KC Breakdown: Instant classic at CAB

KC-HOU

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Result

A 4-3 victory on Wednesday night against the Houston Dynamo (6-14-5, 25 points) at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

WATCH: FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Table position

Third place in the Eastern Conference on 33 points (9-9-6).

Three things to take away

1) Kansas City certainly keep things interesting. Say what you will about manager Peter Vermes’ team, but you can’t argue with the fact that this squad has had some fascinating moments this season.

First came the side’s quick start, which was followed by high expectations and a nearly disastrous slide down the table. Then, when all seemed lost, the Wizards embarked on an incredible streak that has included all manner of victories, including huge wins against Manchester United, Columbus and Los Angeles.

Wednesday’s mind-boggling comeback against Houston was just another topper in a season that has been anything but dull.

2) Don’t count the Wizards out of a game – or the playoffs for that matter – until the final whistle blows. Even when their playoff chances appeared out of the realm of possibility, Kansas City didn’t give up and now find themselves in the thick of a playoff race.

That same mentality was on display on Wednesday night as the Dynamo took it to the home team in the first half only to be the victims of MLS’ greatest comeback this season. The Wizards didn’t flinch, and they didn’t throw in the towel. Because of that, they have three more points to help buoy their playoff run.

3) Kei Kamara has grown into a marquee forward. Kamara just keeps scoring and producing for Kansas City as his breakout season continues. His physical gifts have always been apparent, but the Sierre Leone international seems to be putting it all together in 2010. He is strong on the ball, makes great runs without it and contributes defensively.

Against the Dynamo, Kamara was robbed of a brilliant goal by the crossbar before scoring his 10th of the season to start the comeback. With six more games left, there is nothing to stop him from padding that total even more.

Two players who stood out

[inline_node:319015]Forward Josh Wolff – Wolff hasn’t had the easiest of seasons from a personal standpoint. He lost his starting spot despite being named the Wizards Player of the Year last season and has struggled to find significant playing time. But that hasn’t dampened his work ethic or spirit, and both shone through last night in an inspired substitute performance. Heading hasn’t always been the veteran’s best attribute, but his game-winning finish past Pat Onstad was pure class.

Defender Michael Harrington – He got the game-winning assist on Wolff’s goal, but he deserved another for the cross that led to Adrian Serioux’s own-goal to tie the match. Harrington may have been partially at fault for Houston’s opening goal (both he and Kamara stepped up to allow Mike Chabala space and time to deliver the cross), but the versatile defender made up for it with an inspired performance going forward.

One play that changed the game

Wolff’s goal was officially the difference between the teams, but a less prominent play set the table for Kansas City to start its remarkable comeback. Left back Roger Espinoza had just received a yellow card in the 67th minute when he charged into a hard tackle with Lovel Palmer a few minutes later. Some referees might have reached for another costly card with Palmer on the ground in clear pain, but Jair Marrufo gave Espinoza a stern lecture and kept the rally on track.

Final verdict

This one will go down in club lore whether or not the Wizards make the playoffs in a few weeks. The sheer drama of the match along with the heart Kansas City showed in coming back from a 3-1 deficit makes the match a classic in any book. The only question at this point is whether such an outpouring of effort and emotion will affect the team’s ability to compete with a red-hot FC Dallas side on Saturday.

Next up

Saturday vs. FC Dallas (10-2-13). The Wizards may be hot in traditional terms, but Dallas are downright smoldering at this point. The Hoops haven’t lost in 16 games and have only two defeats in 25 total matches this season, an incredible record even if the sheer number of draws has taken some of the luster off their streak. Still, this will be a matchup of two teams riding unparalleled momentum that promises to be a fight to the very end.


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