Final win puts Wizards in right direction

More pieces of the puzzle fell into place Saturday during the Kansas City Wizards' 1-0 Saturn Challenge Cup victory over FC Dallas in their final preseason exhibition.

The game's only goal came in the 32nd minute when Scott Sealy scored with a right-footed shot from near the top of the penalty area. The shot had plenty of pace but it was more about precision, rolling rapidly along the turf into the lower left corner of the goal.

It was Sealy's first goal of the preseason and was the first assist of the preseason for Jack Jewsbury, who provided the diagonal ball for Sealy.

"Scott finally got out of the slump he needed to get out of before the season started," Wizards defender Jose Burciaga Jr. said.

Sealy almost had another goal in the 67th minute, but headed Davy Arnaud's cross three feet above the crossbar.

The Wizards attacked well from the start of the game and limited FC Dallas' chances. The Wizards had four corner kicks in the first 13 minutes

"I think we created a lot of chances," Arnaud said. "I think we made them deal with us."

Arnaud was particularly effective with his pace running down the wing, both on the right and the left. He forced FC Dallas defenders to make their best effort to stop him from latching on to passes from the middle of the field.

"Jack and Sasha (Victorine) were brilliant in terms of making the right pass to the right place," Wizards coach Bob Gansler said. "The guys up front are supposed to rotate and not stay in one place. Davy just eats up the miles. He is a ball of energy. He didn't get one (a goal) but if you are a betting man, you'll say that he will sometime in the near future."

Burciaga said they have had a problem in preseason games starting strong.

"I think we wanted to take charge in this game," Burciaga said. "(Defensively) I don't think we felt threatened."

The Wizards' starting lineup in this final exhibition may be close to a starting lineup this June if Jimmy Conrad, Eddie Johnson, Josh Wolff and Kerry Zavagnin are picked for the U.S. squad that will compete in the World Cup.

Or it may not.

"I like our depth this season," Gansler said. "There are some guys who didn't even get off the bench (against FC Dallas) who I could see challenging for a starting spot in June. We got a half-dozen quality guys out of the draft."

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