Galaxy clip Wizards in preseason contest
The Kansas City Wizards fell 1-0 to the Los Angeles Galaxy on Friday evening, Kansas City’s fifth preseason matchup and the first of two for the weekend against the Southern California side.
The Galaxy had Edson Buddle to thank for their goal, as the striker earned a penalty kick just before halftime that Gregg Berhalter buried for the game’s lone tally.
“It was actually good for us,” Wizards Manager Peter Vermes said of the loss. “It wound up being a game that gave us the opportunity to see areas that we need to work on, so we can continue to build our training regimen around it.”
The Wizards started the match with a lineup that was very similar the one used against Chivas USA on Wednesday, with the only change being Eric Kronberg replacing Louis Crayton at goalkeeper. Los Angeles began with a strong side as well, with Buddle, midfielder Chris Klein and Berhalter starting the game for the Galaxy.
Though Los Angeles had the better of play in the opening minutes, the Wizards still managed to create chances. Jimmy Conrad fed a long ball forward for Kei Kamara that the Sierra Leone forward nearly finished, and Davy Arnaud had a shot blocked not long after.
“We had a very good approach to the goal,” Vermes said. “There was some really god combination play in the first half between Josh Wolff, Davy Arnaud, Kei Kamara and Ryan Smith. Midfielders Stéphane Auvray and Birahim Diop won quite a few of the balls in the middle and got us into the attack quickly. That’s been a big positive.”
The Galaxy would take the lead at the end of the first half thanks to a penalty kick, with Kronberg adjudged to have taken down Buddle in the box. Gregg Berhalter netted the ensuing penalty kick, with just a few minutes to go before the halftime interval.
As they did against Chivas earlier this week, the Wizards came out in the second half with a completely different lineup, while the Galaxy kept their starters in the game. However, all the changes couldn’t help the Wizards as the Galaxy held strong and defended their 1-0 advantage until the final whistle.
The two teams will meet again in just two days, this time at The Soccer Stadium on the campus of Arizona State University. After that game, the Wizards will conclude their preseason camp in Arizona with games against the Columbus Crew on March 4 and local Division II school Grand Canyon University on March 7.
The team will return to Kansas City on March 8 and resume normal training ahead of the team’s MLS season-opener March 27 at CommunityAmerica Ballpark against D.C. United.