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Wizards tie D.C. United to crowd East race
by Ridge Mahoney, May 7th, 2009 7AM
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[MLS] The already snug Eastern Conference standings were drawn tighter Wednesday when host Kansas City tied D.C. United, 1-1, to bunch the top four teams within two points of each other.

Josh Wolff's equalizer earned Kansas City (3-3-2) its 11th point of the season. The Wizards are tied for third with Chicago (2-0-5), two points behind D.C. United (3-1-4, 13 points), which got a goal from rookie Rodney Wallace to move a point ahead of Toronto (3-2-3).

Wallace muscled his way past Wizards right back Lance Watson to push a feed from Jaime Moreno past keeper Kevin Hartman in the 27th minute. Santino Quaranta started the play from midfield with a pass to Moreno, whose lazy through ball slipped through the center and froze the Wizards central defenders as Wallace cut inside to take the chance.

Watson redeemed himself seven minutes into the second half by winning the ball with a slide tackle and pushing to the right flank for Jack Jewsbury, whose low driven ball into the goalmouth was turned into the net by Wolff, who looked a tad offside when Jewsbury delivered his serve.

United coach Tom Soehn gave rookie Brandon Barklage his first MLS start in midfield and again went with Wallace and Chris Pontius in the starting lineup. Pontius nearly scored midway through the first half when Quaranta sent him clear with a through ball, but he drilled his shot off the post.

Christian Gomez and Luciano Emilio came into the match during the second half but United's failure to notch a second goal eventually cost it a victory. The teams produced only four shots on goal between them. D.C. locked up shop after conceding the equalizer and Kansas City seldom threatened down the stretch.

Both teams are back in action Saturday. Kansas City plays at Columbus and D.C. hosts Toronto.

May 6 in Kansas City
Kansas City 1, D.C. United 1
Wallace (Moreno, Quaranta) 27; Wolff (Jewsbury, Watson) 52.
D.C. United -- Crayton, Namoff, Janicki, John, Wallace, Barklage (Gomez, 61), Jacobson, Simms, Quaranta, Moreno (Khumalo 87), Pontius (Emilio, 46).
Kansas City -- Hartman, Watson, Conrad, Hohlbein (Harrington 83), Besler, Wolff, Hirsig, Jewsbury, Arnaud, Gomez (Espinoza 60), Lopez.
Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Att.: 9,077.


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