On the return of their former head coach, Curt Onalfo, the Kansas City Wizards put together a dominating display for a 4-0 victory over visiting D.C. United. On a soggy night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, the Wizards scored twice in each half with newcomer Ryan Smith scoring on his debut and serving as catalyst on the first two goals.
On the return of their former head coach, Curt Onalfo, the KansasCity Wizards put together a dominating display for a 4-0 victory over visitingD.C. United. On a soggy night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, the Wizards scored twicein each half with newcomer Ryan Smith scoring on his debut and serving ascatalyst on the first two goals.
TheWizards controlled the first half, outshooting D.C. by a wide margin and allowingonly one shot on frame. But United nearly opened the scoring two minutes inwhen Wizards defender Matt Besler lost the ball to Santino Quaranta in adangerous position. Quaranta found Jaime Moreno in open space at the top of the18-yard box, but Jimmy Nielsen made an acrobatic save to keep Moreno’s curlingshot out of the back of the net.
KansasCity responded immediately with D.C. goalkeeper Troy Perkins saving effortsfrom Smith and Jack Jewsbury before Kei Kamara opened the scoring in the ninthminute.
After asurging run down the left sideline, Smith found himself behind the defense andunleashed a left-footed drive that Perkins parried directly into the path of anunmarked Kamara, who slotted home to give the Wizards a 1-0 advantage.
D.C.nearly evened the score when 17-year-old debutant Andy Najar, signed this weekfrom the United’s academy, struck the crossbar with a half volley from 25-yardsout. Both teams had goals called back for offside before Kansas City made thescore 2-0 after a beautiful passing sequence in the 35th minute.
Offseason signing Stephane Auvray pickedout Smith’s diagonal run behind the D.C. defense, chipping a ball over the topinto the young Englishman’s feet at the top of the penalty area. With threeUnited defenders surrounding him, Smith slid a pass into the path of anonrushing Davy Arnaud, who buried a left-footed shot past Perkins and insidethe far post.
Unitedsent Australian striker Danny Allsopp on at halftime for Najar to add morefirepower up top, but Kansas City kept the pressure on with Smith and Arnaudfinding space and pulling the strings offensively.
Smith nearly created another goal when JimmyConrad headed his corner kick off the top of the crossbar before making thescore 3-0 himself in the 54th minute. For the second time in the match, theWizards scored off a deflection when Kamara’s cross was redirected into Smith’spath. The former Arsenal player made no mistake, sidefooting the ball insidethe back post to make it 3-0.
Thescoring didn’t stop there as Dejan Jakovic’s hand ball in the box in the 70thminute allowed Jack Jewsbury to add a fourth via the penalty spot and guaranteeKansas City three points against to start the season.
The lonenegative for Kansas City was the forced substitution of Smith in the 81stminute after United’s Julius James hacked him down from behind.
KC – Kei Kamara 1 (Unassisted), 9th minute
KC – Davy Arnaud 1 (Smith, Auvray), 35th minute
KC – Ryan Smith 1 (Unassisted), 54th minute
KC – Jack Jewsbury 1 (PK), 70th minute
DC – Dejan Jakovic (caution, reckless tackle), 26th minute
DC – Kurt Morsink (caution, reckless tackle), 28th minute
DC – Santino Quaranta (caution, unsporting behavior), 47thminute
DC – Julius James (caution, reckless tackle), 61st minute
DC – Jaime Moreno (caution, reckless tackle), 67th minute
KC – Kei Kamara (caution, reckless tackle), 83rd minute
Kansas City Wizards: Nielsen, Harrington, Conrad, Besler,Arnaud, Jewsbury, Auvray, Smith (Aiyegbusi), Espinoza (Leathers), Wolff(Bunbury), Kamara
D.C. United: Perkins, Talley, Jakovic, Wallace, Najar(Allsopp), Morsink, Quaranta, Simms (James), Castillo (Khumalo), Pontius,Moreno