Wizards prove they're a real Menace
Showing little rust from their week off at the All-Star break, the defending Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup champion Kansas City Wizards got their bid for a repeat title off to a positive start as they routed the PDL's Des Moines Menace 6-1 Wednesday night at Park University's Julian Field.
Davy Arnaud and Josh Wolff each scored goals on either side of halftime as the Wizards saw an early goal answered by the amateur side before their pedigree took over and they rolled to victory.
Coach Bob Gansler adjusted his lineup slightly for the quarterfinal Open Cup tilt against the Menace as regular backup Will Hesmer got the call between the posts and the back four was realigned in preparation for Saturday's MLS matchup with the New England Revolution when the Wizards will be without suspended Nick Garcia. Jamaican Khari Stephenson manned the right back slot with countryman Shavar Thomas in the middle with Jimmy Conrad and Jose Burciaga Jr. on the left.
It took the Wizards just nine minutes to take charge of the match. As striker Wolff ran over a dead ball 19 yards out to the left of goal, Chris Klein lay in wait to play a short ball to the now wide Wolff. He slid a buzzing ball to the near post running Arnaud, who finished easily past Menace goalkeeper Andrew Gruenebaum.
Likely emboldened by their recent run of success in beating two USL First Division sides and one from the USL Second Division to get to the Wizards, the Menace did not fold their tent at the early deficit as a 12th minute corner gave them re-entry into the match. Back Corey Farabi served a flighted near post ball for midfielder Matt Wieland, and his flicked header went off the inside of the back post past Hesmer.
A mere three minutes later, Wolff played antagonist to the Menace's upset hopes again after he was tripped up trying to split two defenders at the top of the Des Moines box and referee George Gausner whistled and pointed to the spot. The U.S. international did as expected and expertly strode up to the ball and perfectly placed it in the left lower corner to again put the MLS side clear.
Although adding to their shot total, the Wizards were locked onto Gruenebaum and pelted him with shots he was able to withstand. However, the Menace were able to gain momentum by way of Gausner's whistle as he repeatedly caught the Wizards on infractions at or near their own box.
Off a corner from one such dead ball, the Wizards added a third led by the in-form Wolff. Luring the lone defender, Wolff flicked for Victorine on his left and Victorine beat Gruenebaum to the ball and rippled the net high on the left.
Garcia and forward Scott Sealy were inserted by Gansler at the half for Conrad and Jewsbury, respectively. And it was Sealy who nearly made it a three-goal lead for the Wizards in the 55th minute when his rounded run onto a midfield pass kept him onside, but the breakaway chance was spoiled when Sealy went wide right with his shot.
It was only a matter of time before the Wizards would increase their lead. Mirroring his earlier move that drew a penalty kick, Wolff took the ball to his right in front of three defenders and spurted forward to strike. Again hauled down, this time through a slide by Menace defender Blake Siberz. Gausner called for the spot kick immediately and Wolff shot high into the upper left of the net to record his second score of the evening to go with his two assists.
Ten minutes later it was Sealy who took the mantle and got on the receiving end of a multiple pass buildup as he took a snappy ball off a give-and-go from Arnaud. Alone on the goalkeeper after the defensive split, Sealy put the ball under Gruenebaum to make it 5-1.
But the rookie was not done as he returned the favor, feeding Arnaud streaking down the center with a nifty flick of his foot from the far left wing. Arnaud took it down and emphatically finished the Wizards sixth past the goalkeeper on the near side.
The Wizards will now play host to another Cinderella in the quarterfinals, the USL First Division's Minnesota Thunder, who on Wednesday knocked off a second consecutive MLS team when they defeated the Colorado Rapids 4-1.
Robert Rusert is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.
U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round
Kansas City Wizards 6, Des Moines Menace 1
August 3, 2005 - Julian Field, Parkville, Mo.
KCW -- Davy Arnaud 1 (Josh Wolff 1) 9
DMM -- Matt Wieland 1 (Corey Farabi 1) 12
KCW -- Josh Wolff 1 (penalty kick) 16
KCW -- Sasha Victorine 1 (Josh Wolff 2) 31
KCW -- Josh Wolff 2 (penalty kick) 65
KCW -- Scott Sealy 1 (Davy Arnaud 1) 75
KCW -- Davy Arnaud 2 (Scott Sealy 1) 83
Kansas City Wizards Lineup (4-4-2): William Hesmer; Khari Stephenson, Shavar Thomas (Dustin Branan 67), Jimmy Conrad (Nick Garcia-46'), Jose Luis Burciaga Jr.; Chris Klein (Preki 73), Kerry Zavagnin, Jack Jewsbury (Scott Sealy 46'), Sasha Victorine; Josh Wolff, Davy Arnaud
SHOTS: 20; SHOTS ON GOAL: 9; SAVES: 2; FOULS: 19; CORNER KICKS: 3; OFFSIDE: 3
Des Moines Menace (4-4-2): Andrew Gruenebaum; Danilo Oliveira (Luke Frieberg 37), Blake Siberz, Corey Farabi, Chris Hamburger; Matt Wieland, Tomas Boltnar (Reid Baker 76'), Cody Kother, Matthew Kreikemeier; Jesse Baker (Alex Munns 55), Michael Kraus (Armin Mujdzic 46)
SHOTS: 10; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; SAVES: 3; FOULS: 15; CORNER KICKS: 2; OFFSIDE: 0
Referee: Roni Canales
Assistant Referees: George Gansner, Jose Andrade
Fourth Official: Shar Dilmaghani
Attendance: 2,000+ (overflow)
KCW -- Kerry Zavagnin (caution; Reckless Foul) 24
KCW -- Jose Burciaga Jr. (caution; Reckless Foul) 29
KCW -- Jack Jewsbury (caution; Reckless Foul) 33
DMM -- Chris Hamburger (caution; Reckless Foul) 62