The MetroStars had two victories in two games away from home this season, but Wednesday's 1-0 defeat to the Kansas City Wizards at Arrowhead Stadium was anything but successful.
"I just felt that we didn't have a good enough night with the ball," MetroStars coach Bob Bradley said.
The MetroStars had earned three points and scored three goals in each of their two previous away games, Apr. 30 at Colorado and May 14 at Chicago. But the MetroStars got neither goals nor points from their first midweek game of the season. The fifth-place MetroStars had a chance to move up to third place in the Eastern Conference standings, but are currently stalled on nine points from eight games.
That may have been illustrated best by forward John Wolyniec's scoring opportunity in the 31st minute. Wolyniec got behind the Wizards defense, but could only deflect Youri Djorkaeff's long, lofted pass from the left wing. The ball caught Wolyniec between strides and he was only able to deflect toward the goal. Wizards goalkeeper Bo Oshoniyi awkwardly punched the ball away and defender Jimmy Conrad cleared it from the goal.
"He did very well to get behind the defense," Bradley said. "Youri gave him a great ball. He just couldn't arrange his feet and get a good shot off. That happens sometimes."
The Wizards scored the game's only goal with a quick passing combination in the 48th minute as Davy Arnaud finished off a play that started with a MetroStars turnover in their own half. But Bo Oshoniyi did his part to protect it at the other end, stopping shots from Wolyniec and Djorkaeff to preserve the advantage.
"We did have opportunities also in the second half but unfortunately this was not a day that any of them went in," Amado Guevara said. "I think one good thing is that we had opportunities. Now we have to work on finishing those opportunities."
Both teams played a very compact shape in the first half to cut down on their opponents scoring opportunities. Then after the goal, even though the MetroStars were able to test Oshoniyi a little, neither team was able to sustain any real attacking pressure.
"I don't think we created as many chances as we have in previous games," MetroStars midfielder Eddie Gaven said. "I don't know why. Maybe it's because guys aren't running as much. (Kansas City) definitely had a very organized defense."
Robert Whitman is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.