Striker Josh Wolff Converts 65th MLS Goal in Comeback Result
Major League Soccer Game 8
Wednesday, May 6, 2009 – 7:30 p.m. (CT)
English TV: Metro Sports
Español TV: Time Warner Cable Channel 5
English Radio: Sports Radio 810 WHB
Español Radio: La Gran D 1340 AM
CommunityAmerica Ballpark – Kansas City, Kansas
Weather: 74 and clear
Score: 1 2 F
Kansas City Wizards (3-3-2, 11 pts) 0 1 1
D.C. United (3-1-3, 13 pts) 1 0 1
DC – Rodney Wallace 2 (Jaime Moreno 2, Santino Quaranta 3) 27’
KC – Josh Wolff 3 (Jack Jewsbury 2, Lance Watson 1) 52’
(May 6, 2009) – The Kansas City Wizards came back from a one-goal deficit Wednesday night to tie 1st place D.C. United and move into a tie for 3rd place in the MLS Eastern Conference. Striker Josh Wolff scored his 65th career MLS goal on the night, the 16th most goals in League history. Wolff also ranks 9th among active players in goals. Kansas City returns to action quickly, facing the 2008 MLS Cup champion Columbus Crew Saturday night at 6 p.m. CT at Columbus Crew Stadium. The match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Español.
D.C. United opened the scoring in the 27th minute through a quick combination in the Kansas City end. Midfielder Santino Quaranta hit a back-heel between two defenders to striker Jaime Moreno who played ahead for left-winger Rodney Wallace cutting in from the flank. Wallace held off a defender and slotted the ball into the net for an early 1-0 lead that would not hold up.
The Wizards answered shortly after halftime, drawing level though Wolff. After D.C. United cut out a pass near its own penalty area, Kansas City right back Lance Watson slid to win the ball back. Watson sprang to his feet, playing midfielder Jack Jewsbury behind the defense with a quick pass ahead. Jewsbury sent a square pass on his first touch to Wolff cutting to the top of the six-yard area, and Wolff made no mistake with his left foot while sliding into the cross. Wolff is now tied for the team lead with three goals on the year. The strike was his 65th career MLS tally, good for 16th in League history.
Kansas City continued to push, nearly taking the lead in the 62nd minute. Striker Claudio Lopez had the ball on the left wing, cut around his defender and sent in a hard-hit cross to the back post. Wolff held off a defender and redirected the ball toward goal, but the shot skipped just wide of the right upright. The Wizards then almost added a winner in second-half stoppage time. Substitute winger Michael Harrington cut in from the right and sent a cross toward the back post with his left foot. Jewsbury broke inside a defender and redirected a shot on goal, but goalkeeper Louis Crayton held the effort to thwart the final opportunity of the match.
Kansas City returns to action Saturday with a match against the Columbus Crew, looking to break a 3rd place tie with the Chicago Fire. The Wizards and Crew kick off at 6 p.m. CT in a game broadcast nationally on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Español. Kansas City and Columbus are quite familiar with one another after meeting five times in 2008, including a two-game playoff series. Budweiser is sponsoring an official watch party for the match at Fox and Hound off Metcalf in Overland Park, Kan.
Kansas City Wizards Line-Up: Kevin Hartman; Lance Watson, Jimmy Conrad ©, Aaron Hohlbein (Michael Harrington 83), Matt Besler; Josh Wolff, Santiago Hirsig, Jack Jewsbury, Davy Arnaud; Herculez Gomez (Roger Espinoza 60), Claudio Lopez
Substitutes not used: Boris Pardo (GK), Rauwshan McKenzie, Kurt Morsink, Michael Kraus, Abe Thompson
D.C. United Line-Up: Louis Crayton; Bryan Namoff, Greg Janicki, Avery John, Rodney Wallace; Brandon Barklage (Christian Gomez 61), Andrew Jacobson, Clyde Simms, Santino Quaranta; Chris Pontius (Luciano Emilio 46), Jaime Moreno © (Thabiso Khumalo 87)
Substitutes not used: Milos Kocic (GK), Dejan Jakovic, Ange N’Silu, Devon McTavish
KC – Jack Jewsbury (caution; Reckless Tackle) 23
DC – Brandon Barklage (caution; Tactical Foul) 29
KC – Lance Watson (caution; Reckless Foul) 56
DC – Avery John (caution; Reckless Foul) 71
KC – Roger Espinoza (caution; Reckless Tackle) 82
Total Shots: 10 7
Shots on Goal: 3 1
Saves: 0 2
Fouls Committed: 9 15
Offside: 1 2Corner Kicks: 4 4
Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Assistants: Anthony Vasoli, Chris Strickland
4th official: Mark Kadlecik
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS HEAD COACH CURT ONALFO
On the game
“Unfortunately they had two good chances in the first half and they capitalized on one of those. I thought our response was very good to start the second half. Having said that, I still would have liked to have created some more opportunities and got that second goal. Give credit to D.C. United. They’re a good team and they made it difficult on us tonight.”
On the Wizards goal
“It was excellent service into the box and Josh did a good job of getting on the end of it. It really lifted our team, and I thought it was going to lead us to get another goal and win the game. It was a very good goal.”
On missed opportunities
“You need to have that precision in the final third. Our passing in the final third has not been good enough, and we need to address that and make sure it gets better. There are going to be times where you put away all your chances and times when you don’t.
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS STRIKER JOSH WOLFF
On his goal“We got the ball out wide, and when you get wide it’s the job of the guys in front of the goal to make good runs and put the backs under pressure. Jack had a good ball in, I just slammed the front post and got a piece and hit it with pretty good pace. I was glad to see it go in, but we needed a few more of those plays tonight.”
On his opportunity for a second goal
“It was a good ball from Claudio Lopez. The whole time I was trying to get inside my guy. I was fighting with him at the back post. I was able to get a lot of it, so I was disappointed to see it go wide. It was one of those where we were jostling for position and I just didn’t get it back down on frame. It just missed.”
D.C. UNITED HEAD COACH TOM SOEHN
On the game“Both teams had their stretches where they had the better of play. Kansas City pushed really hard at the end and made it really difficult for us. They were lofting a lot of balls in, and then it got a little hairy.”
On getting a fair result
“Yeah we had our chance the post that we hit. There were not a ton of opportunities, but it was enough to win a game. To their credit, they never quit, and they created a lot of dangerous situations by lofting balls into the box.”
D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER RODNEY WALLACE
On his goal“It was just a great team builder knocking balls back and forth. I think it was Jaime Moreno who played the ball through, and I just found the back of the net.“
On head coach Tom Soehn commending him on his hard work
“I think it is important to always work hard. I think that it gives a lot of energy out there, it gives your teammates more energy and they keep going too. Especially being on the road, I think it is important to come in with a lot of energy, to throw their plan off balance a little bit because everyone thinks you are going to hold back. It’s always good to have a little extra in your tank.”
Damn. What a depressing way to end a game last week. Ball not being cleared and Wizards defenders just standing around. Then goal to Columbus in injury time to kill a KC 1-0 advantage. Of course, I am sure that Crew fans feel the exact opposite. I am sure they are elated. Any way … Gomez was red carded out of the game. Not sure I agree with the direct red. I thought it was a yellow for sure. Argue if you want, I watched the replay before I made up my mind. Either way it totally changed the game for KC. And he’s out this week in Columbus. What I didn’t understand about last weeks games were the late subs. Why not a Kerry Zavagnin or a Kurt Morisnk coming on instead of Trujillo. We needed to defend that 1-0 lead. I think that was a horrible move by Coach Onalfo. Davy Arnaud is our playoff goal scorer again. He headed in a beautiful Lopez cross. It was a crushing header too. The Crew defense were totally exposed. In fact, we had them on the run a lot but our finishing was, shall I say, in midseason form. Which is to say it was pretty much pathetic. Overall it was our game to take, even by a couple of goals. But the red and the substitutions and the non-moving defense changed that. Now it’s 1-1 going to Columbus. That game is tonight.
So … no Herculez. Then it’s got to be Espinoza. That means that Souter would move to the left where Gomez usually plays. That Kevin Souter is pretty versatile. He’s played left, right and middle and seems to be very comfortable wherever he plays. The rest of the team should remain the same. No reason to put Wolff in over Lopez as Claudio has emerged as our best player since taking over for Josh. So Lopez and Thompson up top; Davy and Jack in midfield. Same back four: Harrington, Conrad, Wahl and Leathers.
It’s supposed to be cold in Columbus. But hey, it’s been cold and windy in KC. KC will have approximately 100 traveling fans at the game so the players should hear them. Both teams are still on a streak due to the draw last week. I still think that KC has the overall advantage but this game is in Columbus. KC has just 2 wins on the road all season. But we did run out a 2-0 lead before drawing 3-3 in our last trip to Columbus.
No goal predictions but I think KC will eek it out. Not sure if that will be in normal or extra time. Hopefully it won’t go to PK’s (but let’s just leave that alone for now).
Winner of the series will be in Chicago on Thursday! I say let’s make an appointment now!
So, if you read this blog regularly you will have seen a lot of good news this week for KC. Back to back seasons in the playoffs. Two Wizards goals up for Goal of the Year: Davy vs LA and Josh’s bicycle goal. Jimmy Conrad is in contention for Defender of the Year. And our very own DP, Claudio Lopez, is up for Newcomer of the Year. Season ticket prices for 2009 going down. Very nice if you are in the Cauldron!. And one last bit of good news. Khano Smith got 2 extra games on his suspension from the Gomez tackle. If NE somehow makes MLS Cup, then Smith can play.
The Wizards do host the Crew this weekend. It will be the final 2008 game at CAB for KC. Being the 4th seed we won’t get to host the Conference Final. This will be the final chance for KC fans to get to see Kerry Zavagnin. And a chance for KC to avenge the humilating 3-0 loss to Columbus from earlier this season. Since that loss at home, KC went 7-3-0 (WDL) on home turf.
Despite what is in the injury report: Josh, Roger, Jack, Jonny and Lance. It seems that we’ll only still miss Wolff. The lineup should be the same as it has been for the last two weeks. The Crew haven’t seen this KC team with Davy and Jack in the middle. Or with newboys Souter, Gomez and Thompson on the attack. An experienced and fresh Lopez should continue to make KC very dangerous on offense. So long as KC keeps up the attack of the past few weeks, and close on opportunities, we could see another multi-goal win for KC.
But still, remember that Columbus are the Supporter’s Shield winners. Since KC and C-bus played to a 3-3 draw in Columbus, the Crew have been 9-2-2. However they did lose 3-1 two weeks ago to NY and barely won over DC last weekend. This is a formidable team. The Crew tied for the best road record at 6-4-5 (WDL), but actually gave up more goals than they scored (even with the 3-0 KC beatdown). Of course, you only need to be mediocre on the road in MLS to be considered good 🙂
KC is on the rise, the Crew are cooling off. I expect a great game. Just hope I get to see it. The wife is due any moment now. If this baby is to be any kind of future soccer fan, then it should know to wait until Sunday 🙂