Wizards top U.S. Under-17s 3-0

The Kansas City Wizards topped the U.S. U-17 national team 3-0 on Saturday morning in their third exhibition match of the 2005 preseason. Using a youthful lineup, Wizards Head Coach Bob Gansler got a look at several young players and Wizards draftees. Also seeing significant playing time was MLS all-time leading scorer Preki, who played the first 45 minutes and assisted on the Wizards first goal.

Using much of the first half to get a feel for their opponent and get comfortable with each other, the Wizards finally got on the board in the 38th minute. The Wizards had a nice run going leading up to the goal, but had their momentum halted when the U-17's were whistled for a foul that should have been avoided, giving the Wizards the advantage.

During the pause in action, Preki tried arguing his point with the referee while at the same time setting the ball down and taking his freekick seemingly in mid-conversation with the referee. His arguing proved distracting to the opposition as Wizards forward Ryan Pore made an unsuspecting run into the box from the right, latching on to Preki's well-placed kick in stride. Pore faked a shot with his right foot, dumping the goalkeeper to the ground, then easily stepped around and slipped his shot into the empty net.

Midway through the second half, the Wizards added to their lead as Pat McGinnis, an undrafted preseason invitee, combined with Edwin Ruiz on the left flank. In the 62nd minute, Ruiz slipped a final pass through the defense to McGinnis who shook one defender and blasted a shot to the far post from a tight angle to double the Wizards lead.

Kansas City would get one more goal in the dying minutes as the Wizards built momentum from the back line. Defender Dustin Branan played a long ball forward to Ryan Pore, who quickly flicked a ball over the defense to a streaking Edwin Ruiz. Ruiz finished his shot in textbook fashion, allowing the Wizards to finish with a 3-0 margin.

The Wizards will return to action tomorrow afternoon when they face the San Jose Earthquakes in Bradenton, Florida. Kickoff of the Wizards fourth exhibition match is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. CT.

Scoring Summary:
KC- Ryan Pore (Preki) 38'
KC- Pat McGinnis (Edwin Ruiz) 62'
KC- Edwin Ruiz (Ryan Pore) 85'

Kansas City Wizards Lineup: Will Hesmer-GK (Chris Sawyer-46'); Taylor Graham (Dustin Branan-46'), Brian Roberts, Shavar Thomas, Daniel Dobson; Jay Alberts, Doug Lascody, Preki (Diego Walsh-46', Taylor Graham-65'), Edwin Ruiz; Pat McGinnis, Ryan Pore

Stay connected: Get access to breaking news, videos, and analysis from North America's best soccer reporters via "This Week in MLS" newsletter or using our FREE mobile app.