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Weekly update: Wizards visit Rapids

Bo Oshoniyi has played well recently in Tony Meola's absence.

Photo Credit: 
Edward Zurga Jr./MLS/WireImage.com

This Week with the Wizards - Headlines for Week of September 7th:

First-Place Wizards Face Second-Place Rapids in Colorado September 10th

Preki to Undergo Season Ending Ankle Surgery

Arrowhead Fan Fest to Take Place Outside Arrowhead September 17th & 18th

Wizards Host Fire in U.S. Open Cup Final at Arrowhead on September 22nd

Celebrity Bartender Happy Hour and Auction to Benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

First-Place Wizards Face Second-Place Rapids in Colorado September 10th

The first-place Kansas City Wizards (11-8-5, 38 points) put the League's best record on the line traveling to Colorado to take on the second-place Colorado Rapids (9-7-9, 36 points) at INVESCO Field on Friday, September 10th. The match will kickoff at 8:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live via audiocast on www.mlsnet.com. The Western Conference showdown will have a playoff feel as the Wizards begin their final push towards the playoffs with their first of six games against Western Conference foes to close out the 2004 regular season.

Colorado enters Friday's match surging towards the top of the standings and trail the Wizards by just two points. The Rapids are 3-0-1 in their last four games and have moved from fourth in the West and clinging to the final playoff spot to within two points of the best record in MLS.

The Rapids feature the best home record in MLS with a 6-1-5 mark at INVESCO Field, a place they have coined "The Fortress". Their only loss at home this season came at the hands of the Wizards after Josh Wolff converted a penalty kick in stoppage time on June 9th to lead the Wizards to a 1-0 win. That win ended the Rapids' MLS-record 16 game unbeaten streak at home.

Kansas City will welcome back midfielder Kerry Zavagnin, who missed the past two MLS matches while with the U.S. National Team for World Cup Qualifying. Zavagnin started for the U.S. in their 2-0 win over El Salvador over the weekend, and will also be with the U.S. when they take on Panama on Wednesday, September 8th.

The Wizards may be without goalkeeper Tony Meola for another week as he continues to recover from a strained Achilles tendon in his right foot that has kept him out of the starting lineup for the last three regular season matches and one Open Cup match.

Bo Oshoniyi has filled in admirably for the injured Meola allowing one goal on short notice in his first appearance in New England on August 21st and also posting a 1-0 shutout against San Jose in the Open Cup Semifinal on August 24th and another 1-0 shutout against the MetroStars on September 4th to move the Wizards into first place in the West and the best record in MLS.

Preki to Undergo Season Ending Ankle Surgery

Kansas City Wizards midfielder and reigning MLS MVP Preki will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle on Friday afternoon to repair damage that has not completely healed from his first surgery during the offseason. The surgery will take place under the direction of Doctor Greg Horton, an ankle specialist in the Kansas City area.

Preki dislocated his ankle and fractured his left fibula in a preseason game against the Columbus Crew on February 21st. He underwent surgery and went through extensive rehabilitation, forcing him to miss the first four and a half months of the 2004 season. He returned to action on August 18th starting in midfield, ironically, against the Columbus Crew.

After appearing in two regular season matches and one U.S. Open Cup match, Preki experienced more pain in the ankle and has opted for surgery that will end his season.

Arrowhead Fan Fest to Take Place Outside Arrowhead September 17th & 18th

The Kansas City Wizards and Kansas City Chiefs will host "Arrowhead Fan Fest" on Friday, September 17th and Saturday, September 18th outside of Arrowhead Stadium. The Arrowhead Fan Fest will take place in Lots C & D and will include live music, crafts booths, concessions and children's activities. The event, sponsored by KCSingles.com, will be held from 5:00pm - 11:00pm on Friday, September 17th and again from 11:00am - 7:15pm on Saturday, September 18th.

More information, including a complete schedule of events and list of bands that will perform, can be found online by logging on to www.arrowheadfanfest.com.

Wizards Host Fire in U.S. Open Cup Final at Arrowhead on September 22nd

The Kansas City Wizards are one step away from claiming their first U.S. Open Cup Title in franchise history and will play the Championship match on their home soil. Kansas City will host the Chicago Fire in the 2004 U.S. Open Cup Final at Arrowhead Stadium on Wednesday, September 22nd. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT. The winner of the U.S. Open Cup will take home $100,000 in prize money, while the runner up will receive $50,000.

Tickets for the U.S. Open Cup Final are on sale now and can be purchased through Ticketmaster or the Wizards Box Office. Lower Level Sideline seating is available for $18 for adults and $13 for youth (15 and under). Club Level seating is $22 for adults and $16 for youths. There will be no endline general admission seating available. Zard Card holders can purchase $5 seats for themselves and each accompanying family member with reserved seating in Sections 104 and 133 on the North side of the stadium.

The Open Cup Final is designated as "Special Game C" for Wizards season ticket holders. Each "Special Game C" ticket will admit one person into the Stadium and tickets can be used directly at the Gate without the need to exchange the ticket. All unused Season Tickets and Ticket Vouchers can be exchanged at the Wizards Box Office for best available seating. For more ticket information, please call the Wizards office at 816-920-9300.

The winner of the U.S. Open Cup will have their name added to the Dewar Trophy, the same piece of hardware that was presented to the winner of the first U.S. Open Cup final in 1914. The Trophy will then remain on display in the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, New York. At 90 years of age, the Dewar Trophy is the oldest, team sport trophy in the United States.

The Dewar Trophy will be in Kansas City prior to the Open Cup Final, making various appearances around the Kansas City metro area. More information, including a schedule of events, will be available on the Wizards website, www.kcwizards.com, this week.

Celebrity Bartender Happy Hour and Auction to Benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Kansas City Wizards defender Nick Garcia has partnered with Grand Street Café for a night of fun featuring a Celebrity Bartender Happy Hour and Auction on Tuesday, September 14, 2004 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Grand Street Café will donate ten percent of all purchases during the event to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light the Night Walk. Items up for bid include a Deluxe Kansas City Wizards package, a Freddy Adu signed jersey, an autographed soccer ball signed by Landon Donovan, other MLS memorabilia and numerous gift certificates.

Garcia along with goalkeeper Tony Meola and midfielder Kerry Zavagnin will work their way behind the bar to support the L&L Society and the Light the Night Walk. Grand Street Café is located at 4747 Grand in Kansas City, Missouri, 64112, 816-561-8000. The event will take place on Tuesday, September 14, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. For more information call the Wizards office at 816-920-9300. To learn more about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society visit www.LLS.org/mid.

Wizards Injury Report
Out:

M - Chris Klein, Torn ACL (L)

M - Preki, Ankle Surgery (L)

GK - Tony Meola, Strained Achilles Tendon (R)
Questionable:

D/M - Jack Jewsbury, Neck & Shoulder Strain (R)
Probable

F - Igor Simutenkov, Hamstring Strain (L)


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