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Wizards fall to Toronto FC in season opener, 3-2

In three matches last season, Toronto FC was only able to muster two goals against the Wizards.

On Saturday night alone, the Reds topped that number, defeating Kansas City 3-2 in the season opener for both teams in front of a sellout crowd of 10,385 at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

The problems started early on for Kansas City.

Toronto controlled the pace of the first half of the opener and led 1-0 at halftime.

The opening goal of the season was set up when Toronto’s Jim Brennan took the ball away from Kansas City rookie Graham Zusi at midfield.

Brennan then was able to get the ball ahead to forward Dwayne De Rosario. He then got the ball back to a streaking Brennan who fired it past a sliding Jimmy Conrad and goalie Kevin Hartman for the score from 7 yards out in the 33rd minute.

Meanwhile, Kansas City struggled to do much offensively early on attempts that weren’t set up by free kicks.

Its best chance to score came in the 7th minute when off a free kick, Jack Jewsbury got a foot on a ball but slid it wide.

Kansas City had just one shot on goal in the first half.

At the half, the Wizards made a move to try and create more offensive chances, subbing in midfielder Roger Espinoza for defender Aaron Holhlbein.

Almost immediately Kansas City was able to possess the ball more.

But with the decision to bring in the extra midfielder, Kansas City opened itself more in the back, resulting in a pair of second half goals for Toronto FC.

In the 53rd minute, Amado Guevera hauled in a pass with his back to the goal. He turned left towards the goal and fired it into the upper corner.

That set off a back and forth scoring attack over the next 23 minutes.

First, the Wizards broke their shutout when Davy Arnaud took a pass from Claudio Lopez down the middle of the field. Arnaud from 25 yards sent in a left-footed shot past Toronto keeper Stefan Frei. It didn’t take long for Guevera and the Reds to respond. In the 62nd minute, De Rosario fired a shot that ricocheted off Hartman and to a waiting Guevera who fired in his second goal of the game.

Kansas City was able to respond in the 76th minute, again with Arnaud. He took a pass from Santiago Hirsig, who entered the game for Zusi in the 67th minute, and sent a laser beam in for a goal to keep Kansas City’s hopes alive at 3-2.

Arnaud’s second goal marked the final goal in the match however.

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