Wizards fall in front of sold out crowd
The Kansas City Wizards lost for just the second time in 11 games on Saturday, falling 3-1 to FC Dallas in front of a sold out crowd at Community America Ballpark. Wizards’ striker Ryan Smith scored in his second straight match for Kansas City, but the Wizards couldn’t overcome an early deficit after conceding two goals in the game’s first 12 minutes.
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Faced with another red-hot team, FC Dallas didn’t miss a beat, extending their streak of games without a loss to 17 and dealing the Wizards’ playoff hopes a blow with a 3-1 victory on a rainy Saturday night at Community America Ballpark.
Dallas moved to 11-2-13 on the season, collecting three more points that should cement their place in the playoffs come the end of October. With the defeat, Kansas City (9-9-7, 33 points) weren’t able to gain any ground on Seattle, Colorado and San Jose at the bottom end of the playoff race.
FCD took the reins immediately, applying pressure from the opening whistle and jumping ahead after just four minutes. With Kansas City pinned inside their own half, David Ferreira found a pocket of space on the edge of the penalty area and chipped a ball behind the Wizards defense. Marvin Chavez ran in behind the back line and struck a first-time volley just inside Jimmy Nielsen’s near post.
It was the Honduran’s first goal of the season and Ferreira’s 11th assist, which is good for second in Major League Soccer this season. Unfortunately for Kansas City, the Hoops’ assault didn’t slow down from there.
Milton Rodríguez added his third goal of the season in the 12th minute, when a deft touch by Jackson Gonçalves slipped him in behind a shell-shocked Kansas City defense. Rodríguez found himself with plenty of space and time and applied a simple side-footed finish from the edge of the penalty area.
Despite the quick start, the action settled down for much of the rest of the half. Kei Kamara and Davy Arnaud had half chances for Kansas City while FCD seemed content to protect their lead and look for opportunities on the counter.
With a mind to making up the two-goal deficit, Wizards manager Peter Vermes inserted Josh Wolff for Stephane Auvray at the half-hour mark while Schellas Hyndman replaced a shaken-up Chávez in the 38th with Dax McCarty. To further augment the attack, Vermes brought Teal Bunbury on at the half.
Belying their attacking changes, Kansas City came out in the second half the more aggressive team. Shavar Thomas and Bunbury tested Dario Sala before Ryan Smith finally pulled one back for the home side in the 57th minute, megging the FCD ‘keeper from 15 yards out.
With the crowd on the edge of their seat, the Wizards pressed on with Jimmy Conrad narrowly heading wide from an Arnaud corner kick in the 69th minute, while Smith, Kamara and Bunbury took defenders on at every opportunity.
But in the end, another stirring comeback wasn’t to be for the Wizards. FCD’s Jeff Cunningham did what he did best, stroking home a late goal off the bench to put himself within one of tying Jaime Moreno’s all-time scoring mark and ending Kansas City’s chances of a second miraculous comeback in four days.
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