K.C.'s Klein named tops for June
Kansas City Wizards midfielder Chris Klein has been selected as Major League Soccer's Honda Player of the Month for June by the Professional Soccer Reporters Association (PSRA). The seven-year veteran registered six assists in five games during the month, catapulting him to second on the team's all-time scoring list with 94 points, while playing every minute of every match and leading his team through a five-game road unbeaten streak and a 3-1-2 record for the month.
Klein began the month with a strong effort against the New England Revolution, adding an assist on a Josh Wolff goal in a last-minute 3-2 home loss on June 2. Just three days later, on the first game of a five-game road trip, Klein assisted on Diego Gutierrez's 86th minute game-winning goal that gave the Wizards a 2-1 win at The Home Depot Center against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Klein continued his stellar play one week later at Crew Stadium in a 2-2 tie against Columbus on July 12. Klein's two corner kicks from the right side only minutes apart each found teammates in the box to give the Wizards a temporary lead. The two assists saw Klein jump into sole possession of second place on the Wizards all-time scoring list, ahead of Mo Johnston, who tallied 90 career points. Klein now stands behind Preki, the team and league's all-time scoring leader with 264 points.
The Indiana University graduate was back in action the next week at Gillette Stadium, recording an assist on Matt Taylor's first goal of the game, which stood as the game winner in a 3-1 win against the New England Revolution on June 19. Klein's sixth and final assist of the month came on Jose Burciaga's first career goal in the 45th minute in a 1-1 tie against the San Jose Earthquakes on June 26 at Spartan Stadium, the last match of the five-game road trip.
The 28-year old handily beat out Columbus Crew forward Jeff Cunningham, who had three goals and one assist on the month, and Burn forward Jason Kreis, who scored three goals in the month and moved into first place in the League's all-time goals scored list. Klein is the first Wizards player to win the award since Preki in May 2003 and only the fourth Wizards player to win the monthly award in the nine-year history of the League (Miklos Molnar -- April 2000; Tony Meola -- May 2000).The monthly winner is selected by a panel of journalists from the Professional Soccer Reporters Association (PSRA).
2004 PLAYER OF THE MONTH WINNERS:
APRIL: Carlos Ruiz (Los Angeles Galaxy)
MAY: Alejandro Moreno (Los Angeles Galaxy)
JUNE: Chris Klein (Kansas City Wizards)