ALAJUELA, Costa Rica - The Kansas City Wizards wrapped up their 10-day trip to Costa Rica with a disappointing 3-1 loss to Costa Rican club Alajuelense in Alajuela Tuesday night. Despite the loss, the Wizards were encourage by yet another goal from rookie forward Scott Sealy, who knotted the score in the 54th minute with his second goal in as many days.
Alajuela drew first blood with a quick strike in the 4th minute and the Wizards struggled to recover through the first half. Davy Arnaud had a breakaway chance midway through the first period, but missed his shot as the goalkeeper closed off his angle on goal. Preki also had an opportunity near the top of the box, but wasn't able to find the back of the net.
At halftime, the Wizards regrouped and opened the second half better organized and gained control of the momentum early. Davy Arnaud and Scott Sealy combined in the 54th minute to even the score at 1-1. With the ball near midfield, Arnaud turned his defender and broke loose down the right side. He then sent a curling ball behind the defense at the top of the box allowing Sealy to run on to it in fill stride. Sealy took one touch and, as the goalkeeper came off his line to challenge Sealy, he calmly chipped the ball over the sliding 'keeper allowing it to softly settle in the back of the net.
Following the goal, the Wizards gained confidence and were able to create more offensively, but Alajuelense would strike again in the 60th minute with a tight angle goal from the right side and would seal the game with a third goal in the 80th minute.
"This was not a sharp outing for us, we know we are much better than this and we have a few things we need to work on," said Head Coach Bob Gansler following the game. "This was another rehearsal and we have one more chance this Friday in Tulsa before the season starts."
Kansas City will return to Kansas City on Wednesday, March 23rd. The team will then travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma for an exhibition doubleheader on Friday, March 25th. The Wizards reserves will take on the University of Tulsa in the first game of the evening, with kickoff scheduled for 4:30 p.m. CT. Immediately following the reserve game, the Wizards senior squad will face MLS expansion team Real Salt Lake in the night cap.
The match against RSL will serve as the team's final tune-up before the start of the 2005 MLS regular season when the Wizards host the Colorado Rapids on Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday, April 2nd. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. CT.
ALJ- Goal Scorer Unknown 4'
KC- Scott Sealy (Davy Arnaud) 54'
ALJ- Goal Scorer Unknown 60'
ALJ- Goal Scorer Unknown 80'
Kansas City Wizards Lineup:
Bo Oshoniyi-GK; Sasha Victorine, Jimmy Conrad, Nick Garcia, Jose Luis Burciaga Jr.; Preki (Jack Jewsbury-46;), Diego Gutierrez, Alex Zotinca (Diego Walsh-75'), Chris Klein; Davy Arnaud, Scott Sealy (Omar Gomez-61')