Friday, April 20, 2007

Wiz on the Fire

Kansas City Wizards (1-0-0) vs Chicago Fire (1-0-1)

The Wizards roll into Toyota Park after bowing out of the US Open Cup in the qualifying stages, to Real Salt Lake. The Wizards now can concentrate on the MLS season, where they are coming off their big 4-2 win in DC on opening day. The Fire come into this match up having drew with 10 man Colorado out at Dick's. The Fire won their opening game of the season, taking down New England 1-0 on a Logan Pause goal.

Chicago as a whole has never been a friendly place for Kansas City to play in, the Wizards are 1-11-1 in Chicago since the Fire joined the league in 1998. The only time the Wizards have taken points off the Fire in Chicago, was in the 2005 season when they got their only win and draw in Chicago. History is not on the Wizards side in that regard, although the Wizards two trophies have come at the expense of the Fire. The Wizards won the 2000 MLS Cup and 2004 US Open Cup against the Fire.

Overall, I'd expect the Wizards to be putting out what should be their best lineup, except with the possible exception of Carlos Marinelli, who still lacks match fitness. Although I would bet that the Wizards Argentine will make his MLS debut tomorrow. The Wizards will likely come out in this lineup tomorrow:
Jewsbury - Garcia - Conrad - Burciaga
Arnaud - Victorine - Harrington
Sealy - Johnson

The only question mark will be the health of Scott Sealy after the knock he took out in Utah on Wednesday, although the MLS preview says that Sealy is probable. Mixed news for all Wizards fans as well about this game, as our favorite munchkin, Michael Kennedy is on the game. The good news though is that he is the fourth official, so he'll have little to do with the game itself.

This is an early test for the Wizards, their history in Chicago has not been bright, but under a new coach, things can change. The Wizards will likely get to face off against another 3 man back line, but this one should be better then the abysmal defending we saw out of DC last week. That said, Johnson could have another big day against this back line.

KC - 1 (Johnson)
Chicago - 1 (Rolfe)

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