by goalkeeper Jon Busch. Substitute forward Michael Kraus was crashing hard and nearly put home the rebound, but Chicago cleared the ball out for a corner kick just in time.
The Wizards continued to push, finally pulling level in the 89th minute with another spectacular effort from Wolff. Lopez again began the play, pushing the ball wide right for Michael Harrington 30 yards off the end line. Harrington sent in a perfectly placed bending cross behind Chicago’s defense. Wolff ran onto the ball, heading it past Busch from between two Fire defenders for his 8th career two-goal game and his 5th tally against his former club. Wolff now ranks 4th on Kansas City’s career goals list with 32 scores in a Wizards uniform. Wolff has 64 MLS goals in 199 career appearances and now ranks 16th all-time in regular-season goals scored. Wolff also ranks 9th among active MLS players.
Hartman came up big for the Wizards one final time, turning aside a Chris Rolfe header in the 4th minute of second-half stoppage time to secure the road point for Kansas City. Segares again got free up the left, curling a ball to Rolfe at the penalty spot. Rolfe rose and snapped a header on goal, but Hartman extended fully to parry the ball off the outside of the post and out of play for a final corner kick. The Wizards cleared the ensuing cross, and the full-time whistle blew for a 2-2 final. Kansas City has secured a result in back-to-back road games for the first time since earning consecutive ties July 4 and July 17 at FC Dallas and Columbus, respectively.
The Wizards next home game comes Thursday, April 23 at 7 p.m. CT against the New York Red Bulls in another nationally televised match on ESPN2. That night, the first 5,000 fans into CommunityAmerica Ballpark will receive a Jimmy Conrad bobblehead courtesy of Time Warner Cable. IRL and NASCAR Truck Series drivers will also be on hand to mingle with fans and sign autographs before the match, and a B2 Bomber from Whiteman Air Force Base will fly over the stadium just prior to kickoff.
Chicago Fire Line-Up: Jon Busch; Tim Ward, Bakary Soumare, Wilman Conde, Gonzalo Segares; John Thorrington, Logan Pause, Cuauhtémoc Blanco (Austin Washington 83), Marco Pappa (Mike Banner 89); Patrick Nyarko (Chris Rolfe 77), Brian McBride
Substitutes not used: Nick Noble (GK), Brandon Prideaux, Baggio Husidic, Dasan Robinson
Kansas City Wizards Line-Up: Kevin Hartman; Lance Watson (Michael Kraus 73), Jimmy Conrad ©, Aaron Hohlbein, Matt Besler; Herculez Gomez (Roger Espinoza 83), Jack Jewsbury, Santiago Hirsig (Michael Harrington 46), Josh Wolff; Claudio Lopez, Davy Arnaud
Substitutes not used: Boris Pardo (GK), Rauwshan McKenzie, Kurt Morsink, Abe Thompson
KC – Claudio Lopez (caution; Reckless Tackle) 63
KC – Josh Wolff (caution; Reckless Foul) 66
CHI – Bakary Soumare (caution; Reckless Tackle) 70
Total Shots: 13 8
Shots on Goal: 8 5
Saves: 3 6
Fouls Committed: 7 9
Offside: 1 0Corner Kicks: 7 4
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Assistants: Rob Fereday, Greg Barkey
4th official: Michael Kennedy