Dema Kovalenko

Black-and-Red host Wizards at RFK

a double from Alecko Eskandarian (19, 23) and an Alex Zotinca own goal (28) nosed United in front. Josh Wolff scored from the penalty spot (58) after Dema Kovalenko was sent off for an intentional handball, but United held out for their first MLS title.

  • United's victory in the first league meeting a year ago was their first in seven meetings between the teams, since a 2-1 win on April 20, 2002.
  • The Wizards have not lost in the last five meetings between the teams at Arrowhead Stadium, four wins followed by this year's draw. United's last win at K.C. came April 7, 2001, a 3-2 triumph.
  • Coaches record: Peter Nowak v KC: P3 W1 L1 T1 ... Bob Gansler vs. DC: P16 W5 L6 D5

    D.C. United couldn't build on a first victory since the season opener, falling 1-0 to the New England Revolution on Saturday afternoon at Gillette Stadium. United fell back into a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with the MetroStars with eight points from seven matches, two points ahead of the Columbus Crew but 11 points adrift of the league-leading Revolution.

  • Both teams struggled to create coherent chances, and it was a Taylor Twellman goal just before the hour that was the difference. But the Revolution defense held firm, extending the club's shutout streak to 368 minutes - their last goal allowed coming in the last meeting against United, a wild 4-3 New England win on April 23.
  • Pat Noonan created the goal, turning Mike Petke inside-out with a mazy run on the right before sliding a pass to Twellman in the heart of the area. His first shot was blocked by Nick Rimando, but he was quickest to the rebound to poke it home for his fourth goal on the season.
  • United coach Peter Nowak made no changes to the team that started in the 3-1 victory against the Columbus Crew the weekend before, the first time this season he had run out the same team in back-to-back matches.
  • Here's Nowak's team (3-1-4-2): Nick Rimando - Brandon Prideaux, Bobby Boswell, Mike Petke (Bryan Namoff 87) - Clyde Simms - Ben Olsen (Brian Carroll 87), Freddy Adu (Dema Kovalenko 72), Christian Gomez, Joshua Gros - Alecko Eskandarian, Jaime Moreno
  • "We're supposed to be better in the final third," Nowak said. "There were moments when we ran into each other's way, when we doubled ourselves in one line. We didn't stretch the field. We're supposed to keep the ball moving and it wasn't there. The chances will come when you really want to make and create the chances. It wasn't our best day offensively."


  • After just a second victory on the campaign, United failed to build on it with the loss in New England, which brought some more soul-searching.
  • "I've talked to the players about it and I know they are very disappointed," Coach Peter Nowak said to The Washington Post. "We expected a little bit more, but it's always good to have this kind of honesty and not to point fingers. We know we are better than that and we are supposed to be better than that. We know we are not at our best right now."
  • While Nowak kept his starting team the same for a second successive week, Freddy Adu was taken off after 72 minutes. "If you play 70 minutes, I don't think the last 20 minutes will change anything," Nowak said.
  • Winger Steve Guppy is still out with Achilles tenditinis, and Santino Quaranta was able to join the team for full training this week either.
  • Freddy Adu scored on a 41st-minute penalty kick, the winning goal in the U.S. under-20 national team's 2-1 victory against Canada in Blaine, Minn. on Wednesday night.

    The Kansas City Wizards exploded out of their up-and-down start to the season with a quality 4-0 victory against the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium. It was the first win since the season opener for the Wizards, but they hold sole possession of third place in the Eastern Conference with nine points from six matches, one behind second-place Chicago and 10 behind the pace-setting New England Revolution.

  • The Wizards hit for a three-goal blitz in nine minutes early in the match to cruise to victory. Alex Zotinca put the visitors ahead after 17 minutes, after Chris Klein had gotten to the endline and pulled back a low cross that the Romanian hammered off the inside of the post. Then Josh Wolff doubled the lead six minutes later, sent through by Davy Arnaud before hitting a shot high under the bar on the run.
  • Arnaud made it three in the 26th minute, this time Wolff playing provider, sending a low cross that his strike partner turned home from the heart of the goal area. Wolff capped the scoreline three minutes from full time, nearly losing the ball on a breakaway after rounding Busch but still able to recover and turn the ball home from an acute angle that deflected home off a Crew defender.
  • Wizards coach Bob Gansler made one change to the team that settled for a 3-3 draw with FC Dallas the week before. Shavar Thomas made his first appearance in 2005, coming into central defense as Nick Garcia moved into a midfield role. Jack Jewsbury was the odd man out.
  • Here's Gansler's team (4-4-2): Bo Oshoniyi - Nick Garcia, Jimmy Conrad, Shavar Thomas, Jose Burciaga Jr. -Chris Klein, Kerry Zavagnin, Sasha Victorine, Alex Zotinca (Brian Roberts 80) - Josh Wolff (Scott Sealy 89), Davy Arnaud (Jack Jewsbury 88)
  • "It was all about focusing for 90 minutes and commitment for 90 minutes. As I have said before, we have done this, that and the other thing, but today we put together a grandiose first half," Gansler said. "In the second half we said we need a 0-0 mentality and we have to win the second half as well. It wasn't as pretty as the first half for sure, and we would have liked to have more exquisite ball possession. The guys have every right to be proud for playing and extremely good game."


  • While Gansler wouldn't put any credit in the lineup change, it was a fairly fundamental change. Alex Zotinca - who had moved into central midfield with the loss of Diego Gutierrez to injury - moved to a wide left role, while Sasha Victorine moved from right back into the midfield. Nick Garcia moved to right back as Shavar Thomas was given his first start of the year.
  • "Alex did decently [in central midfield] the game before and Sasha is extremely comfortable there. We needed to do better in terms of defending and holding the ball at midfield, and I think both of those guys contributed heavily to that," said Gansler. "Also, it allowed Zavagnin to stay a little more central and be the guy who plays into those passing lanes to the opponents' center forward. Kerry did well closing that down; Sasha and Alex did well .... We needed to shore up defensively a little bit and Shavar has been very good in practice and in the reserve games. We decided that he needed an opportunity to go from the first minute on."
  • Gansler was most pleased with the defensive effort - especially after having allowed two late goals against FC Dallas in seeing two points dribble away the weekend before.
  • "Against Dallas we allowed ourselves to be exposed because we gave them looks where they could knock the ball into [forward Carlos] Ruiz or [partner Eddie] Johnson for the combinations they were looking for," he said. "We wanted to make sure that [Columbus forwards Edson] Buddle and [Cornell] Glen or Buddle and [Ante] Razov weren't going to get those looks."
  • Josh Wolff has four assists on the season, which is already just one shy of his career-best single-season assist total.

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