Kansas City Wizards Defeat New York Red Bulls 1-0 Thursday on ESPN2 to Move Into 1st Place in East
Claudio Lopez Converts Penalty Kick in 3rd Minute, Wizards Defense Posts 3rd Shutout in Last 4 Matches
Major League Soccer Game 6
Thursday, April 23, 2009 – 7:00 p.m. (CT)
English TV: ESPN2
Español TV: ESPN Deportes
English Radio: Sports Radio 810 WHB
Español Radio: ESPN Deportes (National)
CommunityAmerica Ballpark – Kansas City, Kansas
Weather: 78 and clear
Attendance: 10,385 – SOLD OUT
Score: 1 2 F
Kansas City Wizards (3-2-1, 10 pts) 1 0 1
New York Red Bulls (1-3-2, 5 pts) 0 0 0
KC – Claudio Lopez 2 (penalty kick) 3’
(April 23, 2009) – The Kansas City Wizards defeated the New York Red Bulls 1-0 Thursday in a nationally televised match on ESPN2. Kansas City striker Claudio Lopez converted a 3rd minute penalty kick in front of a packed house at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, and the Wizards defense allowed New York just two shots on goal for a shutout. The Wizards moved into 1st place in the East with the victory and have posted three shutouts in their last four matches.
Kansas City started quickly in front of a raucous crowd that was brought to its feet before the game by a B2 Bomber flyover from Whiteman Air Force Base. In the 2nd minute, striker Josh Wolff pushed Herculez Gomez through on the left side of the penalty area. As Gomez looked to collect the ball on his way toward goal, New York defender Carlos Johnson clipped Gomez, bringing the Kansas City attacker down for a penalty kick. Since Gomez was clear of the last man, Johnson was shown a red card for denying a goal-scoring opportunity. Lopez stepped to the penalty spot and calmly slotted the ball home inside the left post for a 1-0 lead the Wizards would not relinquish.
Kansas City nearly scored again in the 24th minute off a corner kick. Lopez took the restart from the right corner flag, curling a pass toward Herculez Gomez at the back post. Gomez dove to head the ball on frame, but New York goalkeeper Jon Conway made a quick reaction save to keep the Red Bulls within a goal.
New York star Juan Pablo Angel nearly brought the Red Bulls level in the 52nd minute, hitting a dangerous half volley from the six yards out at the back post. Wizards goalkeeper Kevin Hartman made his first save of the night, however, punching Angel’s point-blank effort clear.
The Wizards again proved dangerous off a set piece from Claudio Lopez in the 68th minute. Lopez curled a ball to the back post from 25 yards out, with central defender Aaron Hohlbein heading the ball on goal at the back post. Conway again came up big, parrying the shot wide for a Wizards corner kick.
Angel nearly helped New York earn a late point, first sending a free kick over the bar from a dangerous position in the 84th minute, and then making Hartman again come up big in second-half stoppage time. After a New York cross was flicked on by Matthew Mbuta, Angel slid to re-direct a shot on goal, but Hartman was there to block the effort and keep his 3rd clean sheet of the season. With the shutout victory, Hartman extended his MLS records in wins (141), shutouts (80) and saves (1150). The Wizards honored Hartman before the match for breaking the MLS career saves record March 28 at Colorado.
Kansas City faces a quick turnaround, flying to Toronto Friday for a Sunday match against Toronto FC at BMO Field at 4 p.m. CT on Metro Sports. Coach’s Bar and Grill on 103rd street near Wornall will again host a watch party for Wizards fans. Toronto defeated Kansas City 3-2 in the 2009 season opener, Toronto’s first-ever win in Kansas City. The Reds also face a busy week after handing Chivas USA their first loss of the season Wednesday night at home.
Kansas City Wizards Line-Up: Kevin Hartman; Lance Watson, Jimmy Conrad ©, Aaron Hohlbein, Matt Besler (Roger Espinoza 67); Santiago Hirsig, Jack Jewsbury (Michael Harrington 32), Davy Arnaud, Herculez Gomez (Michael Kraus 77); Josh Wolff, Claudio Lopez
Substitutes not used: Boris Pardo (GK), Rauwshan McKenzie, Kurt Morsink, Abe Thompson
New York Red Bulls Line-Up: Jon Conway; Carlos Johnson (ejection 3), Kevin Goldthwaite, Carlos Mendes (Sinisa Ubiparipovic 77), Alfredo Pacheco; Matthew Mbuta, Seth Stammler, Jorge Rojas (Luke Sassano 46), Danleigh Borman; Macoumba Kandji (Dane Richards 59), Juan Pablo Angel ©
Substitutes not used: Danny Cepero (GK), Andrew Boyens, Khano Smith, John Wolyniec
NY – Carlos Johnson (ejection; Denied Goal Scoring Opportunity (Foul)) 2
KC – Jimmy Conrad (caution; Reckless Foul) 29
KC – Matt Besler (caution; Persistent Infringement) 64
Total Shots: 13 11
Shots on Goal: 6 2
Saves: 2 5
Fouls Committed: 12 10
Offside: 5 1Corner Kicks: 5 2
Referee: Michael Kennedy
Assistants: Anthony Vasoli, Jeff Muschik
4th official: Abbey Okulaja
· With the win, Kansas City improves to 3-2-1, 10 pts and occupies 1st place in the Eastern Conference.
· Kansas City is now 15-14-9 all-time against New York, including a 13-6-2 record at home.· The Wizards are 2-1-0 at CommunityAmerica Ballpark on the season and 11-3-4 all-time at the stadium.· Kansas City posted its 3rd shutout of the season, moving into a tie for 1st in MLS. · The Wizards have not been shutout in the last 18 MLS regular-season matches, dating back to 8/2/08 at D.C. United.· Kansas City’s record for most consecutive games without being shutout is 20, set between 8/19/06 – 6/20/07.· Kansas City has posted six shutouts of its own during that stretch.· Argentine striker Claudio Lopez scored his 2nd goal of the season, converting a 3rd minute penalty kick for the game-winning goal.· Lopez’s strike was the earliest Kansas City goal in a game this year and the 2nd fastest penalty kick in team history. · Preki took a penalty kick that was stopped in the 1st minute 9/12/97.· Saturday’s penalty was the fastest ever converted by a Wizards player.· Lopez now has 2 goals and 3 assists on the year and 8 goals and 10 assists in MLS play since joining the Wizards.· Lopez is tied for 2nd on the team in goals with Josh Wolff and is tied for the MLS lead in assists.· Lopez has converted 3 penalty kicks in a Wizards uniform.· New York defender Carlos Johnson brought down Herculez Gomez in the 2nd minute, creating the penalty kick.
· Johnson was also ejected on the play for denying a goal-scoring opportunity.
· Johnson’s red card was the fastest in MLS history.
· The Wizards have now seen two opposing players sent off in the last three games. Herculez Gomez has been the Wizards player involved in both plays.
· Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman made 2 saves on the night, including a last-second save on Juan Pablo Angel from close range.
· Hartman now has 1150 career saves and ranks 1st all-time in MLS in this category.
· The Wizards honored Hartman before the match for breaking the MLS career saves record March 28 at Colorado.
· Hartman also ranks 1st in shutouts. With tonight’s clean sheet, Hartman becomes the 1st MLS goalkeeper to reach the 80-shutout plateau.
· Hartman now has 141 career wins, another MLS record.
· Wizards midfielder Jack Jewsbury left the match in the 32nd minute with a concussion after a 19th minute collision. He was taken to an area hospital for tests and released shortly thereafter.
· Jewsbury had not missed a minute previously for Kansas City in 2009.
· Jimmy Conrad and Kevin Hartman are the only Wizards players to play all 540 minutes on the season.
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS HEAD COACH CURT ONALFO
On the game“We wanted to have a good start, and we certainly had a great start. Drawing the PK and then getting the goal right away was great. Credit to New York, I thought they did an excellent job once they went a player down to make it really hard on us. It was one of those games where if we would have just got that second goal then maybe we could put the game away, but we weren’t able to do that. Credit to New York, they really dug it out and fought hard with 10 players.”
On the day
“We had some chances we just didn’t have that final finish or final pass. That part of it was disappointing. But for me, this has been an unbelievable day. I had a nasty car accident on the way here with my family (in the car). Fortunately everybody’s healthy and we got our three points tonight. We have ten points, and we’re sitting in first place. We’ll figure out the things that we need to do better and get ourselves ready for a tough game on Sunday.”
On defending Juan Pablo Angel
“I thought we did well. He’s one of those players where you never relax, because if he has one chance, he usually finishes it. But for the most part I thought we did a solid job against him.”
On the quick turnaround for Sunday’s game at Toronto
“We may have to play some other players depending on where we are with fatigue. There are some fresh bodies on our bench that may see more time. Roger Espinoza came in tonight and had a real impact on the game, and that’s good to see. Michael Harrington again came in and did a good job. Our reserve players have done well.”
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS STRIKER CLAUDIO LOPEZ
On the early penalty kick“It was a clear PK call. I just tried to see the keeper and try to shoot it the other way.”
On having the PK so early in the game
“You always have to concentrate because you always have to be ready for something like that. It’s an opportunity that you can’t miss. It was really good that it happened to us early.”
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS DEFENDER JIMMY CONRAD
On the quick turnaround for Sunday’s game at Toronto“After Sunday, we don’t have another game for 10 days, so we can push it a little bit knowing that we have a couple of days off afterwards. We do have a deep bench, but I think we’ll continue to have a similar lineup knowing that we’ll have time to rest the next week.”
On climbing into first place in the East
“We’re confident, but we’re aware that we need to get better. We’re not playing our best soccer right now, but we’re getting results, and that’s a good thing. We still have a lot of room for improvement.”
On the atmosphere inside CommunityAmerica Ballpark
“It was really loud, and the atmosphere was great. It was one of the best atmospheres that we’ve ever had here at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. I’m really excited because we were trying to put on a good show for the rest of the country and we came out and got a win.”
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS GOALKEEPER KEVIN HARTMAN
On the game“We put them under pressure early and put them in a precarious situation, and I thought the referee gave a justified call. We wish we would have done better and gone ahead and secured a second goal. That being said, we finished it off without giving up a ton a shots and we were pretty secure in the back.”
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS MIDFIELDER HERCULEZ GOMEZ
On the atmosphere at CommunityAmerica Ballpark“That’s the way we want it to be every game. The crowd definitely gives us a boost. It’s fun playing in front of a packed stadium and an exciting crowd like that. It feels good to get the fans a win.”
NEW YORK RED BULLS HEAD COACH JUAN CARLOS OSORIO
On the Wizards attack”One thing we were aware of was the counterattack; obviously they had their chances when we had three in the back. When were playing four in the back I think we controlled them quite well. We also did very well on set-plays. We defended very well against a team that is very good on set-plays.”
On goalkeeper Jon Conway’s play”I think Conway did well. He made a couple of good saves. A credit to him, he has kept himself in good shape throughout the suspension.”
NEW YORK RED BULLS STRIKER JUAN PABLO ANGEL On the game”The whole course of the game changed with that first play. I think it was one of those tough calls for the referee. I think we showed a little character. The positive thing we can take from here is we didn’t cut back, we went for the game, we tried to get the equalizer, and it didn’t happen. But I think there were a lot of positives.”
NEW YORK RED BULLS GOALKEEPER JON CONWAY On the game”As a goalkeeper it wasn’t something that you expect that early in the match, it was unfortunate to go down a man. We did well. I thought our back line did great in limiting their chances. With ten men they are going to get chances to score, but we did well.”