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.
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
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
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.: