Press Release: Wizards beat Man United

52,424 in attendance to see 10-man Wizards hand United first-ever loss to MLS club

Arnaud Media Scrum

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

International Friendly
Sunday, July 25, 2010, 5:00 p.m. CT
English TV: Fox Soccer Channel
Spanish TV: Fox Sports Espanol
Arrowhead Stadium | Kansas City, MO
Weather: Partly cloudy, 84 degrees
Attendance: 52,424 - New Record
 
Score:                                1         2         F
Kansas City Wizards       2         0         2
Manchester United          1         0         1
     
Kansas City Wizards: Jimmy Nielsen (Eric Kronberg, 46); Michael Harrington, Shavar Thomas, Jimmy Conrad, Roger Espinoza; Davy Arnaud (Jack Jewsbury, 69), Stéphane Auvray (Graham Zusi, 78), Craig Rocastle (Matt Besler, 44); Kei Kamara (Chance Myers, 83), Teal Bunbury (Sunil Chhetri, 69), Ryan Smith (Korede Aiyegbusi, 58)

Subs not used: Birahim Diop, Aaron Hohlbein, Jonathan Leathers, Josh Wolff

Manchester United: Ben Amos, Rafael, Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans, Ritchie De Laet (Fabio, 76); Nani (Gabriel Obertan, 68), Paul Scholes, Darron Gibson (Tom Cleverley, 68), Ryan Giggs; Dimitar Berbatov (Danny Welbeck, 76), Mame Biram Diouf (Federico Macheda, 68)

Subs not used: Wes Brown, Corry Evans, Edwin Van der Sar

Stats:                     KC       MUFC
Shots                     19          15
Shots on Goal      11           9
Saves                      8           9
Fouls                       9           12
Offside                    1            1
Corner Kicks          5            5

Misconduct Summary:
MUFC – Ryan Giggs (caution, Unsporting Behavior) 33
KC – Jimmy Conrad (ejection, Denied Goal Scoring Opportunity) 39
KC – Kei Kamara (caution, Shirt Removal) 43
MUFC – Darren Gibson (caution, Reckless Tackle) 63

Scoring Summary:
KC – Davy Arnaud (Kei Kamara, Teal Bunbury) 11
MUFC – Dimitar Berbatov (penalty kick) 41
KC – Kei Kamara (Ryan Smith) 42

(July 25, 2010) – The Kansas City Wizards defeated English powerhouse Manchester United 2-1 on Sunday night at Arrowhead Stadium with 52,424 passionate soccer supporters in attendance, the largest crowd ever to witness a soccer match in Mid-America history. Wizards striker Kei Kamara scored the game-winning goal on a header in the 42nd minute and added an assist on Davy Arnaud’s goal in the 11th minute to lead Kansas City to the highly entertaining upset in the internationally-televised friendly.

The opening forty-five minutes was an action-packed display of soccer as both teams attacked early and often. Kansas City threatened first in the sixth minute, as winger Ryan Smith sent in a dangerous cross to striker Teal Bunbury who turned at the top of the six yard box but couldn’t get his shot off in time. United responded four minutes later as Paul Scholes tried a long-distance volley that was pushed away by Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.

The Wizards broke through in fine fashion in the 11th minute as Kamara received a pass from Bunbury and sent a first-time through ball to Arnaud streaking into the United penalty area as the crowd came to its feet. The Kansas City captain dribbled in with his sight set on goal and calmly slotted a shot past outrushing Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Amos and inside the far post to give the Wizards a dramatic 1-0 advantage.

With the momentum, Kansas City continued its attacking style of soccer and nearly doubled their lead in the 22nd minute. Outside back Michael Harrington delivered a curving cross onto the foot of Smith, who snuck inside his mark but didn’t have enough on his shot to put it past Amos.

United, one of the richest and most popular clubs in the world, took their turn to attack in the back-and-forth half, as Nani twice had opportunities to equalize. In the 30th minute, the Portuguese international eluded Roger Espinoza’s challenge for a loose ball and found himself free on the right side, but Nielsen did well to cut down the angle and block the close-range shot with his body. Two minutes later, Nielsen again thwarted Nani, this time with an acrobatic, fingertip save on a header aimed just under the crossbar.

Kamara again acted the part of playmaker in the 38th minute with a well-timed through ball for Bunbury on the right side. The rookie tested Amos from an acute angle and earned a corner as the United netminder deflected it wide, one of nine saves forced on the night.

The run of play took a turn in the 39th minute when United’s Dimitar Berbatov worked his way into the Kansas City penalty area and was brought down by Jimmy Conrad on a close challenge. Conrad was given a red card and sent off, and Berbatov converted the ensuing penalty kick to Nielsen’s left to draw United even in the 41st minute.

Despite being a man down, the Wizards wasted no time in regaining the lead as the club capitalized on a corner kick in the 42nd minute behind the home crowd’s support. Kamara won a header over United defender Ritchie De Laet and powered it off the underside of the crossbar and just over the goalline before tearing off his jersey in celebration of the eventual match winner. Smith, who ranks sixth in MLS with six assists this season, earned the assist for his driven corner kick on the play.

Manchester United had the last chance of the half when Ryan Giggs collected a header inside the penalty area, but Nielsen made his third and final stop with a foot save to send the Wizards into the halftime break to a standing ovation from the record crowd.

Eric Kronberg replaced Nielsen in goal to start the second half and was immediately called into action to prevent Mame Biram Diouf who slipped in behind the Wizards defense. Kronberg again denied Diouf in the 66th minute, before the Kansas City attack asserted itself with two promising scoring opportunities of its own.

Wizards midfielder Stephane Auvray lined up a shot from 20 yards out in the 68th minute that went narrowly over. Then Kamara dribbled down the right sideline before feeding second half substitute Jack Jewsbury, who fired his shot towards the far top corner but Amos made a diving save.

United pressed forward looking for the equalizer and came close in the 82nd minute, as Tom Cleverley connected on a diving header less than six yards from goal, but Kronberg was again positioned well to maintain the Kansas City margin. Kronberg finished the night with five saves in his only appearance with the first-team since the U.S. Open Cup play-in match on April 13.

Kansas City outshot United 19-15 in the victory, including an 11-9 edge in shots on goal.

Aside from the action on the field, the record-breaking crowd showcased the first event held in the newly renovated Arrowhead Stadium. In addition to setting a new Kansas City soccer record, ticket sales surpassed the turnout for both of Manchester United’s previous two stops on their 2010 North American Tour.  United defeated Scottish club Celtic FC 3-1 in Toronto in front of 39,139 at the Rogers Centre and topped the Philadelphia Union 1-0 with 44,213 in attendance at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Wizards return to MLS play next Saturday, July 31 against Toronto FC at 7:30 p.m. at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. Tickets are available by calling 888-4KC-GOAL or online at www.kcwizards.com.

This week also marks the launch of 2011 season ticket sales, with the Wizards accepting initial payments of $50 per seat beginning on Monday for 2,011 season tickets to commemorate the opening of the Wizards new soccer stadium near Village West in Wyandotte County next summer. The first 2,011 fans to reserve their spot will have priority consideration for seat selection among new season ticket holders.

Top Soccer Crowds in Kansas City History
1.    52,424 July 25, 2010                 Wizards 2, Manchester United 1
2.    37,319 April 25, 2001                USMNT 1, Costa Rica 0
3.    36,405 October 7, 1999             USWNT 6, Finland 0
4.    32,867 September 27, 2007      Wizards 0, Los Angeles 1
5.    30,308 September 20, 2003      Wizards 1, San Jose 4
6.    27,969 May 1, 2004                   Wizards 2, Colorado 0
7.    26,119 September 16, 2009      Chivas 2, Club America 1
8.    26,113 September 13, 2008      Wizards 2, Los Angeles 0

Fast Facts 
•    Kansas City featured the same starting lineup for the third consecutive match, following a 1-0 road win at first-place Columbus on Wednesday, July 14 and a 1-1 draw at Colorado on Saturday, July 17.
•    Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Amos made his first appearance of United’s North America 2010 Tour, recording nine saves.
•    Manchester United midfielder Nani also made his first appearance of the summer for the Red Devils, completing his comeback from a collar bone injury that forced him to withdraw from the 2010 FIFA World Cup after being named to Portugal’s roster.
•    Kansas City Wizards striker Sunil Chhetri, the first Indian player in MLS history, made his second appearance with the first team since joining the club prior to the 2010 season. He had two shots on goal in 21 minutes of action.
•    Manchester United suffered the first loss of their 2010 North American Tour, following victories over Scottish club Celtic FC and MLS expansion squad Philadelphia Union.
•    Manchester United will next face the MLS All-Stars on Wednesday, July 28 in the 2010 AT&T All-Star Game.
•    The new attendance record surpasses the previous mark of 37,319 set on April 25, 2001 for a World Cup qualifier between the United States Men’s National Team and Costa Rica.
•    Among the 52,424 in attendance, ticket holders came from 43 states and four different countries to see the first-ever event in the newly renovated Arrowhead Stadium.
•    Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber was in attendance at the friendly, as was Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton.
•    The pre-match festivities included a flyover from two military aircraft from Whiteman Air Force Base near Knob Noster, Missouri.
•    Players of 19 different nationalities played in the international friendly, led by USA and England with 8 representatives each.