and play their third game in seven days -- when they visit a rested Colorado Rapids in Denver. The Wizards began a five-game road stretch with their first victory (and first goal) on the road at the weekend, coming from behind to defeat the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Rapids haven’t played in a week but come off a controversial 1-0 loss to the Chicago Fire at Soldier Field on May 29, after setting an MLS record with their 16th consecutive match without a loss at home the weekend before against D.C. United.
Andrew Chapin. SAR (bench): Greg Barkey; JAR (opposite): Steven Taylor; 4th: Scott McCaslin
MLS Career: first game
Games involving Rapids: first game
Games involving Wizards: first game
INJURY REPORT: COLORADO RAPIDS -- OUT: MD Mark Chung (L quadriceps strain); DF Jeff Stewart (R knee); PROBABLE: DF Ritchie Kotschau (abdominal strain) ... KANSAS CITY WIZARDS – OUT: MD Preki (L fractured fibula/L dislocated ankle); FW Igor Simutenkov (L torn Achilles tendon)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: COL: Jean-Phillipe Peguero (Haiti; June 13 v Jamaica)
YELLOW PERIL: COL: Pablo Mastroeni (10 CP in 2 gms)
ALL-TIME (31 meetings): Wizards 13 wins (1 shootout), 58 goals ... Rapids 12 wins (3 shootout), 44 goals ... 6 draws
The two clubs come together for the second of four meetings this season, the first of the two in Denver. They’ll meet again at Invesco Field at Mile High on Sept. 11, then play two weeks later at Arrowhead Stadium on Sept. 25.
On May 1, the Wizards defeated the Rapids 2-0 at Arrowhead Stadium despite playing a man down for more than a half.
Jose Burciaga Jr. was sent off just before the halftime interval as he made his first MLS start in nearly a year after undergoing knee surgery. But Davy Arnaud's cross found Chris Klein in the 64th minute, his shot taking a deflection off a defender to give the Wizards the lead, then Diego Gutierrez made a rampaging run down the left flank before finding an unmarked Wolff, who calmly slotted home six minutes from time.
Bob Gansler ran out this team (4-4-2): Tony Meola – Alex Zotinca, Jimmy Conrad, Shavar Thomas, Jose Burciaga Jr. – Diego Walsh (Matt Taylor 46), Diego Gutierrez, Kerry Zavagnin, Chris Klein – Davy Arnaud, Josh Wolff (Taylor Graham 89).
Here’s Tim Hankinson’s team (4-4-1-1): Joe Cannon – Matt Crawford, Nat Borchers, Pablo Mastroeni, Ritchie Kotschau – Zach Kingsley (David Castellanos 44), Kyle Beckerman, Antonio de la Torre (Seth Trembly 69), Mark Chung – Chris Henderson – Jean-Philippe Peguero (Jordan Cila 77).
A year ago in league play, the Rapids won twice and the Wizards once, with one meeting ending in a draw, and only the home team winning.
The Rapids won on July 4 in Denver in dramatic fashion before another huge Independence Day crowd (Spencer 44 pen, Chung 77, 92+ – Preki 23, Armstrong 91+), the teams then playing to a equally dramatic 2-2 draw in Kansas City on Aug. 22 (Arnaud 1, Preki 93+ - Henderson 29, Spencer 41).
The Rapids won again, 1-0 at home on Sept. 13 (Spencer 83), before the Wizards won at home 4-2 on Oct. 4 (Conrad 15; Klein 21, 82; Gomez 91+ - Roberts 47, Henderson 60).
The teams then met in the Western Conference semifinals, the Wizards winning 3-1 on aggregate. They played to a 1-1 draw in Denver in the first leg (Borchers 53 – Harris 3), before Kansas City advanced with a 2-0 home victory in the second leg (Simutenkov 47+; Klein 63).
The Rapids also eliminated the Wizards from the U.S. Open Cup when they faced each other in the third round a year ago, winning
The Rapids have won the season series each of the last two seasons, the Wizards winning the season series the two years before that. Twice a team has won all four yearly meetings – K.C. winning all four games in 1997 (one by shootout), Colorado all four in 1999 (three by shootout).
Preki is the Wizards all-time leader against the Rapids with 9 goals, 16 assists. Chris Klein is next among active players (fourth all-time for the club) with 7 goals, 3 assists. Josh Wolff has 6 goals, 2 assists for his career v Colorado – his first goal with the Wizards coming in the first meeting this year. Diego Gutierrez also 7 assists – none while with K.C.
John Spencer leads the Rapids all-time performance with 8 goals, 3 assists. Chris Henderson has 6 goals, 6 assists – all but 1 assist while with Colorado. Mark Chung also 3 goals, 2 assists against one of his former teams – all while in Colorado.
Coaches record: Tim Hankinson vs. KC: P18 W4 L8 D6 ... Bob Gansler v COL: P19 W6 L7 T6
IN DENVER (16 meetings): Wizards 9 wins (2 shootout), 28 goals ... Rapids 3 wins (1 shootout), 22 goals ... 4 draws
The Colorado Rapids come into the match after an off week, their last action a 1-0 loss to the Chicago Fire at Soldier on May 29. They sit in last place in the Western Conference with 10 points from eight matches, one point out of fourth place and eight points behind the West leader Los Angeles Galaxy.
In their last league match, a controversial goal from Nate Jaqua was all the Chicago Fire needed to defeat the Colorado Rapids 1-0 and end their three-match winless run. Chicago goalkeeper Henry Ring was credited with his league-leading fifth shutout.
Jaqua's 66th-minute drive hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced straight down before coming back over the line into the six-yard box. Referee Ricardo Valenzuela, however, was unmoved by the protests of Rapids goalkeeper Joe Cannon and the goal was allowed to stand.
"It's a shame a game like tonight is decided by someone not in a player's uniform," Rapids coach Tim Hankinson said. "It steals from the effort the players put in."
Hankinson made one change to the team that defeated D.C. United 2-1 at Invesco Field on May 22. Matt Crawford came in at left back for Ritchie Kotschau, who missed the match suffering from a lower abdominal strain.
Here’s Hankinson’s team (4-4-2): Joe Cannon – Antonio de la Torre, Nat Borchers, Pablo Mastroeni, Matt Crawford – Chris Henderson, Kyle Beckerman, Darryl Powell (Gary Sullivan 88), Mark Chung (Seth Trembly 69) – Jean-Philippe Peguero (John Spencer 46), Zizi Roberts.
"Of all the times we've traveled to Chicago, I believe this was the most complete game we've played. I believe every aspect of the game was a positive for us. I was very, very pleased with the performance of the team,” Hankinson said. “ ... A linesman, who was still recovering on the play, ruled it was in, even though he was not in position. We know it wasn't a goal, (the Fire) know it wasn't a goal. The three closest witnesses to the play said it wasn't in, and that includes a Chicago player. It was unfortunate that the game was decided by someone who was not a player."
The week off helped with another fitness question in Mark Chung, who was forced off in the 69th minute from a quadriceps strain. But he is still considered “very questionable” for the Wizards match, Hankinson said.
The Rapids attack has scored a league-low six goals this season, but captain John Spencer returned for the first time in five games in Chicago. But now Colorado will not have the services of Jean-Philippe Peguero for the next three matches while he is on international duty with Haiti for World Cup qualifying.
"The health of an attack, in my opinion, is quality shot creation," Hankinson said. "We have done that. But now we need to be a little bit more selfish and take advantage of the chances we create."
Zizi Roberts did not travel to Liberia’s World Cup qualifier against Mali, in a dispute with the Liberia Football Association over travel payment. Liberia won 1-0 to begin their road toward Germany 2006. Roberts was also called in to the Lone Star for their June 20 qualifier against Congo, but that is now in doubt.
Pablo Mastroeni was originally called into the U.S. team for this Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Grenada, but Hankinson invoked his right to have Mastroeni play in their midweek game, and U.S. manager Bruce Arena withdrew the nomination as those of the three Kansas City Wizards originally selected.
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS
The Kansas City Wizards rebounded from a disastrous late loss at midweek to the New England Revolution with some late heroics of their own, winning and scoring for the first time on the road this season in a 2-1 victory against the Los Angeles Galaxy. The victory moved the Wizards into second place in the Western Conference with 14 points from 10 matches, four points behind the division-leading Galaxy.
The Wizards came back from a goal down to win for the first time on their travels and send the Los Angeles to defeat at home for the first time this season, on the night when longtime Galaxy campaigner Mauricio Cienfuegos was honored in a tribute match before the league contest.
Alejandro Moreno gave the Galaxy a lead on 59 minutes to also pull into a tie for the MLS goalscoring lead, turning home a Ricky Lewis knockdown of an Andreas Herzog cross. But just six minutes later Francisco Gomez gave Kansas City their first goal on the road of the campaign, stabbing home a loose ball in the Galaxy penalty area.
"When you're on the road and have only a couple of chances you need to convert on them and that's what we did," said Gomez.
Then four minutes from time, Josh Wolff was set free on the left before whipping a low ball across the face of goal that Diego Gutierrez slid in to turn home and give the Wizards the three points, easing the sting of a late midweek loss to New England.
Wizards coach Bob Gansler made no changes to the team that allowed two late goals in a 3-2 loss to the New England Revolution at midweek.
Here’s Gansler’s team (4-4-2): Tony Meola – Nick Garcia, Jimmy Conrad, Shavar Thomas, Jose Burciaga Jr. – Chris Klein, Kerry Zavagnin, Diego Walsh (Francisco Gomez 57), Diego Gutierrez – Davy Arnaud, Josh Wolff (Alex Zotinca 89).
"We knew we had to score some goals in order to get a result," said Wizards coach Bob Gansler. "That's what the guys went and did right from the outset. I think we came out of the chute very well."
The Kansas City Wizards originally had three players – the most of any team – named by Bruce Arena to the U.S. team for the World Cup qualifier against Grenada on June 13 in Columbus, but they were then removed from the roster after the Colorado Rapids exercised their right to not have Pablo Mastroeni called into for the game until after the midweek league match.