Wizards tame Silverbacks in Atlanta

CLARKSTON, GA - The Kansas City Wizards cruised
to a 4-1 win against the A-League's Atlanta Silverbacks in Clarkston,
Georgia Tuesday Night in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup. Davy
Arnaud's two goals and one assist led the way as the Wizards advanced to
the quarterfinals of the prestigious tournament. Francisco Gomez and
Diego Gutierrez each added a goal apiece as the Wizards poured on three
second half goals after heading into the locker room tied 1-1 at
halftime.

Kansas City immediately grabbed control of the match from the outset.
The Wizards were able to string together pinpoint passes and wind their
way through the Atlanta defense, but just missed on two early shots on
goal, one from Francisco Gomez in the 3rd minute and another wide shot
from Davy Arnaud in the 6th minute.

The Wizards precision passing and speed helped them jump out to the
early lead. Francisco Gomez found Arnaud alone on the left flank in the
12th minute with a great ball from just right of center. Arnaud moved in
on goal diagonally and let go of a wicked shot from towards the far post
that beat Silverbacks goalkeeper Joe Barton. The ball kissed off the far
most and rolled across the goalmouth before tucking inside the near post
giving Kansas City the early 1-0 lead.

After allowing the Wizards to have their way from endline to endline
early in the first half, Atlanta turned up the pressure with a number of
chances in front of the Wizards goal late in the first period, led by
former MLS midfielder Alex Pineda Chacon. Chacon took a side volley shot
from just in front of the goal in the 34th minute that Wizards 'keeper
Tony Meola could only punch away. Meola again had to work in the air on
the ensuing corner kick, punching it out of the box.

Atlanta knotted the score in the 40th minute on a set piece goal from
Chacon. After getting fouled outside the top of the Wizards box, Chacon
set up an angled freekick from 20 yards out on the left side. His bullet
ricocheted through the center of the Wizards wall and quivered towards
the far post, catching Meola leaning the opposite direction. The ball
settled into the back of the net evening the score a 1-1 with five
minutes left in the first half.

Kansas City took the initiative in the opening stages of the second
half, resuming their grip on the momentum and playing like team that
began the match. In the 52nd minute, Davy Arnaud collected his second
goal of the match tapping in a loose ball in front of the box after a
Chris Klein corner kick. Jimmy Conrad got the initial touch on the
floating ball inside the box, but it was Arnaud that put the ball away
after falling at his feet.

Two minutes later, Arnaud set up the Wizards third goal of the match
with a beautiful cross from the right side to Francisco Gomez on the
left, just outside the top of the box. Gomez leapt to take the ball out
of the air and sent a wicked one-time shot towards the far post,
stunning Atlanta goalkeeper Joe Barton as the ball whizzed by him and
into the back of the net.

The Wizards continued to pour on the pressure in the final minutes of
the second half as Chris Klein had a 40-yard break away run, but his
strike banged off the crossbar and back into play. Diego Gutierrez
finished his opportunity in the 81st minute after collecting a nice
lofted ball back to him near the top of the box from Chris Klein who was
already deep into the Atlanta box. Gutierrez stepped around his defender
and rocketed a right-footed shot inside the right post.

Kansas City played out the final minutes and walked away with the 4-1
victory. The Wizards will now host the Dallas Burn, who defeated
Colorado 3-0, in the Quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday,
August 4th. The match will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. CT at the Blue Valley
Athletic Complex at 135th and Switzer.

Kansas City will return to MLS action this weekend when they host
Western Conference rivals the Los Angeles Galaxy at Arrowhead on
Saturday, July 24th. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. CT. First Place in
the West will be on the line Saturday in one of the biggest matches of
the year for both teams. The Wizards want fans to "Bury 'em in Blue" and
encourage all fans attending Saturday's game to wear Wizard Blue and
help cheer on the team in this important match. Saturday's match was
originally scheduled for Saturday, August 27th, but was moved to July
24th. Fans can use their season tickets marked August 27th for admission
to Saturday's match.

KCWizards.com Man of the Match - Davy Arnaud

2004 U.S. Open Cup - Fourth Round

Kansas City Wizards (MLS) at Atlanta Silverbacks (A-League)

Tuesday, July 20, 2004, 7:00 p.m. (CT)

DeKalb Memorial Stadium, Clarkston, GA

Weather - Muggy, 85 degrees

                        1       2       F 
Kansas City Wizards     1       3       4 
Atlanta Silverbacks     1       0       1

Scoring Summary:
KC- Davy Arnaud (Francisco Gomez) 10'

ATL- Alex Pineda Chacon (Unassisted) 40'

KC- Davy Arnaud (Jimmy Conrad) 52'

KC- Francisco Gomez (Davy Arnaud) 54'

KC- Diego Gutierrez (Chris Klein) 81'
Kansas City Wizards (4-4-2): Tony Meola-GK (Bo Oshoniyi-71');
Nick Garcia, Taylor Graham (Alex Zotinca-46'), Jimmy Conrad, Jose Luis
Burciaga Jr.; Chris Klein, Kerry Zavagnin, Diego Gutierrez, Francisco
Gomez (Khari Stephenson-75'); Davy Arnaud, Josh Wolff (Justin
Detter-63')

Atlanta Silverbacks (4-4-2): Joe Barton-GK; Fred DeGand, Joe
Afful, Alan Woods, Andrew Lewis; Jordy Broder (Velko Iotov-54'), Leslie
Fitzpatrick (Philippe Gogoy-83'), John Ball, Alex Pineda Chacon (Gerry
Quiroz-84'); Gary Brooks, Mac Cozier (Ivo Ilarionov-75')

Officials:
Referee- Ricardo Venezuela

Assistant Referees- Richard Edy, Brian D'Amato

Fourth Official- Lawrence Rodriguez

Attendance - 2,212

                        KC              ATL 
Shots                   9               8 
Saves                   1               2       
Fouls                   10              14 
Corner Kicks            5               5       
Offside                 0               2 

Cautions:
KC- Davy Arnaud (Reckless Foul) 40

KC- Tony Meola (Dissent) 43'

ATL- Gary Brooks (Reckless Foul)

KC- Alex Zotica (Delaying a Restart) 68'

ATL- Gary Brooks (Reckless Foul) 86'

Ejections:
ATL- Gary Brooks (Second Yellow) 86'

Post Game Quotes:

Kansas City Wizards Head Coach Bob Gansler

On the game:

"No, we were not surprised (at how competative they were). Half of those
guys (the Silverbacks) I have know, and guys like Andrew Lewis I have
coached. Half of their starting lineup has been in MLS. The difference
between MLS and the A-League is not that large and there are good
players down here. We came out and played well and had our foot on the
throttle. When we took it off, they took it to us and they were the
better team the second part of the first half."

"If we play as well as we can and they play as well as they can, we'll
win. But if we are one iota below our peak and they play well like they
have all year long, then things would be different. It is the speed of
play that is the difference. They have six or seven guys that can keep
up with that tempo and we have 11 guys that can keep up with that
tempo."

On the team's adjustment's at halftime:

"We just adjusted some heads. As I said, the difference between the two
leagues - there is a gap, but not a gulf. We put it in cruise control
and you can't play against the better teams in the A-League on cruise
control. After the first goal, we let off the accelerator. Bit we got
the second goal early in the second half and the third goal was
colossal, it had that death nail effect because not only was it a goal,
but it was a well worked out goal and well finished."

Kansas City Wizards Forward Davy Arnaud

On facing an A-League opponent in the Open Cup:

"We knew it was going to be a tough game coming in. For the guys here in
the A-League, this is their one chance to play a MLS team this year so
we knew they were going to be revved up and ready to play. So we had to
come out and just match their intensity and their fight and try to get
the win."


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