Against the top team in the league and on the road, the Wizards couldn’t make many mistakes if they expected a positive result. The boys in blue made several on Saturday, the first coming in the 4th minute of the game as Columbus opened the scoring on a Guillermo Barros Schelotto freekick. Tyson Wahl hacked down the Argentine 30 yards from goal after being nutmegged, and then was beaten by Chad Marshall on the ensuing service to the backpost. Marshall’s high arching header looped across the goal mouth where three Wizards (Jimmy Conrad, Jack Jewsbury, and Michael Harrington) were outjumped by Adam Moffat, whose header beat a hesitant to come out Kevin Hartman.
The Crew’s lead was then doubled through a cheeky bicycle kick through ball played by Alejandro Moreno. Miscommunication between Hartman and rookie Chance Myers allowed the speedy Robbie Rogers to tap the ball into the open net in the 34th minute. Two minutes later, Myers’ fellow first round draft pick Roger Espinoza complicated matters when he was sent off for a deliberate forearm to the chest of Frankie Hejduk.
Lucky to be at the half only down two, the Wizards second-half performance was sparked by the halftime insertion of Scott Sealy. The Trinidadian drew a soft penalty when he went down after a Danny O’Rourke shirt tug was whistled instantly in the 78th minute. Claudio Lopez converted it for the Wizards, hitting it hard and low down the middle. Why didn’t Jewsbury step up to the spot, as he did in the Wizards only other penalty attempt of the season? Listeners to Thursday’s Jimmy Conrad Show know that there was some gamesmanship going on between Jewsbury and former Wizard and current Crew keeper Will Hesmer. The two bantered about their confidence facing a familiar foe should the situation arise on Saturday. Sure enough it did and Hesmer — 2 for 2 on pk saves this season prior to Saturday — was forced to face newly acquired and therefore unfamiliar El Piojo.
The Wizards are off next week before returning to action at New York on May 17th. After starting 2-0, Kansas City has gone 1-3-1 in its last five, scoring just three goals in the stretch (two from the pk spot).
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