Wizards return home to face the Burn

This Week with the Wizards - Headlines for Week of June 28th:

Wizards Finish Whirlwind Road Trip and Extend Unbeaten Streak to Five Games

Kansas City Returns Home to "Celebrate America" at Arrowhead Against Dallas July 3rd

Wizards Sign Defender Brian Roberts as a Developmental Player

Purchase Your Tickets for July 3rd and July 10th

Fan Voting Underway for 2004 MLS All-Star Game, Coaches to be Determined July 5th

Wizards Finish Whirlwind Road Trip and Extend Unbeaten Streak to Five Games:
When the Wizards looked at their schedule in June, they couldn't help but be overwhelmed - five consecutive road games in three weeks, two trips to the West Coast, one to the East Coast and two stops in between. What the Wizards got out of the trip was a five-game unbeaten streak, garnering 11 of a possible 15 points in the standings. The streak marks the second longest road unbeaten streak in franchise history, one shy of the team mark set in 2000.

Kansas City first beat the Galaxy 2-1 at The Home Depot Center on June 5th, handing the Galaxy their first home loss of the year. Then the Wizards ended the Rapids MLS-record 16 game home unbeaten streak with a 1-0 win on June 9th. Three days later, the Wizards settled for a 2-2 tie in Columbus thus ending the Crew's four-game winning streak. On the East Coast, they got revenge against the Revs with a 3-1 win June 19th, then battled to a 1-1 tie on the West Coast against the San Jose Earthquakes June 26th.

In all the Wizards traveled a total of 10,519 miles during their three-week adventure. They outscored their opponents 9-5 and of those 9 goals, there were eight different goal scorers. Matt Taylor scored his first two career MLS goals, Jose Burciaga notched the first goal of his career and Shavar Thomas scored a goal off a corner kick for his first tally in a Wizards uniform. All the while, Chris Klein registered five of his MLS-leading six assists during that stretch.

Kansas City Returns Home to "Celebrate America" at Arrowhead Against Dallas July 3rd:
After five consecutive road games in June, the Kansas City Wizards return to Arrowhead for the first time in over a month and will play host to the Dallas Burn on Saturday, July 3rd. The Independence Day Weekend match will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. CT and will be immediately followed by Kansas City's largest Fireworks display set to music. The match as well as the postgame fireworks will be broadcast live on HDNet.

The Wizards will put their five-game unbeaten streak on the line in hopes of regaining the top spot in the Western Conference Standings. Dallas is coming off a 1-1 tie against D.C. United that extended their unbeaten streak to four games as they continue to try and regain their early season success after dropping four straight matches in May.

Last weekend, Burn forward Jason Kreis scored his MLS record 89th career goal with a first half strike against D.C. surpassing former Wizards forward Roy Lassiter for the all-time lead. Kreis still stands 23 points behind Wizards midfielder Preki for the MLS all-time scoring lead.

Dallas has been forced to play the last three matches with backup goalkeeper Jeff Cassar in goal after first choice 'keeper Scott Garlick suffered a high ankle sprain during training in early June. Garlick will likely miss this weekend's match as well. The last time the Wizards faced Cassar in net for Dallas, Kansas City registered five goals in a 5-1 drubbing at Arrowhead on July 12, 2003.

Kansas City features a versatile scoring attack that has seen 10 different players score at least one goal this season. As a team, the Wizards have scored 18 goals, the fourth most in MLS. Defensively, the Wizards are one of the top teams in the League, allowing just 13 goals in 14 games. Their 0.93 goals against average is the second best in MLS.

Wizards Sign Brian Roberts to Developmental Contract:
Kansas City Wizards General Manager Curt Johnson announced the team has signed defender Brian Roberts as a developmental discovery player. Upon his signing with the Wizards, he was then loaned to the Minnesota Thunder of the A-League, for the remainder of their season. Roberts fills the sixth and final developmental roster spot that was vacated when Jack Jewsbury was signed to the senior roster in April.

Roberts, 22, was a standout defender at Yale University where he was a four-time All-Ivy selection. Roberts started every game during his four-year career and captained the Bulldogs his senior year. He was drafted by the Minnesota Thunder in the first round of the A-League draft in December 2003 but remained enrolled at Yale until graduating in May. He has appeared in five matches since joining the Thunder in mid-May.

Are You Reddy for Freddy? Freddy Adu is Coming to Arrowhead July 10th:
On Saturday, July 10th, fifteen-year-old soccer phenom Freddy Adu will make his first ever appearance at Arrowhead Stadium when the Wizards host D.C. United. The match will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. CT. As the youngest player to play American professional sports in over a century, Adu has drawn media attention from across the globe and has been responsible for an increase in attendance in each MLS city he has played. Through the first six road games D.C. United has played this season, they have drawn an average attendance of 25,442.

Tickets for the July 10th match are available through Ticketmaster by calling 816-931-3330 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. The Wizards are also offering a special "Freddy Four Pack" for the July 10th match. Fans can purchase four Field Level Reserved seats for just $60. Additional tickets can be purchased for $15 each. Log on to www.kcwizards.com and click on the Freddy Adu banner to purchase the "Freddy Four Pack" online.

Fan Voting Underway for 2004 MLS All-Star Game, Coaches to be Determined on July 5th:


MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced that the ninth annual Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game will feature All-Stars from the Eastern Conference and Western Conference facing off at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, July 31, 2004 at 1:00 p.m. CT, in a live national television broadcast on ABC Sports. In conjunction with the East vs. West contest at RFK Stadium, Major League Soccer will present a MLS reunion match featuring players who competed in the 1994 World Cup in the 10th anniversary of the historic tournament.

The Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game on July 31st will bring together the top stars of the sport in America as MLS' two conferences go head-to-head for the first time since 2001. Online fan balloting is currently underway via the League's official web site, www.MLSnet.com , and will close on July 5th. All-Star Starters will be unveiled on July 6th and All-Star Reserves named three days later. The 11 Wizards players on the MLS All-Star ballot include goalkeeper Tony Meola, defenders Jimmy Conrad, Nick Garcia, Shavar Thomas and Alex Zotinca, midfielders Diego Gutierrez, Chris Klein, Preki and Kerry Zavagnin and forwards Davy Arnaud and Josh Wolff.

The coaching staffs for each All-Star squad will be determined by the team with the best League record in each Conference (points per game) as of Monday, July 5th. Currently the Wizards (22 points in 14 games, 1.571 PPG) are trailing the Los Angeles Galaxy (24 points in 15 games, 1.60 PPG) by two points in the standings and a mere 0.029 points per game for the right to have Bob Gansler, Brian Bliss and Tim Mulqueen patrol the sidelines for the Western Conference All-Stars. As it stands, the Wizards need to take more points this weekend than the Galaxy in order to be named the Western Conference coaching staff (KC Win + LA tie or loss -OR- KC tie + LA loss). Up to now, the Galaxy has had the benefit of playing two more home games than the Wizards.

Wizards ACE Injury/Absence Report
Out:

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

F - Igor Simutenkov, Torn Achilles Tendon (L)
Probable

D - Shavar Thomas, Ankle Sprain (L)


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