Wizards rally at Arrowhead Saturday

The festivities prior to the Kansas City Wizards rematch with 2004 MLS Cup foe D.C. United (3 p.m. CT, ESPN2) will begin three hours before kickoff at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Heart of America Soccer Foundation (HASF) is holding a rally beginning at noon in Lot D of the Arrowhead Stadium parking lot to show MLS and the Wizards organization that soccer fans in Kansas City want the Wizards to stay in town beyond the 2005 season.

Sam Pierron, president of the HASF, said, "It's a way for people to express support and have a good time."

The events are free and include a concert by The Elders that will commence at 1 p.m.

"The Elders play 'Celtic-infused rock,' and if you haven't seen them play before, you're missing out on one heck of a good time. If you have seen them play, you know what I'm talking about," said Pierron.

HASF merchandise, such as T-shirts and bumper stickers, will be available for fans to purchase and further show their support for the Wizards in Kansas City.

"Wizards fans need to show their support, not just for the team on the field, or for the current organization, though they've both earned it, but also to the league and to the prospective local ownership group," Pierron said.

Prompted by Lamar Hunt's Dec. 9 announcement that he was putting the Wizards up for sale, Pierron and other members of the Kansas City soccer community formed the HASF to head up efforts to keep top-level soccer in town. The group has made gains.

"I feel much better about the future of MLS in K.C. than I did at the time of the announcement," said Pierron.

Robert Rusert is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.

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