Big win tonight in KCK, as we picked up a vital three points toward the final playoff spot. We're currently double and triple checking all the permutations, but it looks like we'll occupy one of the final playoff spots after the weekend no matter if Colorado AND D.C. United win tomorrow. We own the group tie-breaker against DC, RSL and NY, teams we COULD end up tied with after the weekend.
· Following the match, Kansas City sits 9-10-9, 36 pts in a tie for 4th place in the Eastern Conference with the New York Red Bulls. Kansas City owns the head-to-head tie-breaker with New York with a 1-0-1 record against the team this season.
· Kansas City will occupy the final playoff place at the end of the weekend thanks to owning the group tie-breaker against the New York Red Bulls, Real Salt Lake and D.C. United, teams the Wizards could be tied with after tomorrow’s matches.
· Kansas City is now 16-11-7 all-time against New England, including an 8-6-3 record at home.
· Kansas City is now 8-2-4 at home this season, including a 6-0-3 record in their last nine.
· Defender Jimmy Conrad now has six goals on the season, good for the team lead and a career high.
· Conrad currently registers 2nd on the all-time MLS list for goals by a central defender in a single season.
· Lubos Kubik scored seven goals in 1998 for the Chicago Fire.
· Conrad now has 17 career goals and is now 7th all-time in goals by a defender.
· Midfielder Jack Jewsbury recorded his 6th assist of the season on the play.
· Jewsbury leads the team and has set a new career high.
· He now has 14 career assists.
· Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman and defender Jimmy Conrad are the only Wizards to play all 2520 minutes so far this season.
· They entered the match as two of eight players in MLS to play every minute for their team thus far in 2008.
· Hartman recorded his 10th shutout of the season, good for a 1st place tie with Jon Busch of Chicago, who plays tomorrow.
· Hartman now has 136 career wins and 77 career shutouts, both MLS all-time records.
· Hartman made two saves and now has 1125 for his MLS career.
· He trails only former Wizards standout Tony Meola (1136) for the all-time MLS lead.
· Hartman has 112 saves on the year, good for 1st in MLS ahead of Busch of Chicago.
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS HEAD COACH CURT ONALFO
On the game
“It was an extremely solid performance. All 11 guys on the field were fighting for each other. I thought tactically we moved very well on both sides of the ball. There were times when we played very well and times we didn’t play as well as I would have liked. But we got three points and that’s what we needed.”
On the playoff situation
“We’re not going to get too excited. We still need more points over the last two weeks to secure a playoff spot. It’s a matter of regrouping and enhancing the things we need to get better on to get ready for San Jose. This win gives us confidence, though, that’s for sure.”
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS GOALKEEPER KEVIN HARTMAN
On the Wizards closing out the game
“I think it shows a lot about how far we’ve come as a team. There was a point in the last four or five minutes of the game where we were just possessing the ball down in the corner, and I don’t know if we would have done that earlier in the season. We’ve matured a lot.”
On recording his 10th shutout of the season
“The guys were tenacious tonight. It was really a team effort. The guys worked very hard defensively tonight, and it was a real confidence builder to shutout a very good New England team.”
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS MIDFIELDER JACK JEWSBURY
On the game
“It was a hard-fought game. We knew we needed to get three points, and we did it, so we’re pretty happy overall with our performance. Plus we got another shutout at home, which we really pride ourselves on.
On Jimmy Conrad’s goal that Jewsbury assisted
“It’s something we’ve worked on, just putting it on a spot. Jimmy’s done a great job all year of making a run and getting his head on the ball and tonight that proved to be the game-winner and a huge goal for us.”
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS DEFENDER JIMMY CONRAD
On the Wizards strong second half
“At halftime we had a good team talk, and we just decided that we were going to go for it. A tie wouldn’t really have done us any good. We needed the full three points and I thought in the second half we did a much better job of being aggressive and limiting their chances on the defensive side.”
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