CARSON – The MLS Cup is heading back to Washington D.C.
D.C. United outlasted the Kansas City Wizards, 3-2, to win their fourth MLS Cup in front of 25,797 fans at The Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
Kansas City got off to an early lead, when Jose Burciaga Jr. unleashed a left-footed strike from 30 yards out that found the back of the net.
United’s Alecko Eskandarian answered quickly and leveled the match at 1-1 in the 19th minute, the first of three goals for D.C. in a span of just seven minutes. Eskandarian, who was named the finals’ Most Valuable Player, struck again just four minutes later and an own goal by the Wizards’ Alex Zotinca put D.C. ahead for good.
An intentional, goal-saving handball by United’s Dema Kovalenko in the 57th minute led to his ejection, and an opportunity for the Wizards to pull within one. It was the first-ever red card issued in the title game.
Kansas City’s Josh Wolff converted the penalty, the first successful attempt in MLS Cup history, but shorthanded United would hold off the Wizards for their fourth Cup and first since 1999.
KC -- Jose Burciaga Jr. 1 (unassisted) 6
DC -- Alecko Eskandarian 3 (Brian Carroll 1) 19
DC -- Alecko Eskandarian 4 (unassisted) 23
DC -- own goal 1 (Alex Zotinca 2, nonindividual 1) 26
KC -- Josh Wolff 1 (penalty kick) 58
KC -- Diego Gutierrez (caution; Reckless foul) 33
DC -- Earnie Stewart (caution; Reckless foul) 55
DC -- Dema Kovalenko (ejection; Stopping a goal opportunity) 57
DC -- Bryan Namoff (caution; Delay of game/restart) 72
DC -- Ben Olsen (caution; Tactical foul) 89
D.C. United -- Nick Rimando, Bryan Namoff, Ryan Nelsen, Mike Petke, Brian Carroll, Christian Gomez (Joshua Gros 59), Dema Kovalenko, Ben Olsen, Earnie Stewart (Brandon Prideaux 82), Alecko Eskandarian (Freddy Adu 65), Jaime Moreno.
Substitutes Not Used: Troy Perkins, Ezra Hendrickson, Tim Lawson, Santino Quaranta, David Stokes, Jason Thompson.
Kansas City Wizards -- Bo Oshoniyi, Jose Burciaga Jr., Jimmy Conrad, Nick Garcia, Alex Zotinca (Diego Walsh 82), Diego Gutierrez, Jack Jewsbury (Matt Taylor 66), Khari Stephenson (Igor Simutenkov 48+), Kerry Zavagnin, Davy Arnaud, Josh Wolff.
Substitutes Not Used: William Hesmer, Tony Meola, Justin Detter, Francisco Gomez, Taylor Graham, Shavar Thomas.
Referee: Michael Kennedy
Referee's Assistants: Nate Clement, Kermit Quisenberry
4th Official: Abiodun Okulaja
Weather: Clear, 81 degrees