EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Kansas City Wizards Reserves kicked off their inaugural Reserve Division season with a 0-0 tie against the MetroStars Reserves at Giants Stadium Sunday morning. With the tie, the Wizards Reserves (0-0-1) picked up one point with 11 games remaining in the Reserve Division schedule.
A physical battle from start to finish, both sides displayed flashes of creativity on offense, but neither team was able to penetrate through the opposing defense. The Wizards back line, anchored by Shavar Thomas and Dustin Branan, held up well as they shut down the sporadic attack of the MetroStars. The play of wide defenders Brian Roberts and Daniel Dobson was also impressive as the duo defended well and pressed forward into the attack often.
The Wizards best chance of the game came in the 34th minute when Scott Sealy controlled the ball near the top of the box on the left and drew two defenders. He then slipped a ball to his right to Diego Walsh who was charging in on goal diagonally and unmarked. Walsh let go of a shot from 15 yards out, but Metros goalkeeper Mike Ueltschey was there to scoop it up.
The second half saw much of the same physical play as the MetroStars played an aggressive style of defending, but the Wizards were up to the task. The Wizards best opportunities in the second half came from substitute John Minagawa-Webster, who made his first appearance since suffering a strained MCL in early March. Minagawa-Webster played as a left back, but pushed forward and had two shots in front of the goal, but neither had enough to make their way past the goalkeeper.
Another highlight of the game was midfielder Preki, who continues to work himself into game shape following a 14-month layoff since breaking his left ankle during the 2004 preseason. Preki showed signs of his old self, dicing his way through the midfield and taking on defenders. He played the full 90 minutes along the right flank for the Wizards Reserves.
The Wizards will travel to San Jose next weekend to face the San Jose Earthquakes with the first team playing on Saturday, April 23rd at 9:00 p.m. CT and the reserves facing off on Sunday, April 24th at 12:00 p.m. CT.
Kansas City Wizards Lineup (4-4-2): William Hesmer-GK; Brian Roberts, Shavar Thomas, Dustin Branan, Daniel Dobson (John Minagawa-Webster-63'); Preki, Doug Lascody, Ryan Raybould (Khari Stephenson-46'), Diego Walsh; Scott Sealy (Ryan Pore-46'), Justin Detter
WIZARDS 2005 RESERVE LEAGUE SCHEDULE
Sunday, April 24, 2005 at San Jose Earthquakes 12:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 1, 2005 D.C. United TBD
Sunday, May 22, 2005 at D.C. United 9:00 a.m.
Sunday, May 29, 2005 San Jose Earthquakes 10:00 a.m.
Sunday, June 5, 2005 at New England Revolution 9:00 a.m.
Saturday, June 18, 2005 at Chicago Fire 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 26, 2005 Chivas USA 10:00 a.m.
Sunday, September 18, 2005 Los Angeles Galaxy 10:00 a.m.
Sunday, October 2, 2005 Chicago Fire 10:00 a.m.
Sunday, October 9, 2005 New England Revolution 10:00 a.m.
Sunday, October 16, 2005 at F.C. Dallas 10:00 a.m.
All dates and times subject to change.