Wizards top Des Moines Menace
Matt Taylor (Unassisted) 81'
DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Kansas City Wizards wrapped up their 2nd Annual Mid-America Barnstorming Exhibition Tour with a 1-0 win over the Des Moines Menace (PDL) in Des Moines, Iowa, Tuesday night. Matt Taylor's goal with nine minutes left was all Kansas City needed as they entertained 3,718 fans at Cara McGrane Stadium.
The Wizards best chance of the opening half came 15 minutes in when Matt Taylor switched fields with a long cross to Khari Stephenson on the right. Stephenson, who rejoined the Wizards this week following his completion of classes at Williams College (Massachusetts), then found Diego Walsh unmarked inside the box, but Walsh's shot from 5 yards out was tipped over the crossbar at the last second by Menace goalkeeper Zach Brennen.
That would be the story of the first half as the Wizards had two more chances tipped up and over the crossbar, including Francisco Gomez's 30-yard strike in the 39th minute and Taylor Graham's snap header off a Gomez corner kick in the dying minutes of first half stoppage time.
Kansas City continued to control possession in the second half finding their way into the Des Monies end, but was unable to finish their chances. In the 61st minute Khari Stephenson had a chance from close range that ricocheted off the feet of the Menace goalkeeper and a minute later Jose Burciaga's close range strike was corralled by the 'keeper.
The Wizards broke the scoreless tie in the 81st minute when Matt Taylor danced his way around the Des Moines defense and fired off a shot from just inside the top of the box. Taylor collected a long drop kick from Kansas City goalkeeper Will Hesmer around the top of the arch. Taylor then turned and made his way through the back line and found space before unloading a right-footed shot inside the lower corner of the right post.
Taylor's goal would stand up as the Kansas City defense kept the Menace out of their end for the final minutes before walking off with a 1-0 win.
The Wizards return to MLS action this Memorial Day Weekend with a match against the MetroStars on Sunday, May 30 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The match will kickoff at 6:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on Metro Sports.