Press Release: KC Comes Back to Beat HOU

Kansas City scores 3 goals in final 30 minutes to move 3 points out of playoff position

MLS Game #24
Wednesday, September 22, 2010, 7:30 p.m. CT
English TV: Metro Sports
Spanish Radio: La Gran D 1340 AM
CommunityAmerica Ballpark | Kansas City, Kansas
Weather: Clear, 80 degrees
Attendance: 9,679
 
Score:                                                                     1          2          F
Kansas City Wizards (9-9-6, 33 pts)                1          3          4
Houston Dynamo (6-14-5, 23 pts)                   3          0          3
     
Kansas City Wizards: Jimmy Nielsen; Michael Harrington, Shavar Thomas, Jimmy Conrad, Roger Espinoza; Davy Arnaud©, Stéphane Auvray (Jack Jewsbury 45), Craig Rocastle (Josh Wolff 85); Kei Kamara, Birahim Diop (Teal Bunbury 45), Ryan Smith
 
Subs not used: Eric Kronberg, Korede Aiyegbusi, Jonathan Leathers, Graham Zusi
 
Houston Dynamo: Pat Onstad; Mike Chabala, Bobby Boswell, Adrian Serioux (Ryan Cochrane 94+), Andrew Hainault; Brad Davis (Danny Cruz 71), Lovel Palmer, Geoff Cameron, Corey Ashe; Cam Weaver, Dominic Oduro (Joseph Ngwenya 83)
 
Subs not used: Tyler Deric, Samuel Appiah, Richard Mulrooney, Eddie Robinson
 
Stats:                            KC       HOU
Shots                            14        10
Shots on Goal              7          5
Saves                           2          2
Fouls                            7          14
Offside                        0          3
Corner Kicks               6          4
 
Misconduct Summary:
HOU – Andrew Hainault (caution; Reckless Foul) 46
KC – Roger Espinoza (caution; Reckless Foul) 67
HOU – Lovel Palmer (caution; Reckless Foul) 84
HOU – Bobby Boswell (caution; Dissent) 89
HOU – Joseph Ngwenya (caution; Reckless Foul) 95+

Scoring Summary:
HOU – Cam Weaver 2 (Mike Chabala 3, Brad Davis 8) 13
HOU – Dominic Oduro 3 (Cam Weaver 1) 34
KC – Kei Kamara 10 (Craig Rocastle 2, Ryan Smith 8) 35
HOU – Adrian Serioux 2 (unassisted) 37
KC – Teal Bunbury 4 (unassisted) 60
KC – Own Goal (Adrian Serioux) 72
KC – Josh Wolff 2 (Michael Harrington 2) 97+
 
(September 22, 2010) – The Kansas City Wizards secured one of the most dramatic victories in team history on Wednesday in a 4-3 win over the Houston Dynamo at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. Second-half substitute Josh Wolff won the game with a goal six minutes deep in stoppage time as the Wizards scored three unanswered goals in the game’s final 30 minutes to come from two goals down to win.

The Wizards fell behind in the 13th minute on Houston’s first shot on goal of the game. Dynamo defender Mike Chabala and midfielder Brad Davis combined on a give-and-go near midfield, allowing Chabala to serve a cross into striker Cam Weaver, who connected on a sliding, left-footed shot from seven yards out for Houston's early 1-0 lead.

The Dynamo doubled their advantage in the 34th minute as Houston striker Dominic Oduro got behind the Wizards defense, running onto a header flicked on by Weaver. The Ghanaian speedster calmly powered a shot past Wizards goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen for his third goal of the season.

Kansas City immediately responded with a goal of their own less than one minute later, as the team’s leading scorer came to the rescue. Kei Kamara found himself alone on goal after midfielder Craig Rocastle had attracted three Houston players before slipping a pass to Kamara inside the penalty area. The Sierra Leone National Team member continued his recent scoring streak with his 10th goal of the season, extending his career high, on a blast into the back of the net. Kamara has been on the scoresheet in his last four MLS matches, recording three goals and four assists, and is now tied for fifth in MLS in goals scored in 2010.

Playmaker Ryan Smith, a top attacking talent who came up through Arsenal’s youth system, earned his eighth assist of the season on the play, moving him into a tie for sixth on the league’s assist chart.

The momentum quickly shifted once again two minutes later as Houston’s Adrian Serioux capitalized on an opportunistic finish. Davis sent a long free kick toward the back post that deflected off Wizards defender Shavar Thomas and into a goalmouth scramble where Serioux was positioned to redirect it in.

Down two goals at the half, the Wizards had a tall task to comeback having never won in 2010 when trailing at the break, nor when conceding the game’s first goal. Both those hurdles were overcome in a surreal second half that keeps Kansas City’s late-season surge alive.

The Wizards came out with a determination to press forward, inserting midfielder Jack Jewsbury and striker Teal Bunbury into the match at the break.  The moves nearly paid off in the 51st minute. as Jewsbury aimed a header past Houston goalkeeper Pat Onstad, but Bobby Boswell cleared the shot of the line and then denied striker Teal Bunbury’s close range follow-up attempt.

Jewsbury was active again in the 59th minute with an acrobatic scissors kick that Onstad did well to dive to his right and hold.

But one minute later, an Onstad miscue gave Kansas City just the lifeline it needed. Losing his footing on a goal kick, the ball came straight to Bunbury 40 yards out and with a free path to goal. The 2009 Hermann Trophy winner took a long first touch and raced away from the Houston backline before aiming his shot between Onstad’s legs to bring Kansas City back within one. Bunbury scored in his second straight match and now has four goals in his rookie campaign.

With a result back within reach, Kansas City pressed forward for the equalizer and reaped its reward in the 71st minute. Wizards outside back Michael Harrington crossed into the penalty area for Smith, who sent a first-time volley towards goal. The well-timed shot deflected off Serioux  and inside the post to tie the match at 3-3, and breathe life back into Kansas City's playoff push.

Given the momentum, Kansas City was intent on finding a fourth and came close in the 76th minute. Wizards captain Davy Arnaud hit the outside of the post with a half volley following a free kick from Smith. It was the second time Kansas City had been denied by the woodwork, as Kamara had slammed a shot of the crossbar midway through the first half.

The crossbar again denied the Wizards in the 85th minute as Arnaud sent a corner that Kamara headed down and past Onstad. Wolff and Dynamo defender Danny Cruz each battled for the loose ball in the goalmouth and the shot was pushed onto the top of the crossbar and narrowly out of play.

The near misses set the stage for the dramatic ending in the final seconds of the sixth minute of stoppage time. Harrington placed another pinpoint cross into the box where Wolff was unmarked at the penalty spot and powered a perfectly placed header inside the far post to send the Wizards home crowd into an ecstatic celebration.

The goal was the latest the Wizards have ever scored in regulation, besting Scott Sealy’s game-winning goal in the 94th minute of a 2007 victory over Columbus.

Wolff, who had just entered the match in the 85th minute and is the Wizards second all-time leading goal scorer, scored his second of the season and the 75th regular season goal of his MLS career. The game-winner is the 21st of his career and moves him into a tie with Carlos Ruiz and Dwayne De Rosario for eighth place on the all-time MLS game-winning goals chart.

With the win, Kansas City became the first team in MLS this season to overcome a two-goal deficit to win, and the seven goals matched the most goals scored between two teams in an MLS match in 2010. It also marked the second straight home game the Wizards have scored four goals, after beating New England 4-1 last month.

Kansas City moves into third place in the Eastern Conference standings, and now sits just three points out of the final playoff spot with one game in hand on Seattle. The Wizards improved to 6-1-3 in their last 10 MLS matches, and have six games remaining in the 2010 regular season.

Kansas City will now welcome perhaps the only hotter team in MLS at the moment, FC Dallas, who will put their 16-game unbeaten streak on the line at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 25 at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. Dallas is coming off an impressive comeback of their own on Wednesday, earning a 2-2 draw at home against New England after falling behind 2-0. The game will air live in high definition in both English and Spanish on KCWE Channel 29, accompanied by a live radio broadcast on La Gran D 1340 AM. Tickets can be purchased by visiting KCWizards.com or by calling 888-4KC-GOAL.

Fast Facts:
•    Kansas City is now 9-9-6 (33 points) on the season and sit in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference.
•    With the win, the Wizards are now three points out of the final playoff position, held by Seattle, who has also played one additional game this season.
•    Kansas City is 6-3-3 at home in 2010 and 121-68-37 all-time.
•    The Wizards are 6-1-3 in their last nine MLS matches, and 7-1-3 in their last 11 overall when including the victory over Manchester United.
•    Kansas City has outscored its opponents 17-8 over the last 10 MLS matches.
•    Kansas City is 3-1-0 in midweek matches this season. The Wizards played their first weeknight home match since a 2-0 victory over Philadelphia on June 10.
•    Kansas City won for the first time in 2010 when allowing the game’s first goal and is now 1-9-2 on the year and 32-159-28 all-time when behind 1-0.
•    The Wizards also won for the first time in 2010 when trailing at halftime and are now 1-4-2 and 14-101-25 all-time in that scenario.
•    Kansas City beat Houston at home for the first time in the series and is now 1-3-1 in five home matches, and 2-5-3 all-time, against the Dynamo.
•    The Wizards are unbeaten in their last five MLS matches, setting a new season high.
•    The Wizards played their first home game in over a month, returning from a three-game road trip in which they went 2-0-1.
•    The Wizards scored four goals for their second straight home match, matching their offensive output in their 4-1 win over New England on August 21.
•    With the victory, Kansas City has earned 400 points at home in club history. Only four other MLS teams have reached the mark: LA (433), D.C. (418), Colorado (407), and Dallas (402).
•    The comeback marked the seventh time Kansas City has overcome a two-goal deficit to win in team history and was the first time to accomplish the feat since May 26, 2007 against New England.
•    Prior to the Wizards win, no team in MLS had overcome a two-goal deficit to win this season.
•    The seven goals between Houston and Kansas City matches the highest scoring game of the 2010 MLS season, tying Houston's 4-3 win over Chicago on August 21st.
•    Wizards goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen made two saves on the night and now has 71 on the season, moving him into third place on the MLS saves list this season.
•    Nielsen has played every minute of every MLS game for Kansas City this season, one of only five players in the league to do so thus far in 2010.
•    Dynamo defender Adrian Serioux’s own goal was the first own goal Kansas City has received 24 games in 2010.
•    Kansas City leads the league in shots on goal in MLS this season with 129 on the year.
•    Kansas City has allowed the second fewest shots in MLS this season, having allowed opponents only 230 attempts, two more than the Colorado Rapids.
•    Kansas City has the second highest shots on goal percentage (45.9%), second only to Philadelphia (47.2%) in 2010.
•    Wizards defender Jimmy Conrad played the 200th regular season game of his Kansas City career on Wednesday, tying Chris Klein for fifth on the Wizards all-time regular season games played chart.
•    Conrad also started his 199th regular season game for Kansas City, tying Preki for third on the Wizards all-time regular season games started list. Conrad played 90 minutes and passed Preki for third on the regular season minutes played chart as well.
•    Conrad will be recognized for the milestone prior to Saturday’s home game at 7:00 p.m. against FC Dallas at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
•    Wizards captain Davy Arnaud started the 200th game of his MLS and Kansas City career, including postseason competition, on Wednesday.
•    Wizards defender Michael Harrington has started every match for Kansas City this season, the only field player to have started all 23 games. Harrington has played 2,157 of a possible 2,160 minutes.
•    Wizards striker Birahim Diop started his fifth straight match for Kansas City, after going eight years and 88 days between starts in MLS, the second longest amount of time between MLS starts in league history.
•    Kansas City is 4-0-1 when Diop starts this season.
•    Kansas City is 4-0-0 when striker Teal Bunbury scores.
•    Kansas City is 6-1-2 when striker Kei Kamara scores in 2010.
•    Kamara surpassed the 7,000 minute mark in his MLS career on Wednesday.
•    The Wizards surpassed 44,000 minutes played in MLS action in team history, including postseason competition. Kansas City has played 44,059 minutes in Major League Soccer.
•    Wizards defender Aaron Hohlbein, on loan to USSF D-2 Miami FC, started in Miami FC’s 4-2 home win over AC St. Louis on Wednesday night. Miami FC will remain at home to welcome Rochester on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CT.