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Los Angeles Vs. Kansas City: A Play-By-Play (and Other Miscellany)

Jo-Ryan SalazarSenior Analyst IApril 25, 2010

CARSON, CA - MAY 30:  Landon Donovan #10 of the Los Angeles Galaxy paces the ball on the attack against the Kansas City Wizards during the MLS match at The Home Depot Center on May 30, 2009 in Carson, California. The Wizards and Galaxy played to a 1-1 draw.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

T-180 minutes to kickoff: I love barbecue. Kansas City barbecue is characterized by its use of different types of meat (including pulled pork, pork ribs, burnt ends, smoked sausage, beef brisket, beef ribs, smoked/grilled chicken, smoked turkey, and sometimes fish) along with its sweet and tangy sauces which are generally intended for liberal use.

A majority of restaurants also offer a spicy variety of the staple sauce. Ribs are mostly pork, but also come in beef varieties and can come in a number of different cuts. Burnt ends, the flavorful pieces of meat cut from the ends of a smoked beef or pork brisket, are a popular dish in many Kansas City area barbecue restaurants. Kansas City barbecue is also known for its many side dishes, including a unique style of baked beans, french fries, cole slaw, and other soul food staples.

T-175: But while Kansas City, Missouri is a city known for slow-cooking flesh on bone over an open fire, that's not where the Wizards are based in. After a long stint at Arrowhead Stadium, the Wiz are playing at CommunityAmerica Ballpark as a temporary home, while the new house at Village West is being built.

T-170: CommunityAmerica Ballpark is also the home of the Kansas City T-Bones, a baseball team that competes in the Northern League of independent minor league baseball. The T-Bones' only league title came in 2008.

T-160: Line-ups.

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LOS ANGELES GALAXY

Manager: Bruce Arena

Formation: 4-4-2 Diamond

Colors: White tops with blue and gold accents, white shorts, white socks


1 Donovan Ricketts


16 Greg Berhalter ---- 4 Omar Gonzalez ---- 20 A.J. de LA Garza ---- 2 Todd Dunivant


26 Michael Stephens


19 Juninho ---- 11 Chris Birchall


18 Mike Magee


14 Edson Buddle ---- 10 Landon Donovan (C)


Substitutes:

21 Alan Gordon F

27 Bryan Jordan F

17 Tristan Bowen F

9 Jovan Kirovski M

7 Chris Klein M

88 Alex Cazumba D

12 Josh Saunders GK



KANSAS CITY WIZARDS

Manager: Peter Vermes

Formation: 4-4-2

Colors: Light blue tops, light blue shorts, light blue socks


1 Jimmy Nielsen


2 Michael Harrington ---- 6 Pablo Escobar ---- 5 Matt Biesler ---- 17 Roger Espinoza


22 Davy Arnaud (C) ---- 8 Stephane Auvray ---- 14 Jack Jewsbury ---- 11 Ryan Smith


23 Kei Kamara ---- 16 Josh Wolff


Substitutes:


9 Teal Bunbury F

27 Birahim Diop M

10 Santiago Hirsig M

4 Craig Rocastle M

15 Aaron Hohlbein D

7 Chance Myers D

18 Eric Kronberg G

Referee: Hilario Grajeda 

Referee's Assistants: Corey Rockwell; Adam Garner 

4th Official: Alex Prus 

T-140: Kansas City's supporters stand in a section of CommunityAmerica Ballpark called the Cauldron. The largest of these groups is the Hillcrest Syndicate, named after Hillcrest Road where the would-be new home of the Wizards passed through.

Other major supporter groups include the Southern Voodoo, KC Outlaws and the Yardbirds. No, not the band known for their song "For Your Love," or those Yardbirds who turned into Led Zeppelin, the other group of Yardbirds dressed in Kansas City's colors.

T-120: Two hours to kickoff. "Ain't Nobody Gonna Stop Us Now" by the Blackpool Lights is KC's official anthem. Couldn't they use a more well known tune like a similarly named number penned by the last musical songwriting firm of McFadden & Whitehead?

T-110: For those of you local to the Los Angeles area, head down to Belmont Shore in Long Beach and KC Branaghan's on 5734 E. 2nd Street. Great eats, and plenty of giveaways on the cheap.

T-100: Los Angeles's next three matches include their first-ever match against the Philadelphia Union and the Sons of Ben on May 1, a May 5 trip to Dick's Sporting Goods Park to clash with the Colorado Rapids and a road trip to the hostile confines of Qwest Field to take on the Seattle Sounders on May 8. Three matches in eight days...not bad.

T-95: Kansas City's next three contests include road tests on May 1 against the Houston Dynamo and May 5 against the struggling DC United, before returning home to host the Chicago Fire on May 15.

T-90: One and a half hours to go, and the crowd begins to fill in the seats of this minor-league ballpark.

T-85: Players that are questionable for today's contest include DF Gregg Berhalter (L knee soreness); MF Dema Kovalenko (R hamstring strain); MF Eddie Lewis (L foot contusion); MF Clint Mathis (L knee surgery); DF Sean Franklin (L ankle sprain) and DF Leonardo (R quad strain).

T-80: For the Wizards, midfielder Zoltan Hercegfalvi is out with a right knee sprain and a torn ACL. Defender Jimmy Conrad has a left calf sprain and will be a game-time decision, while midfielder Stephane Auvray may play in spite of pain in his right knee.

T-75: The Galaxy leads this series. Los Angeles has won 21 matches, Kansas City won 16, and nine matches have resulted in draws.

T-70: Look for Omar Gonzalez to be crucial in the set pieces offensively and defensively. Also, KC should look to Smith's speed as an advantage in his matchup with Donovan. If the Wizards allow even the slightest space for the attack, Buddle will make them pay dearly.

T-65: Earlier this week, FC Dallas and Seattle played to a 2-2 draw. Other matches that will be taking place include the New York Red Bulls taking on the Union, the Columbus Crew facing off against Real Salt Lake, New England hosting the Rapids, the Chicago Fire vs. the Houston Dynamo at Toyota Park and Chivas USA vs. San Jose at the HDC. Tomorrow, Toronto FC will face Seattle at BMO Field.

T-30: Like Houston, this is a short pitch for the players to work with, making this a shooter's park. Some light rain is also in the forecast for tonight's match, which will be played in the low 50's.

T-5: The New York Red Bulls have defeated the Union earlier today, 2-1. Columbus is leading Real Salt Lake 1-0 and New England and Colorado are tied 1-1.

FIRST HALF START: 5:37 PM

1' - And we're off. After some exchanges, Ricketts takes a goal kick. 

2' - A knock of Buddle by Pablo Escobar, but play on, says the official.

3' - Shot goes wide for Kei Kamara. Goal kick.

5' - Ricketts is doing some work early with the Wizards getting the shots off. Foul on Michael Stephens.

6' - So early in the match, the Kansas city Wizards are gaining the upper hand in the possession battle, with more action in the Galaxy's own third. Can the G's adjust?

7' - Sean Franklin did not make the trip due to his injury. Several others also stayed home for this one.

8' - That initial corner for KC never materialized. It's another goal kick for the Big Cat from Montego Bay. I stand corrected. From this point on you will see me refer to our goalkeeper as "The Big Cat from Montego Bay." God bless Freddie Notes and the Rudies.

9' - That was a wide volley from Donovan that hooked left. Goal kick.

11' - Another goal kick. Buddle is called for the foul, and here come those Wizards. I believe there will be at least 20 shots for both teams by the end of tonight, regardless of the score.

12' - That's the result of playing in a pitch as tight as this one. I did not mean that in a slang sense.

13' - Another ambitious shot, this time from Chris Birchall. Everybody on the Galaxy side is taking their aim at diversifying the goal-arsenal. 

15' - The Wiz resets. Let's see what they cook up this time. It's a handball for Kei Kamara. No goal. Oh, have mercy Miss Percy. That was going to be Kamara's third of the season.

16' - Big bullet dodged for LA. Now let's see what they do. Surprised he didn't get carded for that, the Sierra Leone international.

17' - Long ball by Stephane Auvray to Ricketts. Almost an own goal on the clearance. Corner Los Angeles.

18' - First chance of the night for Landon Donovan off the set piece. He was off on that one. Stephens with a volley inside, and the KC defense is there.

19' - Impressive so far, and it almost was 1-0 to the home side. Not bad football for a couple of teams playing on a baseball pitch, don't you think?

20' - A throw-in for Michael Harrington. LA is set to dispossess. A foul outside the box, and a free kick chance for the Wizards.

21' - Arnaud and Jewsbury to take this one. Side netting. Goal kick.

22' - We are 22 minutes and change into this match and it's scoreless. Here comes Kei Kamara. The bounces go back to Ricketts. And Todd Dunivant is a bit shaken up, but is otherwise all right.

23' - Sportsmanlike act from Arnaud, too. That's what you would expect out of the captain from KC.

24' - Here comes Los Angeles. De La Garza with a throw-in. I haven't seen the G's adjust their game to cater to this surface. They really should be trailing by now, but Kamara spaced out on the would-be goal early on.

25' - Leonardo is fouled in the G's own half. Manager Bruce Arena looks on, and he could be up to making some changes after seeing the state of affairs so far.

27' - All Dunivant could do there was clear that baby out. Here's another corner for Kansas City.  Doesn't amount to much, and neither does the second one.

28' - Juninho was marked on that possession. A save for Denmark's Jim Nielsen.

29' - Sounds like an American name to me...Jim Nielsen. Ah, the American melting pot.

30' - Great physical play from both sides as we complete 30 minutes of play here at the CommunityAmerica Ballpark. Can't they call it CommunityAmerica Soccer Park when the Wizards play?

31' - I like the skill of these midfielders. Point and counterpoint.

32' - Near-sellout crowd at CAB. Rain? What rain? Those are just the association football gods extending their greetings with tears of joy.

33' - Ouch. LA were not in rhythm on that one. And KC is intent to make them pay.

34' - Davy Arnaud is a master marksman. Little indecision right there.

Yellow card 19 Juninho

Los Angeles Galaxy

Not sure if the official fell for a possible simulation tactic, but it's a yellow nonetheless for Juninho Gomes.

35 - I wonder who will win the Riverside Copa L.A. in late May? Hmmm...

36' - Jack Jewsbury stuck in a Galaxy sandwich.

37' - Not enough mustard on that hot dog for Landon Donovan. Easy save for Nielsen.

38' - Too much mustard on the passes, Landon. Ever heard of moderation?

39' - Birchall almost gave up another chance for  Kansas City. Good thing Donovan Ricketts was on that ball.

40' - Kansas City on the attack again. Goal kick  for Ricketts. Not so fast, Ryan Smith.

41' - All signs are pointing to a scoreless first half. The Wiz resets. So does Los Angeles. Edson Buddle is not getting the touches he wants.

42' - Good tackle, play on, says Hilario Grajeda.

43' - A heartening slip by Landon Donovan. Man, that pitch is a riot. I bet you the fellows from KC on Big Soccer will be playing that on YouTube again and again.

44' - And you know what? I would do the same. Here's A.J. De La Garza, as we head to first half stoppage time. No one on that dummy pass, but the backline bails the midfield out.

45' - Only one minute of stoppage for this half. 

45' + 1' - Wide shot for Birchall. Bless his heart, he'll want that one back.

45' + 1' It's halftime. And the Wizards players are arguing while the Galaxy head to the locker room intent on making some adjustments.

HALFTIME

Los Angeles Galaxy 0

Kansas City Wizards 0

SECOND HALF START: 6:39 P.M.

46' - The second half begins. Some changes need to be made. A little diversion. Ahem.

Scar: Oh Zazu, do sing something different. Something with a little more bounce in it.

Zazu: It's a Small Pitch after all...

Scar: No, no! Anything but that!

Offsides on Landon Donovan there.

47' - The KC defense swallows up the space made by the Galaxy attackers. 

48' - Foul on Ryan Smith for a free kick just outside the 18-yard box. Well-defended. Dunivant could not get to that one, and it's a goal kick for Jimmy Nielsen.

49' - Greg Berhalter marking Kei Kamara on the transition. No dice on the ensuing possession.

50' - A couple of finals here for you as Kamara crashes into Ricketts on that series: Colorado defeats New England 2-1 and Guillermo Barros Schelotto's first-half goal makes it a 1-0 victory for the Columbus Crew over Real Salt Lake.

51' - Juninho got whistled for simulation. He'll be best to lay low for the rest of the match.

52' - These Wizards are reeling from crashing out of the US Open Cup to go with dropping their first defeat of the MLS season against Seattle.

53' - Here come the Wizards. It's Jack Jewsbury.  Ricketts goes off his line to grab that one.

54' - Good shot by Arnaud but Ricketts that one out. Ryan Smith was going to get the assist on that one. Boy, hasn't he been clutch for the Galaxy tonight.

55' - Peter Vermes and his technical staff, as well as Bruce Arena, look on in anticipation of the breakthrough goal that can determine this contest. Todd Dunivant calls the shots defensively.

56' - Chicago is leading Houston 1-0 right now. Later tonight, Chivas USA will face the San Jose Earthquakes.

57' - A diving save off the Jack Jewsbury volley. Brilliant. And the cards continue...

Yellow card 11 Chris Birchall

Los Angeles Galaxy

Not a smart challenge by Birchall. He got his studs up on that one, and the caution arrives in  due time.

58' - Another scoop from Donovan Ricketts.

59' - Throw-in here for Los Angeles. The G's reset. The Galaxy are still figuring out this pitch. I don't think they will be able to with all the long passes they are dishing out in KC's own third.

60' - And speaking of thirds, we are two-thirds of the way into this match, and would you believe it...it's still scoreless. Offsides on Donovan.

61' - An incidental foul by Birchall. No second yellow. Will be a dubious decision if it is issued, but here is a set piece.

62' - And that was high into the Cauldron. Please? Was anyone in that part of the neighborhood, other than the supporters?

63' - Goal kick for Nielsen. Pablo Escobar's speed has been money for the Wizards, in spite of no goals to show for it. A clearance also. Real money, Escobar is.

64' - That had to go safely in Nielsen hands. I think we may see some substitutions coming soon. Offsides on Buddle.

65' - Here is why Buddle may not have a strong case to be on the national team: at times he is indecisive in what he wants to do when he has the touch.

66' - Goal kick for Ricketts. Transition time for the WIzards. A.J. De La Garza clears that out of trouble, and Landon Donovan's chance on the transition is  squandered by Stephane Auvray and Jimmy Nielsen. This is end-to-end football, ladies and gentlemen on B/R and The View!

67' - Pablo Escobar is shaken up. Now the fatigue settles in.

Substitution Kansas City Wizards

IN 15 Aaron Hohlbein

OUT Pablo Escobar

68' - Substitution Los Angeles Galaxy

IN 9 Jovan Kirovski

OUT 11 Chris Birchall

70' - No offsides, says Grajeda. Jewsbury is jammed in the Wizards' attacking third. Set piece time. Wide right.

71' - Would you believe it; there are some Toronto FC fans in attendance. TFC will be traveling to the HDC to face the G's on May 17.

72' - Kei Kamara, that was not a smart foul. Of course though, he is sportsmanlike in marking Omar Gonzalez. I think this will be a scoreless game. Houston trails Chicago 2-0.

73' - Action inside the penalty box of Los Angeles, and no foul. Arnaud is pleading his case and he gets a yellow for fouling Greg Berhalter. He is okay, though

74' - Yellow card 22 Davy Arnaud

Kansas City Wizards

The chippiness is settling in...

75' - Substitution Los Angeles Galaxy:

IN 7 Chris Klein

OUT 19 Juninho

Klein spent a number of his MLS years as a member of the Wizards. He is still a fan favorite, even though he now dons the Galaxy strip.

76' - 325 appearances for Chris Klein, the third-most all time in the league.

77' - Jimmy Nielsen had to be careful on that one. An overhead attempt for the Galaxy amounts to nothing. Corner for the G's.

78' - That didn't go well, and here come the Wiz on the transition.

79' - It's a defensive exhibition out there, and Josh Wolff will want that chance back.

80' - Kirovski's opportunity is blocked.

Substitution Kansas City Wizards:

IN 7 Chance Myers

OUT 16 Josh Wolff

81' - Another big save for Donovan Ricketts.

82' - Substitution Los Angeles Galaxy

IN 21 Alan Gordon

OUT 18 Mike Magee

85' - Substitution Kansas City Wizards

IN 27 Birahim Diop

OUT 23 Kei Kamara

86' - One of the users on twitter is being a bit cheeky right now, saying that the Galaxy are already leading 1-0.

87' - We've yet to see that. This defending by the Wizards is solid. And A.J. De La Garza is down. He gets up after walking and jogging with a limp.

88' - Gonzales marks Ryan Smith with ease. It looks like Buddle's scoring run will end here.

89' - This has been some solid defending from the Wizards.

90' - Three minutes of stoppage time. A cross for Alan Gordon amounts to nothing.

90' + 2' - All hands on deck for this one. Throw-in for the Wizards. Great defending.

90' + 3' - They will be happy to split the points here, the Galaxy. One final corner for KC punched away from Jimmy Nielsen, and yet one more corner for Kansas City. And that didn't go well, either.

But then again, it's hasn't been anyone's day offensively. It's been defense, defense, defense. The Kansas City Wizards may be reeling the Los Angeles Galaxy in with the scoreless draw tonight, but LA is still undefeated heading into the month of May.

FINAL


LOS ANGELES GALAXY 0


KANSAS CITY WIZARDS 0

Stay tuned for my take on this contest here on Bleacher Report and the View from Victoria's Street.

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