April 28, 2007 MLS Toronto FC lose 1-0 to Kansas City Wizards; (from Kansas City Wizards Media Relations)

04/28/2007 6:12PM
Kansas City records shutout against Toronto in second-straight match, 1-0
Kansas City Wizards Media Relations

The Kansas City Wizards gutted out a 1-0 victory Saturday at Toronto FC in the grand opening of TFC's new BMO Field to improve to 3-1-0 in MLS play and jump into second place in the Eastern Conference.

Forward Eddie Johnson continued his impressive form, scoring the game's only goal and providing the main offensive spark throughout the match. His goal was his third of the season; all have been game-winning goals.

After receiving a 3-0 defeat in Kansas City at midweek, Toronto came out with a chip on their shoulders in the first half Saturday, playing a much more physical, aggressive brand of soccer than was on display Wednesday at Arrowhead Stadium.

Urged on by a sellout crowd of loud, passionate and knowledgeable supporters, TFC produced its best half of soccer in the franchise's short history. Toronto recorded three shots on goal in the first half and would have taken the lead if not for a spectacular play by defender Jack Jewsbury.

Forward Alecko Eskandarian started the play for Toronto, eluding two Wizards defenders and getting inside the penalty area before laying the ball off for midfielder Andy Welsh. Welsh's shot appeared to beat goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, but Jewsbury was there, laying out to deflect the ball clear with his left boot.

The Wizards controlled possession early in the match, securing a pair of chances twenty minutes in that could have put Kansas City on top. Midfielder Davy Arnaud started and finished the first opportunity, playing a ball wide for substitute forward Ryan Pore. Pore controlled the ball momentarily then laid it back for Arnaud who had dropped into a hole in the TFC defense. Arnaud's one-time shot went just high.

Only seconds later, Kansas City's leading scorer Johnson created a great opportunity, stealing a poor back pass by Paulo Nagamura and racing toward goal. No one stood between Johnson and goalkeeper Greg Sutton, but Sutton's 6-5 frame proved beneficial as he slid to stop Johnson's shot with a kick save.

TFC appeared to tire after the half, not generating the quality of chances created in the opening 45 minutes. Toronto did not record a shot on goal in the second half. Kansas City goalkeeper Kevin Hartman stopped three shots for his second straight shutout. Hartman and the Wizards now have a 197-minute shutout streak.

The Wizards mounted several chances in the second half before finally breaking through. Pore took a pass, got behind the TFC defense and rounded goalkeeper Sutton. Pore's touch, however, carried him all the way to the end line and his attempt at goal found the side netting.

Johnson slipped behind the defense in the 66th minute as he did the entire match and held the ball up. He stutter-stepped to give himself space before firing on goal, but the shot was blocked by a sliding Toronto defender.

Rookie midfielder Michael Harrington also caused problems for the TFC defense all day. In the 75th minute, his 25-yard run setup a great service by right back Jack Jewsbury that was deflected away at the last moment by defender Andrew Boyens before Pore could get his head to the ball.

Harrington continued his slicing runs through the defense, and it was he who created the lone Wizards goal with a deep run TFC could not stop. Hartman picked out a Kevin Goldthwaite cross after a strong build up by Toronto and quickly distributed to Harrington.

Harrington took the ball from deep in his own end and carried it up the left side of the midfield. Harrington looked up as he neared the goal and saw Johnson sitting in a hole vacated when Goldthwaite pushed forward. Harrington's ball over the top went straight to Johnson's chest. Johnson controlled the ball down and continued toward goal, cutting inside as Goldthwaite attempted to recover and buried the ball inside the near post as Sutton leaned the other way. The left-footed shot from nine yards out split two defenders before beating Sutton and giving Kansas City the win.

Johnson played a complete game on his way to winning man-of-the-match honors, creating several dangerous opportunities with runs behind the TFC defense

TFC pushed forward for the remaining ten minutes, twice bringing Sutton into the Kansas City penalty area in an attempt to equalize but the Kansas City defense played solidly, denying every Toronto advance.

Wizards Notables:
Defender Nick Garcia played his 200th career game for the Wizards Saturday. He becomes only the third player to ever suit up in 200 or more matches for Kansas City. He is currently tied with former Wizards midfielder Chris Klein for second on the all-time games played list. Preki is first on the list with 218.

Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman extended his all-time MLS win and shutouts records. Hartman now has 119 career wins and 64 career shutouts.

The Wizards current shutouts streak has now reached 197 minutes.

Tony Meola holds the record for longest shutout streak in team history, with 681 minutes. From 4/19/00 - 5/27/00, Meola and the Wizards did not allow a goal. The streak spanned six shutouts and eight total games.

Kansas City and TFC committed 17 and 27 fouls, respectively. In 2006, Kansas City's high for fouls suffered was 24 against the Los Angeles Galaxy in a 2-0 loss July 1.

The teams combined for only 24 fouls Wednesday, three less than TFC committed Saturday by itself.

The Wizards record for fouls suffered in a match is 30. Kansas City lost that match 3-2 at Dallas 8/16/03.

In both matches this week, goalkeepers Kevin Hartman and Greg Sutton saved the same number of shots. Wednesday, both saved five. Saturday, both saved three. Kansas City won both games thanks to a better offensive output from Eddie Johnson and company.

The Wizards out shot TFC 9-2 in the second half Saturday.

Johnson has three game-winning goals through four matches. He is currently tied for the MLS lead with three goals and leads in game-winning goals.

Last season, Jose Luis Burciaga Jr. led Kansas City with four game-winning goals.

TFC now has not scored in its first 360 minutes. They surpassed the previous MLS record for consecutive goal-less minutes to start a season. Kansas City did not score for its first 357 minutes to begin the 1999 campaign.

Kansas City midfielder Carlos Marinelli left in the 16th minute with a Hamstring injury.

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