Diego Gutierrez (right) scored the winner against the Galaxy on June 5.
Essy Ghavameddini/MLS

Wizards get set for clash with Galaxy

This Week with the Wizards - Headlines for Week of July 19th:

Kansas City Begins Play in U.S. Open Cup Against Atlanta Silverbacks on Tuesday, July 20th
Wizards Fans - "Bury 'em in BLUE" this Saturday, July 24th!
Battle for the West: Wizards Return Home to Face Los Angeles Galaxy Saturday, July 24th

Kansas City Begins Play in U.S. Open Cup Against Atlanta Silverbacks on Tuesday, July 20th
The Kansas City Wizards will begin play in the 2004 U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday, July 20th, when they enter the prestigious tournament in the 4th round. Kansas City will face the Atlanta Silverbacks (A-League) at DeKalb Stadium in Clarkston, GA with a 6:45 p.m. CT kickoff scheduled. Atlanta advanced to the 4th round with a 3-2 win over the Carolina Dynamos (PDL) on June 30th.

The road match on July 20th will mark the sixth time in eight years the Wizards have begun play in the tournament on the road and will be the eighth road game in 11 overall matches they have played in the U.S. Open Cup since 1996. Last season, the Wizards were knocked out of the tournament in the fourth round after falling to the Colorado Rapids 3-2 in Colorado on August 8, 2004.

Dating back to 1914, the 90-year-old U.S. Open Cup is the oldest soccer cup competition in the United States and is among the oldest in the world. The tournament is open to affiliated amateur and professional teams in the United States, and is single-elimination format.

Should the Wizards advance to the U.S. Open Cup Semifinals Kansas City will host the winner of the Quarterfinal match-up between the Dallas Burn and the Colorado Rapids at the Blue Valley District Athletic Complex. For the latest scores and information including U.S. Open Cup Semifinal pairings log onto www.kcwizards.com or www.ussoccer.com following the Wizards Tuesday night game.

Wizards Fans - Bury 'em in BLUE this Saturday, July 24th!
Hey fans, the Kansas City Wizards want you to "Bury 'em in Blue" on Saturday, July 24th when the team takes on the Los Angeles Galaxy in one of the biggest games of the season. The Wizards need your help as the team looks to overtake Los Angeles in the Western Conference Standings. All fans are encouraged to wear their Wizards Blue in support of the home team as we look to "Bury the Galaxy in Blue"!

Battle for the West: Wizards Return Home to Face Los Angeles Galaxy Saturday, July 24th
The Kansas City Wizards will return home on Saturday, July 24th to face the Los Angeles Galaxy at Arrowhead Stadium at 7:30 p.m. CT. In what might be the biggest game of the year for both teams, first place in the Western Conference will be on the line as the Galaxy (9-5-5, 32 points) sit just one point ahead of the Wizards (9-4-4, 31 points) for the best record in MLS.

The Wizards took the series opener 2-1 against Los Angeles at The Home Depot Center on June 5th which began the Wizards current MLS season-high eight game unbeaten streak (6-0-2). The Galaxy enter Saturday's match with a five game unbeaten streak of their own (3-0-2).

Galaxy forward Carlos Ruiz, who currently leads the League in scoring with 22 points (10g, 2a), leads the high powered Los Angeles attack that leads the League with 33 goals scored. Four Galaxy players have registered double digits in scoring (Carlos Ruiz-22 points, Alejandro Moreno-14 points, Andreas Herzog-13 pts. and Jovan Kirovski-13pts.). Despite a high scoring offense, Los Angeles has also allowed 26 goals this season, tied for the second most goals allowed.

Kansas City will look to continue their solid defensive performance after recording back-to-back shutouts the last two weekends and lowering their League leading goals against average to 0.82. Kansas City has not allowed a goal in the last 239 consecutive minutes, dating back to a first half goal against Dallas on July 3rd. They have a MLS high seven shutouts this season and, with 25 goals scored, the Wizards own the League's best goal differential at +11.

Wizards ACE Injury Report
M - Preki, Fractured Fibula/Dislocated Ankle (L)
F - Igor Simutenkov, Torn Achilles Tendon (L)