Kansas City made an early PK stand up as they defeated the New York Red Bulls last night at Community America Ballpark 1-0. The action started early, when in only the 2nd minute Herculez Gomez received a ball into the box that Carlos Johnson of New York had trouble trying to intercept. As the ball made it to Gomez, he cut inside to shoot but was taken down from behind by Johnson. Referee Michael Kennedy made no hesitation pointing to the spot and giving Johnson the fastest red card in MLS history, Johnson's second in as many games. Claudio Lopez stepped up and converted the PK to give KC the early lead.
After the penalty, KC controlled the game, but couldn't produce many good chances. In the 19th minute though, Jack Jewsbury suffered a concussion on a collison with Carlos Mendes. Jewsbury tried to clear the cobwebs after the collison, but was finally subbed out in the 32nd minute. The pressure continued for most of the rest of the first half, with New York having some flurries forward, but even being a man up KC didn't create any real quality chances, and the shots they did create were right at goalkeeper Jon Conway.
In the second half, New York started to bring the game to KC more as KC seemed to be sitting back a little more than they should have. Kevin Hartman came up with a big save from Juan Pablo Angel to keep the lead. Down at the other end, Lance Watson was doing great work getting down the right side along with Josh Wolff. They played in a couple good balls, but nobody had made a far post run and the crosses went to nothing. Davy Arnaud tried to duplicate his goals from earlier this year, but his efforts both went over the goal. The Wizards best chances in the second half came when Aaron Hohlbein headed a Lopez cross right on goal, but also right at Conway, who paried the shot away. Later in the game, a cross from the right found Roger Espinoza. He collected the ball, cut back on a defender and tried to put his shot inside Conway's near post, but Espinoza pulled his shot just wide of the near post. Hartman had one last big play to make as he dove at the feet of Angel to deflect a shot after a flick on header from Matthew Mbuta Overall, not a great performance for the national television audience last night, as the Wizards again seemed to be outplayed by a team playing with 10 men. While the team is now unbeaten in 4 games, they haven't played extremely well, except for 15 minutes in Chicago in the last 3 of those games. They'll need to pick up the level of play for Sunday when the team travels to Toronto.
Wizards Man of the Match - Lance Watson - I've been a critic of Watson's for a while, I honestly didn't expect him to be on the roster this year, but given the chance at right back he has done a decent job there. He's not an all star right back, but he's filled in nicely, and last night he was a nice bright spot, getting forward when he could and creating some potential chances with some crosses.
Honorable Mention - Aaron Hohlbein, Jimmy Conrad
Player Ratings - Hartman 6, Watson 6, Conrad 6, Hohlbein 6, Besler 5, Gomez 4, Jewsbury 4, Arnaud 5, Hirsig 5, Wolff 5, Lopez 5, Subs Harrington 5, Espinoza 5, Kraus 5.