for this game

Hartman, Wizards survive D.C. United attack in draw

Oct 6, 2007 - 4:06 AM KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman withstood a strong attack from D.C. United to help the Kansas City Wizards earn a 1-1 tie Friday.

The Wizards (10-11-7) earned one point to move to 37 overall and maintain their fourth-place standing in the Eastern Conference - four points ahead of the Chicago Fire and six in front of the Columbus Crew in the chase for the final two playoff spots.

Hartman stopped six shots - including the 1,000th of his MLS career - as the United's high-scoring offense kept the pressure on for most of the game.

"We weathered the storm in the first half," Hartman said. "There was a little bit of bad defending and I thought we were a little slow defensively. But I thought we needed guys to step up, and they did. I think it's a fair result. We've won one against them and lost one, and now we've got a tie. To play on a level with the caliber of D.C. United proves we can play with anybody."

"We just played D.C. - arguably the best team in the league - to a draw," Kansas City coach Curt Onalfo said. "We were pretty solid, for the most part, and had a 1-0 lead. It would have been nice to get the three points, but we'll take the one."

Scott Sealy gave Kansas City's sputtering offense its lone goal in the 44th minute, driving a right-footer into the lower left corner of the net from 21 yards out for his fifth goal of the campaign.

The tally was rare for an offense that had been shut out four times in its previous 10 matches - a stretch that has seen the Wizards win just twice.

"This will help us build confidence going into the playoffs," Wizards defender Jose Burciaga, Jr. said. "But we've got to get better. We know we have to have a win. We have to get three points."

Christian Gomez collected United's only score on a left-footer from 18 yards out to tie the game in the 56th minute. It was his eighth goal of the season.

"I think we could have prevented that play earlier up the field," Onalfo said. "Gomez made a good play. He's an excellent player who can change the game at any point."

United (16-6-6) improved to 54 points to lead the MLS, extending their lead over second-place New England (14-6-7) to five points.

With the tie, D.C. United stretched their unbeaten streak to 12 games - the league's longest this season - with their last loss coming on July 22 to the New York Red Bulls.

United goalkeeper Troy Perkins is 10-0-2 over his last 12 matches, having allowed just nine goals during that span. His team will finish the regular season with a pair of home games, starting with the Fire on October 13.

"We're committed to giving ourselves at least a point (for a tie) in every match by not giving up anything," Perkins said. "Our defense was under pressure tonight, but we came out and fought to get a draw."

This contest also was the final home match of the regular season for the Wizards, who face the Red Bulls on the road on October 13.