** Each Week leading up to March 9th 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 9th, with kickoff slated for 7:00 p.m. CT.**
TICKETS FOR MARCH 9th 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.
Seating for the Champions Cup match will be limited to the north side of the stadium and all tickets 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.
Tollgates into the Truman Sports Complex will open at 5:00 p.m. on March 9th and parking is just $5 per vehicle. All fans entering the stadium will enter through Gate B on the northeast side of Arrowhead Stadium. Gate B will open at 6:00 p.m. and kickoff will be at 7:00 p.m.
WIZARDS CHAMPIONS' CUP HISTORY
The Wizards will take part in the prestigious CONCACAF Champions' Cup for just the second time in franchise history. Having earned a spot in the 2005 Champions' Cup by reaching the MLS Cup Final in 2004, the Wizards will host storied Costa Rican side Deportivo Saprissa in the two-leg, first round series. Saprissa, who lost in the 2004 Champions' Cup Final to fellow Costa Rican side LD Alajuelense, enters this year's field for the fifth time in the last seven years the tournament has been staged.
Kansas City qualified for the 2002 Champions Cup after winning the 2000 MLS Cup Championship. They were originally scheduled to take part in the 2001 competition, but CONCACAF pushed the starting date into 2002 as it reorganized and expanded the tournament format, therefore there was no 2001 Champions Cup played.
On March 3, 2002, the Wizards faced W Connection FC (Trinidad) in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad in their first ever Champions Cup match, and defeated their opponent 1-0. Two weeks later, Kansas City played host to their Trinidad rivals and again posted a shutout, this time in a 2-0 win that would propel the Wizards into the Quarterfinals of the tournament.
In April of that year, the Wizards would face Santos Laguna of Mexico and would split the two-game series but advanced on a 3-2 aggregate goal margin after falling 1-2 in Torreon, Mexico, then posting a 2-0 shutout at home. With the aggregate goal victory, Kansas City became the only MLS team, of the four that began the tournament, to reach the semifinals in 2002. They also became the first team in MLS history to defeat a Mexican club team in a home-and-home series format of an international tournament.
Kansas City would eventually fall to Monarcas Morelia (Mexico) in the semifinals, 2-7 on aggregate goals. After falling behind 6-1 in the first leg that was played in Morelia, Mexico, the Wizards came back to earn a 1-1 tie on their home soil. The Wizards finished with a 3-2-1 record in six Champions Cup matches against some of the top teams in the CONCACAF region.
2002 Champions Cup First Round, Game 1 - March 3, 2002
Kansas City Wizards 1 at W Connection FC (Trinidad) 0
Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad
KC: Francisco Gomez (Gary Glasgow) 85'
Kansas City Lineup: Tony Meola-GK, Mike Burns, Nick Garcia, Peter Vermes, Jose Burciaga (Carey Talley-78), Kerry Zavagnin, Matt McKeon, Chris Brown, Preki (Francisco Gomez-82), Eric Quill, Roy Lassiter (Gary Glasgow-68).
2002 Champions Cup First Round, Game 2 - March 16, 2002
Kansas City Wizards 2 vs. W Connection FC (Trinidad) 0
Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
KC: Mike Burns (Preki) 52', Preki (Gary Glasgow) 53'
Kansas City Lineup: Tony Meola-GK, Mike Burns, Nick Garcia, Peter Vermes, Diego Gutierrez (Jose Burciaga-66); Gary Glasgow (Francisco Gomez-78), Kerry Zavagnin, Matt McKeon, Eric Quill; Chris Brown, Preki (Stephen Armstrong-86)
2002 Champions Cup Quarterfinals, Game 1 - April 10, 2002
Kansas City Wizards 1 at Santos Laguna (Mexico) 2
Corona Stadium, Torreon, Mexico
KC: Gary Glasgow (Francisco Gomez) 81'
SL: Lillingston 2', Lillingston 35'
Kansas City Lineup: Tony Meola-GK; Nick Garcia, Peter Vermes, Carey Talley,
Mike Burns; Kerry Zavagnin, Preki (Francisco Gomez-60), Matt McKeon (Roy
Lassiter-73'), Diego Gutierrez; Chris Brown, Stephen Armstrong (Gary
2002 Champions Cup Quarterfinals, Game 2 - April 24, 2002
Kansas City Wizards 2 vs. Santos Laguna (Mexico) 0
Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
KC: Carey Talley (Unassisted) 33', Chris Brown (Preki) 71'
Kansas City Lineup: Tony Meola-GK, Mike Burns, Nick Garcia, Carey Talley, Diego Gutierrez, Gary Glasgow, Kerry Zavagnin, Matt McKeon, Stephen Armstrong (Francisco Gomez-65), Preki (Peter Vermes-82), Roy Lassiter (Chris Brown-46)
2002 Champions Cup Semifinals, Game 1 - August 7, 2002
Kansas City Wizards 1 at Monarcas Morelia (Mexico) 6
Estadio Morelas, Morelia, Mexico
KC: Dario Fabbro (Stephen Armstrong) 85'
MOR: Alex Fernandes (Adolfo Bautista) 50', Hernan Bujan (Unassisted) 57', Adolfo Bautista (Alex Fernandes) 62', Javier Saavedra (Antonio Gonzalez) 73', Alex Fernandes (Antonio Gonzalez) 75', Alex Fernandes (Penalty Kick) 83'
Kansas City Wizards Lineup: Tony Meola-GK; Chris Klein, Nick Garcia, Carey Talley (Chris Brunt-65), Mike Burns; Chris Brown, Kerry Zavagnin, Francisco Gomez (Matt McKeon-63), Eric Quill (Preki-31); Dario Fabbro, Stephen Armstrong
2002 Champions Cup Semifinals, Game 2 - August 28, 2002
Kansas City Wizards 1 vs. Monarcas Morelia (Mexico) 1
Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
KC: Chris Brown (Davy Arnaud) 68'
MOR: Jose Antonio Noriega (Penalty kick) 36'
Kansas City Wizards Lineup: Tony Meola-GK; Mike Burns, Peter Vermes, Diego Gutierrez; Chris Klein, Kerry Zavagnin, Francisco Gomez (Chris Brown-61), Matt McKeon, Eric Quill; Dario Fabbro (Chris Brunt-37), Igor Simutenkov (Davy Arnaud-46)
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.
2005 CONCACAF CHAMPIONS' CUP SCHEDULE
Quarterfinal Series - March 9 & March 16/17
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 6/7 & April 13/14
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