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Final

Wizards end long break on Saturday

Tony Meola and the Wizards face a talented attacking squad Saturday.

Photo Credit: 
Barry Taylor/MLS/WireImage.com

This Week with the Wizards - Headlines for Week of August 9th:

Wizards Host Defending Champion San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, August 14th at 3:00 p.m.

Second Annual "Jerseys Off Their Back" Event to Benefit MDA on August 14th

Wizards Host Earthquakes in U.S. Open Cup Semifinals on August 24th

Simutenkov Cleared to Play, Preki Not Far Off

Wizards All-Star Party at the 21Ten Lofts

Wizards Host Defending Champion San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, August 14th at 3:00 p.m.

The Kansas City Wizards will host the defending MLS Cup Champion San Jose Earthquakes at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday, August 14th. The match will kickoff at 3:00 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Saturday's match marks the Wizards return to MLS action after a 17-day break from regular season play. The Wizards fell to the MetroStars 2-1 on July 28th, while the Earthquakes are coming off a decisive 2-0 win over D.C. United this past weekend. Both teams are coming off U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal victories last week with the Wizards shutting out the Dallas Burn 4-0 and San Jose defeating the A-League's Minnesota Thunder 2-2 (5-4 on PKs) to advance to the Semifinals.

Kansas City (9-5-5, 32 points) sits in second place in the Western Conference, just one point behind first place Los Angeles with two games in hand. The 'Quakes (6-6-6, 24 points) are currently last in the West, trailing Colorado and Dallas who are both tied with 26 points. San Jose travels to Chicago for a mid-week matchup and a chance to climb out of the cellar before coming to Kansas City over the weekend.

Saturday's match, showcased on ESPN2's "Soccer Saturday", will not only feature National Team standouts Landon Donovan against Josh Wolff, but will also feature two of the best storylines in MLS this season - Brian Ching against Davy Arnaud. Both Ching and Arnaud are in their third seasons in MLS and both are experiencing career years.

Ching, cast away by the Los Angeles Galaxy following his first season in MLS in 2001, spent the 2002 season in the A-League. He signed with the Earthquakes prior to the 2003 season, but had his productive season (6g, 2a, 14 points) cut short with a ruptured right Achilles tendon he suffered in August of '03. He returned to action this season and grabbed a hold of a starting spot and has made the most of his opportunity. He is currently ranked second in the League in scoring with 23 points (10g, 3a).

Arnaud joined the Wizards as a fifth round draft pick in 2002 and spent his first season as a developmental player. He was thrust into a regular starting role at the end of 2003 filling in for the injured Josh Wolff and earned an everyday spot in the starting lineup in 2004. He has started every game this year and is fourth in the League in scoring with 21 points (8g, 5a). Arnaud has also scored three goals and added two assist in the Wizards two U.S. Open Cup wins so far this year.

Second Annual "Jerseys Off Their Back" Event to Benefit MDA on August 14th

The Kansas City Wizards and Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) are teaming up once again to host "Jerseys Off Their Back" day at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday, August 14th when the Wizards take on the defending MLS Cup Champion San Jose Earthquakes. The Wizards will auction and raffle off their game-worn jerseys to benefit the local MDA chapter which helps children in the Kansas City area.

MDA volunteers will be selling 'Scratch & Win' tickets before and during the game for $1 with all proceeds benefiting MDA. At the conclusion of the game, a select number of jerseys will be auctioned and raffled off at the Post Game Party in the Pavilion at Arrowhead. All members of the Wizards team will be at the Post Game Party to greet the winners and help support MDA and their fundraising efforts. In all, the Wizards will give away 23 jerseys during the event.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association fights 40 neuromuscular diseases through an unparalleled worldwide research effort, a nationwide program of medical services and far-reaching professional and public education. MDA's programs are funded entirely by individual private contributors and businesses. For more information on the Kansas City Wizards including tickets to the Wizards game this Saturday, August 14th, visit www.kcwizards.com. To learn more about the Muscular Dystrophy Association, log onto www.mdausa.org.

Wizards Host Earthquakes in U.S. Open Cup Semifinals on August 24th
The Kansas City Wizards will host the San Jose Earthquakes on Tuesday, August 24th in the Semifinals of the 2004 U.S. Open Cup. The match will once again be played at the Blue Valley District Activity Complex, located at 135th & Switzer in Overland Park, KS, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT. The Wizards are now just two games away from capturing their first U.S. Open Cup Championship and the $100,000 in prize money that goes to the winner.

Tickets to the U.S. Open Cup match are General Admission and are $10 for adults and $5 for youth (15 and under). Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Wizards Box Office at Arrowhead Stadium, or at the Blue Valley District Activity Complex beginning at 5:30 p.m. on the day of the game.

The U.S. Open Cup match is designated as "Special Game B" for Wizards season ticket holders. Each "Special Game B" ticket will admit two people into the Stadium. Seating at the Blue Valley District Activity Complex is limited and seats are available on a first come, first serve basis. Fans are encouraged to come early as the Wizards Quarterfinal match against Dallas drew a standing-room only crowd. For ticket information, please call Kim O'Dell in the Wizards office at 816-920-4730.

In the other Semifinal bracket, the Charleston Battery (A-League) will travel to Chicago to take on the defending U.S. Open Cup Champion Chicago Fire on Wednesday, August 25th in Naperville, IL. The 2004 U.S. Open Cup final will take place on Wednesday, September 22nd with the location and kickoff time still to be determined.

Simutenkov Cleared to Play, Preki Not Far Off

Kansas City Wizards forward Igor Simutenkov has been cleared by team doctors to play and will be available for Saturday's match against the San Jose Earthquakes. Reigning MLS MVP Preki is not far behind and could see playing time in the coming weeks. Both players have been out since suffering severe injuries on the same day back in February of this year.

Simutenkov suffered a torn Achilles tendon in his right foot while training in his native Russia during the offseason. He returned to Kansas City to undergo surgery and rehabilitation. He has been training with the team for the past month and is considered "fit and ready to go" by team trainer Chet North.

Preki, who fractured his left fibula and dislocated his ankle during a preseason match against Columbus, has also been forced to miss the first four months of the season. Like Simutenkov, Preki has been training with the team for the past month. The 41-year-old has been upgraded to "Probable" for this weekend and could get his first playing time of the season in the near future.

Wizards All-Star Party at the 21Ten Lofts

The Wizards and 21Ten Lofts are teaming up to present an All-Star Party at the 21Ten Lofts honoring the team's MLS All-Star participants Jimmy Conrad, Chris Klein, Josh Wolff and Kerry Zavagnin. The event will be held at the 21Ten Lofts in downtown Kansas City from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 10th. The party will be a private event limited to 150 guests by invitation only. Fans were able to win tickets to the event through on-air promotions supported by Star 102 FM and Metro Sports.

Fans attending the All-Star Party will get to meet each of the four Wizards All-Star players and get autographs. Food and drinks will be provided compliments of On The Border Mexican Grille, Pepsi Cola, and Anheuser-Busch. For more information contact Mike Welch at 816-920-4761.

The 21Ten Lofts are located at 21 W. 10th Street on the Southeast corner of 10th & Baltimore, across from the new downtown library. Garage parking is available at the library. A new 2-bedroom model loft will be open for public viewing during the event.

Wizards ACE Injury Report
Probable:

M - Preki, Fractured Fibula/Dislocated Ankle (L)

F - Josh Wolff, Knee Inflammation (R)


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