Kansas City, led by goals from Davy Arnaud and Teal Bunbury, got a vital 2-0 win at Chicago to keep their playoff hopes alive.
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2010 in Review: Best & worst of Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City took a step forward in 2010, but unfortunately, that progress didn’t quite add up to a playoff berth. The Wizards were the last team eliminated from postseason contention, fading down the stretch after a rousing turnaround helped wipe out the memory of the team’s disastrous midseason slump.

But for an organization determined to turn things around on the field, that consolation prize was simply a sign that there is more work to do. Despite picking up a number of impressive results during the second half of the season, manager Peter Vermes’ side didn’t collect three points for nine straight games at one point and consistently struggled to score and prevent soft goals, issues that will certainly be targeted for improvement in the offseason.

Here are the best and worst of Kansas City in 2010:

Best moment of the year

Kansas City’s rousing comeback against Houston comes a close second, but there was no bigger moment in 2010 than the Wizards 2-1 defeat of Manchester United to open the New Arrowhead Stadium. Mired in a dreadful slump at the time, few gave the club much of a chance against Sir Alex Ferguson’s side. But that didn’t deter Kansas City, and the home side used goals from Davy Arnaud and Kei Kamara to register a historic victory that jumpstarted the rest of the season.

[inline_node:317461]Worst moment

There were certainly some low points during the club’s dreadful stretch in April, May and June, but one moment sticks out because it effectively ended the Wizards' season. Needing a victory to stay alive in the playoff race going into the season’s final week, Kansas City turned in a performance at New England that was a microcosm of their entire year.

Despite outshooting the Revolution 22-7 and driving the game, Shalrie Joseph capitalized on a defensive mistake by the visitors to give the Revs a 1-0 lead that they didn’t relinquish, relegating KC to another season without a playoff berth.

Best goal

Kei Kamara scored some crackers this season, but none was better than the piece of individual brilliance he turned in against Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center in September. With a defender draped on his back, Kamara headed the ball into the area, turned his defender and struck the dropping ball on the volley, slipping it inside the post to help propel the Wizards to a 2-0 victory. The fact that he did it in front of his friends and family only made it even more special.

WATCH: Kamara's classy finish off volley

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Best save

It may not have been the most orthodox of stops or the most acrobatic, but goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen put his unwavering commitment to the Wizards' cause on display only two games into the season when he denied Colorado’s Omar Cummings a clear-cut chance. With the Jamaican unmarked and unchallenged inside the six-yard box, Nielsen flung himself at the ball only to have it strike him in the face, preventing a sure goal and helping preserve a 1-0 Wizards victory.

WATCH: Nielsen's face-save earns Save of the Week nominee

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Team MVP: Kei Kamara

For a team that struggled so mightily to score consistently, each and every one of Kamara’s 10 goals and six assists were godsends. Talented but inconsistent until this season, the well-traveled Sierre Leone international took a step forward under the guidance of Vermes and morphed into one of the league’s most dangerous wide players and became the Wizards' standout defender on set pieces. He didn’t always like playing on the wing, but the career year Kamara turned in speaks volumes about his versatility and physical ability.

Best newcomer: Jimmy Nielsen

After the team declined to re-sign veteran Kevin Hartman in the offseason, many fans were skeptical of Nielsen’s ability to fill the shoes of the club’s longtime starter. The Dane, who is known as the White Puma, dispelled those fears almost immediately, logging a standout season in which he started 29 games, won a handful of Save of the Week awards and bailed the Wizards defense out on multiple occasions.

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