The red-hot Kansas City Wizards are home tonight for a New York Red Bulls squad coming off its first win — and first two goals not as a result of an own goal — of the year.
After losing its first two games of the year, the Wizards have reeled off three consecutive victories and currently sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, two points behind leaders Chicago. After scoring a brace in the final 12 minutes to forge a 2-2 draw with the Fire, Josh Wolff is the reigning MLS Player of the Week, while the Red Bulls will be led by the scoring tandem of Juan Pablo Angel and Mac Kandji, who combined for both goals in a 2-0 win against Real Salt Lake Saturday night.
It is Jimmy Conrad bobblehead night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark (insert your joke here). I will be providing commentary of the match throughout the night and, as always, we at SBI encourage reader feedback, as well.
Sit back and enjoy.
FINAL — The game is over and Lopez's penalty kick early in the first half holds up for the Wizards, who are now unbeaten in four straight games. While KC gets the three points, the Wizards didn't do themselves any favors with a predictable vanilla attack. The Red Bulls, meanwhile, showed great effort, but were done in by the second red card of Carlos Johnson's young MLS career.
The Red Bulls will return home Sunday to host Eastern Conference rival D.C. United, while the Wizards head to Toronto to take on TFC on Sunday.
Thanks everyone for checking in and making this another successful live commentary. Hope you enjoyed it, even if the game might have left a lot to be desired for you.
90+1 MINUTE — We're in first of two minutes of stoppage time and Hartman comes up with the game-saving stop, robbing Angel, who got a piece of Mbuta's flick in the box.
90TH MINUTE — Sassano with a deep throw, but couldn't find a teammate. Espinoza, on the other end, blows a chance to kill the game, missing the net badly on a spinning attempt.
89TH MINUTE — Desperation time for the Red Bulls. By the way, apparently some of you do not quite get my sarcasm. I'm aware Johnson will be suspended Sunday against D.C. The Open Cup game is Wednesday against San Jose, btw.
86TH MINUTE — Angel lays off a long ball from Stammler. Ubiparipovic steps up to hit the shot, but it is deflected away.
83RD MINUTE — Angel is visible frustrated with Mbuta, who failed on a give-and-go. Red Bulls with a free kick from distance. Angel and Pacheco are over the ball. Angel takes it and fires well over the net from 30 yards out.
81ST MINUTE — Pacheco with solid defending on Kraus and wins a free kick. Mbuta and Richards shank chances on the other end for the Red Bulls. If this scoreline holds up, you've got to think neither team will be happy with the result. Sure, the Wizards will extend an unbeaten streak to four games, but they weren't dangerous enough with the extra man. And the Red Bulls surely will rue the early red card and the inability to take the game when it was up for grabs.
79TH MINUTE — Espinoza tries to connect with Harrington on an overlapping run, but the ball eludes Harrington and KC again loses possession.
76TH MINUTE — Kansas City is just looking to hold possession and kill the game in the final quarter hour. Gomez comes off for Kraus, while Ubiparipovic is on for Mendes.
74TH MINUTE — Richards with a hopeful run down the flank, but the ball deflects off of him and out. On the other end, Wolff takes a touch and fires a shot into Conway from the edge of the 18.
67TH MINUTE — This game is there for the Red Bulls to at least get an equalizer. Espinoza is on for Besler. Conway makes a big save on a Hohlein attempt.
64TH MINUTE — Richards is fouled at the edge of the box. Pacheco takes the free kick and curls it just over the bar.
59TH MINUTE — Dane Richards comes on to bring some pace off the bench, replacing Kandji for the Red Bulls' second change of the game.
55TH MINUTE — Some miscommunication between Conway and Mendes as the defender plays the ball away with Conway calling for it. Dellacamera suggests perhaps Mendes couldn't hear Conway. Really? I think fans in New Brunswick heard him.
52ND MINUTE — Borman does a good job putting pressure on the ball and he is fouled by the left touchline. Pacheco to take. Angel off a deflection rips a shot into Hartman, who punches the Red Bulls' first shot on goal away.
49TH MINUTE — Mbuta takes a long cross off his chest and does a good job to force a corner. Borman takes it far post, but it deflects out and KC is off on a counter. Harrington pings a ball to the far post, but Wolff isn't able to corral the ball and it goes out for a goal kick.
46TH MINUTE — Second half just started and the Red Bulls make one change — Luke Sassano is on for Rojas.
HALFTIME — So I'm reading some of the comments now that it's halftime and I'm intrigued by the comment made by "Someone who has played soccer." Guess what? You're right, I haven't played soccer. Point for you. But I think I know a thing or three about the sport. I know what a keeper is supposed to do on that play, but you clearly think what he did was good? Did he attempt to dive to one side? Make it difficult for the PK taker? He just fell over like he was drunk. And I do know a thing or two about that, too.
HALFTIME – The early penalty kick holds up and the Wizards head into the locker room with a 1-0 lead.
45+1 MINUTE — Gomez with a shot from about 22 yards out, but it's punched away by Conway.
44TH MINUTE — First half is winding down. KC still leads, but the Red Bulls have done well to keep themselves in the game.
36TH MINUTE — After being a bit shellshocked in the early moments after Johnson's red card, the Red Bulls have done a good job of late with possession and getting into the attacking third.
34TH MINUTE — Pacheco takes a free kick from distance and hits a low, hard shot, but it well wide to Hartman's left.
32ND MINUTE — Harrington now comes up for Jewsbury for the game's first substitution. Curt Onolfo gave Jewsbury a chance to clear the cobwebs, but saw something he clearly didn't like and made the move.
29TH MINUTE — Rojas slips a great ball through to Kandji on a counter, but Kandji missed the net badly. Conrad gets booked for a harsh tackle on Rojas at the top of the box.
26TH MINUTE — Pacheco with a deep throw, attempted to give Mbuta his first taste of the ball, but he missed the flick header and Angel fouls in the box.
23RD MINUTE — Gomez shot deflects out for a corner, third for the Wizards. Lopez goes far post where Gomez attempts a diving header, but Conway dives to his left to push the ball away.
22ND MINUTE — Wizards again called for offside. Every venture into the attacking third looks like a dangerous one for KC. Congratulations Carlos Johnson, you've been awarded the earliest red card in Red Bulls history.
20TH MINUTE — Jewsbury is up, but appears groggy. Michael Harrington may come on. Lopez takes the free kick from the right edge of the 18-yard box, but puts it right into Conway's chest.
17TH MINUTE — Mendes with a hard foul on Jewsbury, who remains on the grass. This will be a dangerous scoring chance for the Wizards once Jewsbury is carried off. Mendes lunged forward in an attempt to play the ball, but missed and collided with Jewsbury.
15TH MINUTE — Another wasted corner for KC. Wizards, of course, have the better of possession. Wolff gets off a cross and Conway leaps up to grab it with no target man in sight.
12TH MINUTE — Lopez with a great service from the left, forcing Conway to dive off his line to get a paw on the cross but Wolff is offside on the play.
10TH MINUTE — Rojas dances on the ball at the top of the box, but held on to the ball way too long. Wizards get out on a quick counter, but Conway grabs Gomez's attempted cross to Wolff.
EIGHTH MINUTE — I might be going out on a limb here, but I think Jeremy Hall will find his way back in the starting lineup for the Red Bulls against D.C. on Sunday. First corner goes to KC, but Conway grabs Lopez's attempt. And back to the penalty kick, I might be nitpicking here, but Conway needs to do a little better than just falling to one side.
FIFTH MINUTE — Johnson took a poor touch on the ball and it fell right to Gomez. He desperately tried to lunge back and knock the ball away, but clearly got the man and he is sent off for a second time this season. Pacheco has pushed over to the right and Borman has dropped back to fill the void on the left.
THIRD MINUTE — GOAL KANSAS CITY. Claudio Lopez had no problem pushing the ball past goalkeeper Jon Conway, slotting the ball to his right as Conway guessed left. 1-0 KC.
SECOND MINUTE — Penalty kick for the Wizards and a straight red card issued by referee Michael Kennedy as Herculez Gomez is tripped by Carlos Johnson in the box. That's two red cards for the Costa Rican international and changes the entire course of the game.
PREGAME — We've got lineups for you.
Kansas City Wizards
Bench: Pardo, Kraus, Thompson, Morsink, Espinoza, McKenzie, Harrington
New York Red Bulls
BENCH- Cepero, Wolyniec, Sassano, Ubiparipovic, Boyens, Smith, Richards