(August 19, 2007) - The New England Revolution defeated the Kansas City Wizards for the second straight match, this time a 1-0 victory in Kansas City after the Wizards had a 17-day layoff. United States international Taylor Twellman scored the game's lone goal in the 72nd minute as the Eastern Conference leaders extended their lead to six points over second place D.C. United and Red Bull New York.
The Revolution and Twellman nearly started the game with a goal just 25 seconds in as the St. Louis native got free on the right side of the penalty area and fired a right-footed shot from 20 yards out that was headed for the side netting at the back post until goalkeeper Kevin Hartman extended himself to push the opportunity just wide of goal.
In the 7th minute, New England again had a quality opportunity, this time through Grenada international and MLS All-Star Shalrie Joseph. Joseph collected a ball in midfield and carried it 20 yards toward goal, eventually firing on goal from 22 yards out. His knuckling blast was blocked by Hartman's shoulder and the rebound fell to a Wizards defender outside the penalty area.
Kansas City's first quality opportunity came in the 25th minute as forward Yura Movsisyan spun a ball wide for left midfielder Michael Harrington. Harrington cut inside a defender and laid a ball across the box for star forward Eddie Johnson. The ball was behind Johnson, who immediately turned around and shot on the first touch, firing his right-footed effort just wide of the back post without troubling goalkeeper Matt Reis.
In the 32nd minute, midfielder Andy Dorman took a pair of dead ball opportunities for the Revs. First, his free kick from 25 yards was blocked out of bounds by Wizards midfielder Kerry Zavagnin. Then, Dorman's ensuring corner kick was headed just high and wide of the right corner by on-rushing midfielder Jeff Larentowicz.
In the 47th minute, newly signed Argentinean forward/midfielder Eloy Colombano nearly capped off his debut with a goal two minutes in. After entering at half, Colombano made a back-post run that nearly connected with a Jimmy Conrad long ball. Colombano, however, was flagged for offside.
Dorman again proved dangerous from the corner flag in the 55th minute, when his right-footed in-swinger again met Larentowicz at the near post. Larentowicz again flicked the ball just high of goal.
Kansas City had a pair of opportunities of their own beginning with a free kick in the 58th minute. Midfielder Davy Arnaud played the ball short for right back Jack Jewsbury who unleashed a right-footed blast that was deflected by the wall. Arnaud hustled to keep the ball in bounds, hopped over a defender still in possession and slid a ball back toward the penalty spot. Left back Jose Luis Burciaga Jr. attempted an off-balance shot that was blocked by a defender.
Two minutes later, the Wizards kept up the pressure as Marinelli attempted a free kick from the right wing. His in-swinging ball toward the back post proved dangerous, but Reis was there to punch the ball clear.
Marinelli then combined with countryman Colombano in the 66th minute, putting the speedy forward through to the end line for a first-time cross that was deflected out for a throw by New England.
In the 68th minute, Marinelli continued to work his magic from the right flank. He cut inside a defender and fired a left-footed cross toward the back post that was met by Arnaud just a foot off the end line. Arnaud was able to head the ball down in the direction of substitute midfielder Sasha Victorine as Reis collided with his back post. Victorine could not get to the ball, however, as defender James Riley headed it away from the goal and Jordan Parkhurst booted the ball clear to end the opportunity.
New England got back on the attack, collecting a foul 20 yards from the Kansas City goal in the 71st minute. The Revs played the ball quickly, sliding it outside for left winger Khano Smith. Smith held up the ball before sliding it through for Twellman who fired from a bad angle only to see Hartman smother the chance.
Smith and Twellman hooked up again just one minute later, giving the Revolution a goal and eventually the victory. Joseph collected the ball in midfield and deftly slid the ball between two defenders for a streaking Smith. Smith carried the ball a few touches before curling a left-footed cross behind the Kansas City defense for Twellman at the back post. Twellman slid to finish the ball into the open net from two yards out as Hartman was forced to play the on-coming Smith.
Kansas City continued to attack, inserting forward Scott Sealy for defender Jack Jewsbury, but the Revolution's physical play kept the Wizards from seriously challenging Reis and the New England goal through the remainder of the match.
The Revolution nearly added goals in the 77th and 79th minutes on a header from Joseph off a Dorman corner kick and a Smith left-footed blast after a run up the left flank, respectively.
Kansas City has little time to think over the match, hosting Mexican international Cuahtemoc Blanco and the surging Chicago Fire Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT at Arrowhead Stadium. The game, broadcast live on Metro Sports (English, TWC 30) and the Around Town Channel (Spanish, TWC 5), will be Blanco's first-ever trip to Kansas City and the second match-up between the Fire and Wizards this season. Wednesday is the last of three Gail's Harley Davidson T-Shirt Wednesday matches. Saturday, Kansas City travels to Chicago for a return match to complete a three-game in six-day run.
Kansas City Wizards Line-Up: Hartman, Jewsbury (Sealy 75), Conrad, Garcia, Burciaga Jr. (Victorine 60), Arnaud, Zavagnin, Marinelli, Harrington, Movsisyan (Colombano 46), Johnson
Substitutes not used: Kronberg (GK) Morsink, Raybould, Wahl
New England Revolution Line-Up: Reis, Heaps (Riley 46), Parkhurst, John, Thompson, Joseph, Dorman, Larentowicz, Smith, Cristman, Twellman
Substitutes not used: Warren (GK), Flood, Leonard, Helton, Noonan
KC - Conrad (caution; Dissent) 78'
KC - Marinelli (caution; Pushing, Holding) 90'
NE - Smith (caution; Dissent) 91+'
Total Shots: 11 6
Shots on Goal: 4 1
Saves: 1 3
Fouls Committed: 16 13
Offside: 4 8
Corner Kicks: 7 3
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Referee's Assistants: C.J. Morgante, Jose Corro
4th Official: Hilario Grajeda
Following the match, Kansas City sits 8-7-5 (29 pts.) in 4th place in the competitive Eastern Conference.
Kansas City remains in the playoff picture, currently possessing the 7th-most points in MLS.
Kansas City is now 5-4-2 at home and 3-7-2 when allowing the first goal.
Kansas City is now 15-10-7 all-time against New England and 7-6-3 all-time at home.
Revolution Head Coach Steve Nicol improved to 4-7-7 in his career against Kansas City.
The Revs won the season series 2-1. New England outscored the Wizards 6-4, including two shutouts.
Kansas City is now 13-25-2 all-time on Sundays, including a 1-2-2 record this season.
Newly signed Argentinean midfielder/forward Eloy Colombano made his MLS debut, coming on at halftime for forward Yura Movsisyan.
Colombano becomes the third Argentinean player in team history, joining Marinelli and former forward Dario Fabro on the teams all-time register.
Colombano is the 5th player to make his MLS debut for the Wizards this season, joining Marinelli and rookies Michael Harrington, Kurt Morsink and Aaron Hohlbein.
Midfielder Carlos Marinelli received a yellow card in the 90th minute and will not be eligible to play Wednesday against the Chicago Fire.
Kansas City was shutout in back-to-back games for the first time since July 4 and July 8, 2006 against Chicago and Colorado, respectively.
Twellman's goal gave him 10 on the season. The St. Louis native now has 85 career goals and five 10-goal seasons.
Twellman now has five career goals against the Wizards, including two in 2007.
Twellman's father was in attendance from St. Louis for the match.
Fellow St. Louis natives, midfielder Steve Ralston (Flu) and forward Pat Noonan (Groin Strain), were unable to play due to injury.
The Wizards have now allowed the first goal in 12 of 20 matches, including all three games against New England.
The Wizards have the best record and most wins in MLS (3-7-2) when allowing the first goal.
Wizards defender Jimmy Conrad received a quadriceps contusion late in the match when going up for a header against Avery John and Shalrie Joseph near the New England penalty area.
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS HEAD COACH CURT ONALFO
On tonight's game
"I was taken aback a bit by how hard they came out tonight. They had just played on Thursday so I was surprised by their energy. But, we weren't sharp tonight. I knew that it would take awhile for us to shake the rust off. I felt like we started the second half well, but that goal really hurt us."
On moving forward
"When you have difficult scheduling you cant use that as an excuse. You have to find a way to win. We just weren't sharp tonight, and we are going to get it right on Wednesday."
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS MIDFIELDER SASHA VICTORINE
On next game versus Chicago Fire
"It has been a while since we have played Chicago. We will have to look to see how they are playing, but I know Coach will have us ready. But it really doesn't matter how they are playing we have to come out at home and play better. We have to put pressure on teams here. We need to make them feel like they are struggling to play here."
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS MIDFIELDER KERRY ZAVAGNIN
On playing at home
"I never know where we are going to play. We don't prepare any differently, but being off for 17 days made it hard to get going again. I just think we were a little off tonight. But we will come out Wednesday and show how we can play."
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS STRIKER ELOY COLOMBANO
On his MLS debut
"It was good, but it wasn't the result I was hoping for. I feel good, and I think I am playing well with the other guys. In the next games I know things will turn around for us."
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION HEAD COACH STEVE NICOL
On tonight's game
"We asked the players before the game to show they had the passion and desire for this game. After our last performance we weren't sure. Tonight we won the battle, and you saw exactly what we are made of. The referee didn't give us anything and we still kept our cool. We capitalized on our chances and showed we were the better team tonight."
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION STRIKER TAYLOR TWELLMAN
On game winning goal
"We got some good build up Shalrie (Joseph) played a good ball to Khano (Smith) who played a great ball across the goal mouth and I just slid it in. I didn't have to do too much."
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION DEFENDER MICHAEL PARKHURST
On tonight's game
"I think it was a great performance. It was really gutsy. We were disappointed with our play on Thursday versus Colorado, and we wanted to come out here and prove a point. We knew it was a big game and we needed three points. I think we did what we needed to do. We fought hard and scored a goal and got the result."