Wizards Take on FC Dallas Saturday, October 15th in Regular Season Finale
The Kansas City Wizards (11-9-11, 44 points) will make their first ever trip to the new Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas on Saturday, October 15th to take on FC Dallas (13-10-8, 47 points) in the 2005 regular season finale. The match will be an important one for FC Dallas as they try to position themselves for the postseason, but even more so for the Wizards who need a win to clinch the final playoff spot.
FC Dallas enters Saturday's match in second place in the West with a two-point lead over the Los Angeles Galaxy. A tie against the Wizards would nearly assure them of the #2 seed and home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Kansas City still controls their own postseason fate, needing a win to virtually assure them a spot in the playoffs. They will also look to break out of their recent slump, having not posted a victory since August 19th, a stretch of seven games. The Wizards will welcome back forwards Scott Sealy (Trinidad & Tobago National Team) and Davy Arnaud (suspension) this weekend, both of whom missed last Saturday's match vs. New England.
Wizards Postseason Hopes Come Down to Final Game
For weeks, the Wizards have crunched numbers, calculated various scenarios, scoreboard watched and figured every way necessary to reach the postseason. But now it comes down to the final game of the MLS regular season. The Wizards control their own playoff destiny and need a win at Dallas this weekend to virtually assure themselves of punching their ticket to the playoffs.
Kansas City and the MetroStars are currently tied for fourth place in the East with 44 points and one game remaining. If the Wizards win Saturday they could finish no worse than a tie with the Metros in the standings and force a tiebreaker to determine who will own the 4th seed in the playoffs. The Wizards are in good shape if it comes down to tiebreakers with the MetroStars. The first tiebreaker, series head-to-head, is tied at 1-1-2. The second tiebreaker is overall goal differential, and that is where the Wizards own the advantage. Entering the final weekend of the season, the Wizards own a +8 goal differential while the MetroStars are +2. Assuming Kansas City wins, then the MetroStars would need to win by more than seven goals in their final match at Chivas USA on Sunday, October 16th. Kansas City could also clinch the final playoff berth with a tie this weekend, but would need the MetroStars to then tie or lose. As long as the Wizards out-gain, or remain even in points with the MetroStars, then a first-round playoff meeting with the top seeded New England Revolution would await Kansas City.
Did You Know: MLS Cup Foreshadowing?
Last season the Kansas City Wizards played their final regular season game of the year on the road at the Home Depot Center on Saturday, October 16, 2004. One month later, the Wizards returned to the very same stadium, the Home Depot Center, to play in the 2004 MLS Cup Final on November 14, 2004.
This Saturday, October 15th, the Wizards travel to Frisco, Texas to play at Pizza Hut Park in their final regular season game of the year. Next month, Pizza Hut Park will host the 2005 MLS Cup Final.
Preki Closing In On MLS Assist Record as Career Nears End
Wizards midfielder Preki sits just two assists shy of Carlos Valderrama's MLS record 114 assists entering the final weekend of the season and the final regular season match of his career. After making official his plans for retirement last week, Preki will end his 26-year professional career at the end of the 2005 season.
Sealy Returns to Make Final Bid at MLS Rookie of the Year, Rookie Scoring
Wizards forward Scott Sealy will return to the Kansas City lineup this weekend against FC Dallas after missing last weekend's match while with the Trinidad & Tobago National Team for World Cup Qualifying. He will have one final regular season match to wrap up the MLS Rookie of the Year award. He currently leads all rookies in scoring with nine goals and is just two goals shy of the MLS rookie scoring record of 11, set by Chicago's Damani Ralph in 2003.
He has had a remarkable rookie campaign, appearing in 27 of the team's 31 matches, including 20 starts. He is second on the team in scoring with nine goals and has added a pair of assists. Three of his nine goals have been game-winners, the most by any Wizards player this year.
Wizards Reserves in Chase for Reserve League Championship
The Kansas City Wizards Reserves will close out their inaugural season this Sunday, October 16th against FC Dallas at 10:00 a.m. CT in Frisco, TX. They are currently riding a five-game winning streak and have their sights set on the first ever Reserve League Championship.
With 18 points and one game remaining, the Wizards reserves trial first place D.C. United by three points. D.C. wraps up their Reserve schedule at home against Columbus on Sunday.