photo courtesy of Thad Bell
In his return to the lineup for Kansas City, Josh Wolff salvaged a point for the Wizards in Columbus tonight. Kansas City came out strong, pressuring Columbus high and not giving them a lot of space. The Wizards capitalized on that pressure in the 22nd minute, when a Claudio Lopez free kick was not fully cleared. Kurt Morsink played the ball back in towards Sasha Victorine, who was beat to the ball by Frankie Hejduk. Hejduk, though, headed the ball past his own goalkeeper, Will Hesmer, and into his own net to give the Wizards the lead. The goal set off a frantic 16 minute stretch. Only two minutes later, Morsink won the ball and played Jack Jewsbury out wide. Jewsbury's low cross was met by Roger Espinoza, who beat Chad Marshall to the ball and put it past Hesmer to put KC in the lead 2-0.
Less then two minutes after that goal, a foul 20 odd yards out from goal allowed Guillermo Barros Schelotto the chance to pull one back, which he did, taking the shot before Kevin Hartman had gotten fully set. In the 33rd minute, Columbus was even, when Schelotto received a quick throw in and ran down the line before crossing to Alejandro Moreno, who's scuffed shot deflected off Jimmy Conrad and past Hartman, who couldn't get back in time to save it. Columbus continued to pressure and in the 38th minute took the lead off of a Schelotto corner, that Chad Marshall beat Conrad to.
As the second half started, KC pressured Columbus, but was unable to get a really good attack going, as passes were too long, too short, or to nobody. Finally, though, KC was able to capitalize, yet again, Morsink started an attack, playing the ball wide to Jewsbury, who crossed in low again to an unmarked Wolff on the back post who had a simple tap in to tie the game at 3-3. After that, KC started to attack more earnestly, as a great dummy by Wolff found Lopez in the box but he couldn't get the ball down after he rounded his defender.
Overall, I'm not happy with blowing a 2 goal lead, but I am happy we were able to fight back for the point, and to see Wolff get on the scorers sheet in his first game back. Our defense looked suspect, but that could be because of the more attacking presence we took in the game tonight. While Jewsbury got two assists, Robbie Rogers owned him on the defensive third all night. The same could be said about Michael Harrington on the left with Emmaneul Ekpo. The offense still isn't totally clicking, but what I saw from Lopez and Wolff late was very encouraging.
Wizards Man of the Match - Kurt Morsink - Morsink is starting to pick his game up. He played a role in all 3 of the Wizards goals tonight. Sure, late in the game, his shooting was suspect, but his play in the middle tonight was sharp, and you can't argue with two assists and another ball that caused an own goal.
Honorable Mention - Jack Jewsbury, Josh Wolff