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Kansas City Wizards 2003
2003 Club by Club
The 2003 Kansas City Wizards were once again led by the goalkeeping of Tony Meola and the scoring of Preki. Forward Igor Simutenkov, an import from Russia via Spain, contributed to the attack. The team began the season with a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory against D.C. United, and ended the regular season 1-1 draw against the same team.
The Wizards came within one game of MLS Cup, but lost a hard-fought match in overtime 3-2 in San Jose against the Earthquakes. While the team struggled to a 3-6-6 record on the road, they were successful at home at 8-4-3. Preki repeated his success from the 1997 season, and became the only player in MLS to win the MLS MVP Award and the MLS Golden Boot Award twice. The year's most memorable performance came on June 21st, as Preki celebrated his upcoming 40th birthday and "Preki Bobble-head Night" with a one-goal, three-assist master-class performance against the Chicago Fire.
2003 will be most remembered for Preki's remarkable season at age 40 that garnered him his second league MVP award.
REGULAR SEASON RECORD: 11-10-9
PLAYOFF FINISH: Lost in Western Conference finals
KEY ACQUISITIONS: Jimmy Conrad (trade), Igor Simutenkov (allocation), Josh Wolff (trade)
MVP: Preki. Golden Boot: Preki. Defender of the Year: Diego Gutierrez. Humanitarian of the Year: Chris Klein
League MVP: Preki. MLS Best XI: Preki. Golden Boot: Preki. MLS All-Stars: Preki