** Each week, from now until March 9 the Kansas City Wizards will feature the "Champions Cup Countdown", a comprehensive look at the Wizards upcoming Champions' Cup match against Costa Rican side Deportivo Saprissa. The Wizards will host the first match of the two-leg, aggregate goal, first round series at Arrowhead Stadium on Wednesday, March 9, with kickoff slated for 7 p.m. CT.**
Established: July 16, 1935
Stadium: Estadio Ricardo Saprissa
Costa Rican Championships: 23, most recently during the 2003-2004 season
Champions' Cup Titles: 2 (1993, 1995)
The team is owned by Jorge Vergara, also the owner of Mexican club Chivas de Guadalajara and the investor-operator of MLS expansion club CD Chivas USA.
HOW THEY QUALIFIED FOR 2005 CHAMPIONS CUP
Saprissa earned one of three automatic berths from the Union Centroamericana de Fútbol (UNCAF) into the 2005 Champions' Cup after finishing in the top three at the Final Round of the 2004 Torneo Interclubes de UNCAF that took place in Guatemala back in December. Saprissa joined CD Olímpia (Honduras) and CSD Municipal (Guatemala) as the three representatives from Central America in the 2005 Champions' Cup.
The 2004 Torneo Interclubes de UNCAF began last September and serves as the qualifying mechanism of CONCACAF's Central Zone into the 2005 Champions Cup. Saprissa defeated Real Estelí (Nicaragua) in the second round after receiving a first round bye. In the Final Round of qualifying, a four-team round-robin series, Saprissa finished second with a 1-1-1 record, defeating CD F.A.S. (El Salvador) and tying CD Olímpia (Honduras) before falling to CSD Municipal (Guatemala) in the final match of the series.
Goalkeepers: 35-José Porras, 32-Daniel Cambronero, 1-Fausto González
Defenders: 18-Jervis Drummond, 21-Reynaldo Parks, 3-Víctor Cordero, 20-Douglas Sequeira, 22-Jose Pablo Fonseca, 4-Ronald González, 16-Gabriel Badilla, 23-Tray Benneth, 14-Andrés Núñez, 29-Juan Esquivel
Midfielders: 8-Walter Centeno, 6-José Francisco Alfaro, 17-José Luis López, 10-Alonso Solis, 7-Wilson Muñoz, 2-Cristián Bolaños, 15-Saúl Phillips, 19-Randall Azofeifa, 30-Allan Alemán
Forwards: 24-Alvaro Saborio, 26-Gerold Drummond, 49-Erick Corrales, 9-Alejandro Sequeira, 11-Evans Benwell, Ronald Gómez
Head Coach: Hernán Medford Bryan
Assistant Coach: Oscar Ramírez Hernandez
Costa Rican National Team Members: 8 (Goalkeeper José Porras, defenders Jervis Drummond, Douglas Sequeira and Tray Benneth, midfielders Walter Centeno, Alonso Solis and Wilson Muñoz and forward Alvaro Saborio)
2004 Costa Rican Olympic Team Members: 2 (Olympic Team Captain José Luis López and forward Alvaro Saborio)
CHAMPIONS' CUP WINNER EARNS BERTH IN 2005 FIFA WORLD CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP
The 2005 CONCACAF Champions' Cup winner will earn a berth in the 2005 FIFA World Club Championship, a six-team tournament to be held in Japan in December 2005. The champion of each of the six Confederations - CONCACAF (North & Central America & Caribbean), CONMEBOL (South America), UEFA (Europe), AFC (Asia), CAF (Africa) and OFC (Oceania) - will take part in the World Club Championship.
The six teams in the FIFA World Club Championship will split a prize pool of $15 million with the pool ranging from $1 million for the sixth place team to $5 million for the winner.
TICKETS FOR CHAMPIONS CUP MATCH ON SALE NOW
On March 9th, the Wizards will begin play in the 2005 CONCACAF Champions' Cup when they host Deportivo Saprissa at Arrowhead Stadium. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster and can be purchased by calling 816-931-3330 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.
All tickets to the Wizards Champions' Cup match will be Field Level General Admission. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth (15 and younger) and WILL NOT be included in any season ticket packages. No other discounts will apply.
2005 CONCACAF CHAMPIONS' CUP SCHEDULE
Quarterfinal Series - March 9 & March 16
Kansas City Wizards (USA)* vs. Deportivo Saprissa (CRC)
CF Monterrey (Mexico)* vs. CSD Municipal (GUA)
D.C. United (USA)* vs. Harbour View FC (JAM)
CD Olímpia (HON)* vs. Pumas UNAM (Mexico)
* Hosts First Leg
Semifinal Series - April 6 & April 15
Kansas City Wizards-Deportivo Saprissa Winner vs. CF Monterrey-CSD Municipal Winner
D.C. United-Harbour View/Tivoli Gardens FC Winner vs. CD Olímpia-Pumas UNAM Winner
Final Series - May 4 & May 11