The Wizards continued their preseason tonight out at CAB in a game against NCAA Division 1 UMKC tonight in a friendly that Wizards season ticket holders were invited to. The Wizards started the game with a lineup almost exactly like the one used by the white team in last Thursday's intersquad scrimmage, but early on the game was back and forth as UMKC held their own. In fact they forced a very good kick save out of Jimmy Nielsen very early in the game. Things also got a little chippy as the half went on, with Davy Arnaud taking a hard foul that earned the UMKC player a yellow. Shortly after, Arnaud and another UMKC player saw yellow and we got a bit of a shoving match as Arnaud appeared to elbow the UMKC player trying to get a little retribution for the hard foul. The Wizards grabbed the lead late in the first 45 minute period as UMKC had some very lax defending as Ryan Smith took the ball right off the defenders own foot inside his own box, took a touch and slipped the ball past the keeper to give KC the lead.
The Wizards made only one change after 45 minutes with Pablo Escobar coming on for Jimmy Conrad. KC doubled their lead on a very nice play by Stephane Auvray after a through ball from Chance Myers. Auvray danced by a few defender in the box that sent the keeper the wrong way and Auvray slid the ball into the net to double the lead. KC began to really control the game more and more and UMKC got less of the ball. UMKC started to get more frustrated and Arnaud was once again fouled about 25 yards from goal. Arnaud stepped up on the free kick and put it off the post and into the net to the keepers right, a really nice free kick to make it 3-0. With KC continuing to dominate possession, UMKC loss a player to a second yellow card. They immediately replaced the player so the Wizards didn't play with a man advantage, but it showed the physicality that was taking place in the friendly. KC made it 4-0 before the end of the second 45 minute period as Michael Harrington streaked down the left and played a nice lofted cross where substitute Jonathan Leathers had time to place a looping header back across goal and over the head of the keeper into the net.
KC had made a few changes over the course of the second period, but made even more before the final period started. With UMKC not having as many players, the Wizards continued to be the team that controlled the game especially with the fresh legs. It did take a little while for those fresh legs to get underneath them in the offensive end, but finally Zoltan Hercegfalvi hit a rocket that made it 5-0. The ball only rarely got deep into KC's half as the period went on and KC continued to find ways into the Kangaroos box. Teal Bunbury got brought down on one of those runs being awarded a PK. Bunbury stepped up and placed the ball to the keepers left out of reach to make it 6-0. With less than 2 minutes left in the game, KC added the extra point as Santiago Hirsig knocked home a corner to give KC the 7-0 win.
Overall it was a good performance although the lack of goals in the first period against the college team was a little frustrating, still it was nice to see the team continue to play well and combine. Smith continues to be very impressive and Auvray really is a beast in the center of midfield, both these guys I think are going to have good seasons in MLS.