April 25, 2007 MLS Kansas City Wizards beat Toronto FC 3-0 (from Kansas City Wizards Media Relations)

04/26/2007 01:22AM
Kansas City Wizards down Toronto FC 3-0 in 2007 Get Close home opener
Kansas City Wizards Media Relations

Kansas City continued their attacking ways and got a record-setting MLS performance from goalkeeper Kevin Hartman for their second victory of the season and first at home. Hartman became the all-time MLS shutout leader with 63. He had previously been tied with former Wizards 'keeper Tony Meola for first all-time.

Kansas City started strong, scoring in the 5th minute through great combination play and a strong finish inside the area by forward Eddie Johnson. The Wizards have scored three goals in the first 15 minutes of games so far in 2007.

Johnson started the play with his back to the goal, dropping it off for strike partner Davy Arnaud who promptly swung the ball wide for midfielder Sasha Victorine. Victorine carried the ball toward the endline at pace, swinging a cross in for Johnson who had spun and continued his run to goal.

The well-delivered cross found its way to Johnson's head, and he redirected it diagonally past a helpless Greg Sutton. It was Johnson's second goal of the season and the first assist for both Arnaud and Victorine. Johnson scored two goals in fifteen games for the Wizards in 2006; he has two through three games thus far in 2007.

Midfielder Carlos Marinelli made his first start in Wizards blue, maintaining the strong form he has showed thus far in two appearances for the first team. Marinelli was allowed the freedom to work himself into holes in the Toronto defense thanks to strong play by holding midfielder Kerry Zavagnin.

Marinelli nearly created a goal in the 11th minute when he intercepted a pass and slid the ball into space for Victorine. Marinelli continued the run and found himself wide open on the left flank. The Argentine made a quick cut and took a left-footed shot that was deflected out for a corner kick.

Kansas City found another strong opportunity in the 31st when defender Jose Luis Burciaga Jr. started the attack from his left back position, playing the ball up field for rookie midfielder Michael Harrington. Harrington swung a ball into the penalty area for Victorine, who was completing a 35-yard run through the midfield. Victorine got his head to the ball, but his attempt was just high as Sutton scrambled to try and reposition himself on the wet grass.

The Wizards continued attacking as they have all season throughout the second half, scoring 55th and 70th minute goals to seal the victory and improve upon their league-best 2.50 goals scored per game average.

Defender Jimmy Conrad almost added another to the scoresheet five minutes later when he redirected a Carlos Marinelli corner kick off the crossbar. Conrad had beaten Sutton only to see the ball deflect back into play off the bar.

Midfielder Kerry Zavagnin provided a rare goal 10 minutes into the half, slotting home a rebound after Sutton blocked shots from Johnson and Marinelli. Zavagnin found himself alone in the middle of the penalty area and curled the ball inside the far post from 15 yards out for his first goal since 2003. Incidentally, Hartman was the opposing goalkeeper at the time.

Kansas City found the net again 15 minutes later thanks to substitute forward Yura Movsisyan, who had entered in the 54th for midfielder Sasha Victorine. Harrington started the goal-scoring play, sliding a ball into space for Movsisyan. The 19-year-old striker then showed off his skill, carrying the ball a good twenty yards and beating a defender before slamming the ball home for his first career MLS goal.

Hartman played solidly in the net to record his first shutout for Kansas City, stopping 5 shots, all of which came in the second half. His best effort was a diving save in the 83rd minute after Toronto's number 10, Alecko Eskandarian, shook his defender and fired a low ball that initially appeared to have beaten Hartman inside the near post.

Kansas City again faces off with Toronto Saturday in the grand opening of new BMO field in Toronto. TFC has yet to play a home match, going 0-3-0 through three road MLS matches. The Red and White have been outscored 9-0 over that stretch.

Saturday's match caps a tough stretch to open the season in which the Wizards will play five games in 14 days. The next home game for the Wizards comes at Arrowhead May 5 at noon CT against Eastern Conference rival Columbus Crew. The Wizards have a Cinco de Mayo celebration planned for that match, including a Nick Garcia look-a-like contest, performances by two authentic Mexican music groups and a post-game party at Latin club Caliente in the Legends Village West Shopping Center.

Wizards Notables:
Midfielder Carlos Marinelli made his first start for the Wizards, playing 73 solid minutes. Marinelli played the second half April 21 at Chicago, scoring a 90th minute goal on a penalty kick he drew.

Forward Eddie Johnson's goal in the 5th minute becomes the third-fastest goal ever scored in a Wizards home opener. Preki and Chris Brown both scored 3rd minute goals previously (4/12/03 vs D.C. and 4/14/01 vs LA, respectively).

Midfielder Kerry Zavagnin broke a 6,340-minute scoreless streak with his goal in the 55th minute. He last scored 10/11/03 against the Lost Angeles Galaxy in a 2-1 Kansas City victory.

Kansas City goalkeeper Kevin Hartman was in goal for the Galaxy when Zavagnin last scored. Zavagnin now has 6 career goals.

Seven different Wizards have scored goals this year. Eddie Johnson has two. Michael Harrington, Carlos Marinelli, Yura Movsisyan, Scott Sealy, Sasha Victorine and Kerry Zavagnin have all scored one goal thus far for Kansas City.

Forward Yura Movsisyan recorded his first career MLS goal in the 70th minute off an assist from rookie midfielder Michael Harrington. It was also Harrington's first-career assist.

The Wizards have had a player notch his first-career goal in three straight games. Harrington scored his first in the 3rd minute 4/18 at D.C. and Marinelli recorded his first on a penalty kick in the 90th minute 4/21 at CHI.

Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman notched his MLS record 63rd career shutout with a 5 save effort. All his saves came after intermission as Toronto applied greater offensive pressure after the rain subsided. It was Hartman's first shutout in Wizards blue.

Hartman now has a 107-minute scoreless streak.

Hartman shut out the Wizards eight times as a member of the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Defender Nick Garcia, one game after moving into first place on the Wizards all-time minutes played list, moved one game closer to the all-time Wizards games played record. Garcia has now played in 199 matches for the Wizards. With his next match, he will tie former Wizards midfielder Chris Klein for second on the all-time list.

Zavagnin has 194 games played for the Wizards and sits fourth on the Wizards all-time list.

The Wizards gave out special-edition t-shirts to the first 5,000 fans Wednesday. Goal-scorer Yura Movsisyan was the player photographed to create the image on the front of the shirt of a bicycle kick. All pre-game promotions and events were cancelled due to inclement weather.

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