Press Release: Wizards lose to Dallas

Wizards 5 points out of final playoff spot with 5 games remaining in 2010 regular season

MLS Game #25
Saturday, September 25, 2010, 7:00 p.m. CT
English TV: KCWE 29
Spanish TV: KCWE 29 (SAP)
CommunityAmerica Ballpark | Kansas City, Kansas
Weather: Cloudy, 56 degrees
Attendance: 10,385
Score:                                                                 1          2          F
Kansas City Wizards (9-10-6, 33 pts)            0          1          1
FC Dallas (11-2-13, 46 pts)                             2          1          3
Kansas City Wizards: Jimmy Nielsen; Michael Harrington, Shavar Thomas, Jimmy Conrad, Roger Espinoza; Davy Arnaud©, Stéphane Auvray (Josh Wolff 30), Craig Rocastle (Jack Jewsbury 65); Kei Kamara, Birahim Diop (Teal Bunbury 45), Ryan Smith
Subs not used: Eric Kronberg, Korede Aiyegbusi, Jonathan Leathers, Graham Zusi
FC Dallas: Dario Sala, Heath Pearce, Kyle Davies, Zach Loyd, Jair Benitez (Edson Edward 85), Jackson Goncalves, Atiba Harris, Eric Alexander, Marvin Chavez (Dax McCarty 37), Milton Rodriguez (Jeff Cunningham 45), David Ferreira

Subs not used: Eric Avila, Bruano Guarda, Ruben Luna, Chris Sharpe
Stats:                            KC       FCD
Shots                            14        7
Shots on Goal             7          4
Saves                           6          1
Fouls                            18        8
Offside                          5          4
Corner Kicks               7          2
Misconduct Summary:
KC – Michael Harrington (caution; Reckless Tackle) 32
FCD – Heath Pearce (caution; Reckless Foul) 37
FCD – Dax McCarty (caution; Delaying a Restart) 76
KC – Jack Jewsbury (caution; Tactical Foul) 78
FCD – Atiba Harris (caution; Reckless Tackle) 86
FCD – David Ferreira (caution; Delaying a Restart) 87

Scoring Summary:
FCD – Marvin Chavez 1  (David Ferreira 11) 4
FCD – Milton Rodriguez 3 (Atiba Harris 2, Jackson Goncalves 1) 12
KC – Ryan Smith 3 (Josh Wolff 2, Kei Kamara 5) 57
FCD – Jeff Cunningham 10 (David Ferreira 12) 82
(September 25, 2010) – The Kansas City Wizards lost for just the second time in 11 games on Saturday, falling 3-1 to FC Dallas in front of a sold out crowd at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. Wizards striker Ryan Smith scored in his second straight match for Kansas City, but the Wizards couldn’t overcome an early deficit after conceding two goals in the game’s first 12 minutes.

Kansas City remains in third place in the Eastern Conference standings at 9-10-6 on the season, and sit five points back of Colorado for the final playoff spot with five games remaining for both teams in the 2010 regular season.

FC Dallas, unbeaten now in their last 17 MLS matches, opened the scoring in the game’s fourth minute on a goal from midfielder Marvin Chavez. The Honduran National Team member, on-loan from Honduran club Marathon, combined with Dallas playmaker David Ferreira, who scooped a crafty chip over the Wizards backline. Chavez took the ball out of the air with a first-time volley and placed it inside the near post from 16 yards out. The goal, Chavez’ first of his MLS career, was the earliest Kansas City had conceded in a match in 2010.

Dallas doubled their lead eight minutes later on just their second shot of the game, courtesy of striker Milton Rodriguez. Midfielder Atiba Harris did just enough to flick a pass from Jackson Goncalves onto the Colombian outside the Wizards penalty area and Rodriguez took a touch to control before bending his shot around Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen. Rodriguez’ third goal of the year earned Jackson his first MLS assist, while Harris tallied his second of the season.

Whereas Dallas scored on their only two shots on goal of the first half, the Wizards placed all five of their shots in the opening 45 minutes on frame, but couldn’t beat Dallas goalkeeper Dario Sala. Kansas City captain Davy Arnaud twice tested the Argentine keeper, connecting on a diving header in the 19th minute and firing low from the left side in the 29th minute. Wizards leading goalscorer Kei Kamara created the best two scoring chances of the half for Kansas City, unleashing a swerving shot from long distance in the 27th minute and turning to let loose a side-volley in the 43rd minute, but like Arnaud, both were saved by Sala.

Sala, filling in for the injured Kevin Hartman, set a season high with six saves in earning his first win in seven games in net for Dallas this season.

Having fought back from a two-goal halftime deficit to beat Houston on Wednesday, the Wizards came out of the locker room on Saturday seeking to do the same. Defender Shavar Thomas narrowly missed on a header from a free kick in the 54th minute and halftime substitute Teal Bunbury blasted a dipping shot from the top of the box that was pushed away by Sala in the 56th minute.

One minute later the Wizards got on the board from a great sequence inside the Dallas defensive third. Kamara created off the dribble, drawing three Dallas defenders before slipping a pass to striker Josh Wolff inside the penalty area. Wolff’s first touch fell to Smith, a product of the Arsenal youth system, and Smith fired a first-time shot beneath Sala from the right corner of the box. Smith’s strike is his third of the season, while Wolff recorded the 25th assist of his Kansas City career, tying him with Mark Chung for fifth place on the Wizards all-time assists chart.

Kamara also earned an assist on the play, marking his fifth straight match on the scoresheet and extending his career high to five assists in 2010.

The Wizards nearly pulled even in the 69th minute as Smith earned a corner for Kansas City when his shot was blocked from long range. Arnaud sent the ensuing service to the near post where Jimmy Conrad was waiting but his redirected header went just wide.

With Kansas City pushing forward for a result, Dallas countered for the game’s final goal in the 82nd minute. Ferreira again played the part of provider, splitting the Wizards defense with a well-weighted pass for veteran forward Jeff Cunningham to run onto. The speedy striker took a touch before placing his shot to the backpost for his third goal in four games and 10th of the season. Cunningham now has 131 goals in his MLS career, one shy of Jaime Moreno to become the League’s all-time leading goal scorer.

Ferreira, second in MLS with 12 assists this season, recorded two assists in a match for the first time in his MLS career.

Kansas City continued to fight as Kamara again came close in the 89th minute with a header just wide of the post, but couldn’t come back despite outshooting Dallas 14-7 on the night.

The Wizards must now return to the to face the team directly ahead of them in the Eastern Conference standings, second-place New York, at 6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, October 2. The game will be played at the newly opened Red Bull Arena and 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.

Fast Facts:
•    Kansas City is 6-4-3 at home in 2010 and 121-69-37 all-time.
•    The Wizards are 6-2-3 in their last 11 MLS matches, and 7-2-3 in their last 12 overall when including the victory over Manchester United.
•    The Wizards are 9-10-6 (33 points) and sit in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference.
•    Dallas is 11-2-13 and unbeaten in 17 straight MLS matches, the second longest streak in MLS history.
•    Both teams wore special armbands during Saturday’s match in a tribute to their original owner, Lamar Hunt.
•    Kansas City is now five points out of the final playoff position, held by Colorado, who tied Real Salt Lake 1-1 on Saturday.
•    Kansas City is 18-18-8 all-time against Dallas, and 10-7-5 at home in the series.
•    The Wizards lost for the first time in their last six MLS matches, dating back to a 1-0 loss at San Jose on August 14.
•    The Wizards last home loss came over two months ago on July 10 to Chivas USA.
•    Kansas City played its third game in seven days on Saturday, following wins over Chivas USA and Houston on Sunday and Wednesday, respectively.
•    Kansas City has now played three games in a seven-day span 10 times in team history. This was the first time since 2007.  All-time record in such spans is 7-16-4 (update with Dallas result).
•    The six points earned during the three games in seven-day span is the most the Wizards have ever earned during such a span, besting the previous high of four.
•    The Wizards started the same line-up in all three matches, marking only the second time in Wizards history the same first eleven had been used for three games in seven days. The last such occasion came in 1998.
•    Wizards goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen made one save on the night and now has 72 on the season, and is tied for fourth 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.
•    Kansas City leads the league in shots on goal in MLS this season with 137 on the year.
•    Kansas City’s 14 shots on Saturday were the second most shots given up by FC Dallas this season, second only to New York’s 15 shots against Dallas earlier this month.
•    Kansas City has allowed the second fewest shots in MLS this season, having allowed opponents only 237 shots in 25 games.
•    Dallas striker Jeff Cunningham scored the 15th goal of his career against Kansas City on Saturday. He has only scored more goals against Chicago in his MLS career.
•    Wizards defender Jimmy Conrad was recognized prior to the match for his 200th game played for Kansas City in Wednesday’s 4-3 win over Houston.
•    Conrad played the 201st regular season game of his Kansas City career on Saturday, moving into sole possession of fifth place on the Wizards all-time regular season games played chart. He was previously tied with Chris Klein.
•    Conrad also started his 200th regular season game for Kansas City on Saturday, moving into sole possession of third place on the Wizards all-time regular season games started list. He was previously tied with Preki.
•    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 2,247 of a possible 2,250 minutes.
•    Wizards striker Birahim Diop started his sixth 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. The Wizards lost for the first time with Diop in the starting lineup.
•    The Wizards dramatic 4-3 win over Houston on Wednesday will replay on Metro Sports at 4:00 p.m. CT on Sunday.
•    Wizards defender Aaron Hohlbein, on loan to USSF D-2 Miami FC, started in Miami FC’s 1-0 upset of league-leaders Rochester on Saturday. Miami FC, winners of four straight, will play their regular season finale on Saturday, October 2 at the Puerto Rico Islanders at 6:30 p.m. CT.