KANSAS CITY, Mo., July 24 (UPI) -- A refocused MetroStars defense and the goal scoring of Rodrigo Faria and Mamadou Diallo carried the MetroStars to a 3-1 victory Wednesday night over the Kansas City Wizards.
The MetroStars climbed above the .500 mark for the first time since May.
Faria put the MetroStars ahead in the 22nd minute with his seventh goal of the season. Defender Joe Addo played a wide pass to defender Ted Chronopoulos down the left flank. Chronopoulos sent a cross to Faria at the penalty spot, from where he volleyed a left-footed shot past Wizards goalkeeper Bo Oshoniyi.
Oshoniyi was making his tenth start of the season in place of Tony Meola, who was serving a one-game suspension for a red card in last Saturday's 2-2 deadlock with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
The MetroStars stretched their lead four minutes later on a goal from Diallo. Williams started the play with a pass from his own defensive end that found a streaking Faria in the Kansas City end of the field.
Faria one-timed a header to Diallo at the penalty arc, where he took one touch and blasted a right-footed shot past Oshoniyi. Diallo has scored in four straight games. He has 10 goals and two assists in eight games with the MetroStars and 11 goals and three assists on the year.
Igor Simutenkov brought the Wizards within one goal in the 61st minute. The native Russian used a deft touch to beat two MetroStars defenders down the left wing and into the penalty area.
Simutenkov stepped up to the penalty spot and his shot was blocked by Howard only to have the rebound bounce directly back to Simutenkov, who promptly put the rebound into the right side netting for his third goal of the season.
Faria put the game out of reach in stoppage time of the second half with his second goal of the game and eighth of the season.