Kansas City Wizards Fall to Defending MLS Cup Champion Columbus Crew 2-0
Wizards Generate 14 Second-Half Shots, Held Scoreless by Blue Valley North Graduate Andy Gruenebaum and Columbus Defense
Major League Soccer Game 13
Saturday, June 6, 2009 – 7:30 p.m. (CT)
English TV: Metro Sports
Español TV: Time Warner Cable Channel 5
Español Radio: La Gran D 1340 AM
CommunityAmerica Ballpark – Kansas City, Kansas
Weather: 82 and clear
Attendance: 10,385 – Sold Out
Score: 1 2 F
Kansas City Wizards (4-5-4, 16 pts) 0 0 0
Columbus Crew (3-2-7, 16 pts) 1 1 2
CLB – Guillermo Barros Schelotto 7 (unassisted) 14
CLB – Guillermo Barros Schelotto 8 (penalty kick) 64
(June 6, 2009) – The Kansas City Wizards fell to the 2008 MLS Cup champion Columbus Crew 2-0 Saturday despite generating a season-high 17 shots, 14 of which came in the second half. Columbus won the match on the strength of two goals by Guillermo Barros Schelotto. Schelotto is now tied for the League lead with eight strikes on the season. Three of Schelotto’s tallies this season have come against the Wizards.
Columbus opened the scoring in the 14th minute when a bouncing ball in the penalty area fell to the feet of Schelotto for an easy finish into the open net. A pair of defenders collided with Wizards goalkeeper Kevin Hartman as the ball fell to Schelotto.
Hartman then made an outstanding save shortly after halftime to keep the Wizards within a goal. Columbus winger Emmanuel Ekpo cut into the center of the field from his station on the right, firing a bending ball toward the back post. Hartman extended fully to parry the shot wide of goal for the Crew’s only corner kick of the match. On the ensuing restart, Columbus defender Chad Marshall was ejected for serious foul play after he appeared to knee Wizards defender Aaron Hohlbein in the groin.
The Crew added to its lead in the 64th minute through a Schelotto penalty kick. Crew midfielder Eddie Gaven drew a foul one step into the penalty area on the right before Schelotto buried a shot into the right side of the goal after sending Hartman to the left.
Kansas City answered with 12 shots after the Crew’s final tally, but the Wizards could not crack the score sheet. The Wizards best opportunity of the flurry came in the 73rd minute when Kansas City striker Claudio Lopez served a ball from the right wing to the center of the penalty area. Midfielder Jack Jewsbury ran into the cross, hitting a snap header toward the back post the Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum dove to push wide.
One minute later, midfielder Santiago Hirsig hit a hard shot along the ground from 20 yards out that was cleared off the goal line by defender Eric Brunner after eluding Gruenebaum. Substitute midfielder Graham Zusi also tested Gruenebaum with a hard-hit shot in the 82nd minute that the Columbus ‘keeper did well to tip wide.
The Wizards remain at home for an MLS showdown next Saturday with the New England Revolution. The match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. CT at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. After the game, Kansas City has two weeks off from Major League Soccer competition to compete in the 3rd edition of SuperLiga, the competition that brings the USA-Mexico soccer rivalry to the club level.
Kansas City kicks off SuperLiga against FC Atlas of Mexico’s first division Sunday, June 21 at 3:30 p.m. CT at Hermann Stadium on the campus of St. Louis University. Tickets for the match start at $20 and are now available at all MetroTix locations. Charge by phone (314) 534-1111 or purchase online at www.metrotix.com. Additional information is also available by calling the Kansas City Wizards toll free at 1-877-828-7222. The Wizards then travel to play the New England Revolution in a SuperLiga match Wednesday, June 24 at Gillette Stadium before hosting Mexican team Santos Laguna Sunday, June 28 at 5:30 p.m. CT at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City.
Kansas City Wizards Line-Up: Kevin Hartman; Lance Watson (Michael Harrington 69), Jimmy Conrad ©, Aaron Hohlbein (Graham Zusi 80), Matt Besler; Jack Jewsbury, Santiago Hirsig, Davy Arnaud, Herculez Gomez (Abe Thompson 60); Josh Wolff, Claudio Lopez
Substitutes not used: Boris Pardo (GK), Rauwshan McKenzie, Kurt Morsink, Kevin Souter
Columbus Crew Line-Up: Andy Gruenebaum; Eric Brunner, Chad Marshall (ejection 51), Gino Padula; Emmanuel Ekpo (Jason Garey 89), Eddie Gaven, Danny O’Rourke, Jed Zayner, Robbie Rogers; Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Steven Lenhart 86), Pat Noonan
Misconduct: Alec Dufty (GK), Kevin Burns, Cory Elenio, Alex Grendi, Stanley Nyazamba
Total Shots: 17 6
Shots on Goal: 5 3
Saves: 1 3
Fouls Committed: 11 17
Offside: 1 2Corner Kicks: 9 1
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistants: Nate Clement, James Conlee
4th official: Andrew Chapin
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS HEAD COACH CURT ONALFO
On the game“I actually thought we played very well in the first half, except for the mess on the goal. That part is disappointing. I thought we created some good chances. We were just a little bit off or unlucky all evening. They got a red card, and then I felt like we were really going to be able to push the game. The penalty kick hurt. It really enabled them to sit into a defensive shell and not have to play.”
On the strong start early
“I thought we exerted a lot of energy early on. I thought we played well and we moved the ball well, but unfortunately we didn’t put the ball in the back of the net. If you score in those situations all of a sudden you put yourself in a much better situation. We put some good early services into the box and we just had to continue with that.”
On not picking up points at home
“This is a dog-fight league. It’s obviously disappointing. In this business you have to stay even keeled. We have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and keep plugging away. That’s how we make our living in MLS.”
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS DEFENDER JIMMY CONRAD
On the game“We gave up two soft goals, and we lost. Giving up soft goals has been the bane of our existence this season. Until we can eradicate that, it’s going to be hard to move up the table.”
On the first goal
“The ball squirted through. There were three of us that could have made a play on it. I was going to go, and then I heard Kevin coming. I tried to stop and I guess it was too late. It fell right to Schelotto. That’s part of the game and we need to be able to solve that. That was pretty much their only chance in the first half. We’re dropping valuable points at home, and that’s not good.
On not being able to score despite having a season-high 17 shots
“Columbus did a good job of blocking the passing lanes and any shooting lanes into the goal. They battled, they scrapped and they got the three points. Unless we can finish and punish them for their mistakes, like they did to us, it’s hard to get a result.”
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS STRIKER JOSH WOLFF
On the game“You want to get the first goal here, because it’s tough to break the other team if they get into their shell. We certainly gave them the first one. It’s frustrating. We wanted to get three points, but obviously we didn’t do enough today to do that.”
On moving on from this loss
“We need to look at this game and figure out the things we need to work on. You’ve got to put it behind you. Hopefully it will spur us on for the next game. In our division every game is a battle and three points is a premium. There are a lot of points in our division that we feel like we’ve let go, but we’ve got to move forward. That’s the name of the game, and there’s a lot of season left.”
COLUMBUS CREW HEAD COACH ROBERT WARZYCHA
On the road win“I told the guys before the game that I don’t want to go home empty handed. Even one point was going to be very good for us. It’s a tough place to play here and they are a very well coached team. They are a very dangerous opponent. We are happy with the win.”
On Columbus regaining last season’s form
“The thing is if you look at the games since the beginning of the season, we are playing more exciting soccer. We have been playing very well but we weren’t getting any results. If I look back at those games, we were giving up goals in the last minutes. The first win away from home is always important, especially when you’re down a man for 35 minutes.”
COLUMBUS CREW GOALKEEPER ANDY GRUENEBAUM
On the match“The guys in front of me did a great job blocking shots, like they have all year. Getting in front of stuff and just doing their best to block everything and minimize what I have to do.”
On winning both games against Kansas City this season
“Obviously we go into every match with the same mentality home or on the road. We want results on the road but we play to win, so I think that maybe because it was Kansas City, it’s a game I kind of circle, and I really want to win a little bit more but because I’m from here.”
On his 2nd career appearance in Kansas City
“A couple years back I started in Kansas City which, and we lost in the 90th minute. It was Guillermo’s first match with us and it was Cinco de Mayo. It was like 99 degrees out at Arrowhead. I love coming back, whether or not I’m playing. It’s my home and my fiancé and family is here. I love it here.”
On recording his 1st shutout in two seasons
“I only played one game last year on the way to the championship. It feels great. Anytime you get in there and get a shutout, it feels great. And to do it on your hometown city, it’s that much better.”