Wizards take undefeated streak to Raymond James where Tampa Bay is 6-0.
(Thursday, May 25, 2000) -- The Kansas City Wizards take their Major League Soccer-best record to Tampa Bay, hoping to
improve on their 11-game unbeaten streak against the Mutiny at Raymond James Stadium.
The Wizards (9-0-2, 29 points) are tied for the third longest undefeated skein in MLS’s five years behind Los Angeles,
which won 15 in a row in 1998 and 12 straight in 1996, and equal to Chicago, which took 11 consecutive matches in 1998.
Prior to this season, MLS decided all tied games with a shootout, so there were no draws.
Goalkeeper Tony Meola, who has played every minute of the 2000 season for the Wizards, continues to stifle opposing
offenses with his MLS-record shutout streak climbing to 615 minutes. Meola has given up just one goal in his last 920
minutes of play.
Tampa Bay (6-5, 18 points) continues to be the Jekyl-and-Hyde of MLS. The Mutiny is 6-0 at home this season, outscoring
opponents 20-5, yet is 0-5 on the road. Striker Mamadou Diallo, with two goals in each of his last three games, is the
league’s hottest scorer. The native of Senegal has nine goals on the year in nine matches, second to the 10 by Chicago’s
Kansas City defender Peter Vermes, the current MLS "Player of the Week," will lead a defense that must contain Diallo.
The Wizards have won four consecutive contests against Tampa Bay dating back to the 1998 season, most recently taking
a 1-0 decision on April 22 at Arrowhead Stadium. The Wizards are 2-4 all-time against the Mutiny in Florida.
Capsule previews of the holiday weekend’s six games with all times Eastern:
Kansas City Wizards at Tampa Bay Mutiny, 4:30 p.m., Telemundo.
Records: Kansas City 9-0-2, 29 points, first in Eastern Division; Tampa Bay 6-5, 18 points, second in Central.
Season series: Kansas City leads 1-0 (Wizards lead 1-0 in aggregate goals).
All-time regular-season series: Series tied 6-6 (Wizards lead 21-17 in aggregate goals).
Leading scorers: Kansas City - F Miklos Molnar (7 goals, 1assist, 15 points); Tampa Bay - F
Mamadou Diallo (9-0-18)
Did you know? Diallo misfired on a penalty kick in the Mutiny's 1-0 loss at K.C. on April 22.
Key players out: None.
Key matchup: Kansas City Ds Brandon Prideaux and Peter Vermes vs. Tampa Bay
F Mamadou Diallo - Prideaux has been steady for K.C. all season and the Wizards have yet to yield a goal down the left side of the field during the run of play, but lethal combination of size and speed could overwhelm the youngster. Vermes will likely handle any of Diallo's forays into the middle of the defense.
Notes: Tampa Bay hasn’t lost at home, averaging 3.3 goal in six victories, but the Wizards haven’t lost at all, allowing only one goal in their last 920 minutes and four all season. . . The
Mutiny are 6-0 within the friendly confines of Raymond James Stadium. . . The match pits MLS's hottest goalkeeper, Tony Meola, in the midst of a league record scoreless streak of 615 minutes, against the league's hottest goal scorer, Diallo who has scored two goals in each of his last three games. . . The Wizards may not have the answer for a player with the speed and size of Diallo, who looked unstoppable when he set a MLS record by firing nine shots on goal in a 3-2 overtime loss to the MetroStars on Saturday night. . . Meola's sparkling save ratio of 10.75 saves to goals allowed, far and away the tops in the league, should be put to the test. . . The
key to the Wizards' success starts with consistency as the team has started only two different lineups all season, and has seen its defensive trio of MLS Player of the Week Peter Vermes, Nick Garcia and Brandon Prideaux each
play all 1010 minutes of the team's season. . . The Mutiny has scored more goals at home (20) than any other team in the league. . . After finishing a dismal 2-14 on the road in 1999, the Wizards are 2-0-2 away from Arrowhead in 2000, having outscored their opponents 7-1.
Scheduled officials: Referee - Reggie Rutty (1 game, 2 yellow cards, 1 red card). Assistants - Roger Sill, Greg Watson.
Chicago Fire at MetroStars, 7 p.m., Fox Sports Chicago, Madison Square Garden.
Records: Chicago 6-5-1, 19 points, first in Central Division; MetroStars 4-6, third in East.
Season series: First meeting.
All-time regular-season series: Series tied 2-2 (Fire lead 6-5 in aggregate goals).
Leading scorers: Chicago - F Ante Razov (10-3-23); MetroStars - F
Adolfo Valencia (5-3-13).
Did you know? The MetroStars are 4-0 this season when they have scored two or more goals.
Key players out: Chicago Fire: D Lubos Kubik (MCL sprain); MetroStars - D Lothar Matthäus (Euro 2000).
Key matchup: Chicago M Mike Sorber vs. MetroStars M Roy Myers: If Chicago's steady defense can hold Adolfo Valencia and Clint Mathis in check, Myers' ability to get forward and contribute to the attack could be the deciding factor. As one of Chicago's holding midfielders, Sorber will need to slow the newly-acquired Costa Rican down.
Notes: A grueling stretch for the Fire takes the team to Giants Stadium, where the team will play it's third game in seven days. . . The Fire meets a MetroStars team which has had a full week of practice to integrate newcomers Clint Mathis and Roy Myers into the team's structure. . . Riding the momentum of last week's come from behind overtime win over Tampa Bay, the MetroStars look to stay in the Eastern Division chase, sitting only four points back of New England and Miami. . . The addition of Myers and Mathis gives the Metros some added offense, and a stronger midfield. This will likely take some pressure off the team's defense, which is minus German star Matthaeus. . . Valencia will look to repeat his performance from Saturday, which saw the big Colombian use some nifty footwork to score twice against Tampa Bay. "El Tren" may be perhaps the one to benefit most from
the addition of Myers and Mathis who instantly upped the tempo of the Metros attack. . . Midfielder Tab Ramos continues his return to form for the Metros, and may see an increased amount of touches due to the team's improved possession game. . . With the Fire missing central defender Kubik, the overhauled and accelerated Metros attack could present problems.
Scheduled officials: Referee - Kevin Terry (1 game, 2 yellow cards). Assistants - Craig Lowry, Jorge de la Bandera
Dallas Burn at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2
Records: Dallas 4-6-1, 13 points, tied for third in Central Division; D.C. United 2-9-1, 7 points, fourth in East.
Season series: First meeting.
All-time regular-season series: Dallas leads 6-5 (United leads 28-20 edge in aggregate goals).
Leading scorers: Dallas - M Jason Kreis (5-5-15); United - F Jamie Moreno (8-1-17).
Did you know? The Burn is the only team in MLS with a winning record against D.C. United in the league's five year history.
Key players out: Dallas - M Mark Santel (ankle sprain - injured reserve); United - none.
Key matchup: Dallas D Ricardo Iribarren vs. United F Jaime Moreno - Iribarren will likely be assigned to mark Moreno, United's only reliable scoring threat.
Notes:. Having lost four straight for only the second time in team history, United will have full week to prepare after three straight midweek games. Dallas ventures to RFK after relinquishing a two-goal lead late in the game and losing 4-3 to Chicago. . . A faltering offense and a surprisingly inconsistent defense have been United's downfall this season, and Dallas strikers Kreis and Ariel Graziani pose a difficult assignment. . . Perhaps Graziani will show some rust after being suspended for three games, but Kreis remains hot, having tallied at least a point in each of the Burn's last five games. United added veteran striker Pete Marino to its roster to spark some additional offense as Moreno remains the only United forward to tally a goal this season. . . United has slowly returned to full strength with Eddie Pope playing the full 90 minutes in United's last outing for the first time since undergoing knee surgery on April 19. . . United desperately needs some victories before United States national team commitments, World Cup Qualifying and the U.S. Olympic effort strips the team's roster later this season. . . Digging itself a hole put the three-time champion in serious danger of missing the playoffs. . . United has surrendered the second most goals in MLS (28), and 16 of the those have come in the second half or overtime. . . D.C. has fallen three times via a golden goal in overtime.
Scheduled officials: Referee - Noel Kenny (6 games, 28 yellow cards, 3 red cards). Assistants - George Gansner, Bill Dittmar.
Columbus Crew at Miami Fusion, 7:30 p.m., WSYX.
Records: Columbus 4-6-1, 13 points, tied for third in Eastern Division; Miami 4-3-4, 16 points, second in East.
Season series: First meeting.
All-time regular-season series: Series tied 4-4 (Crew leads 15-13 in aggregate goals).
Leading scorers: Miami - F Roy Lassiter (3-3-9); Columbus: - F Dante Washington (7-1-15).
Did you know? Columbus is 0-4 all-time at Lockhart Stadium.
Key players out: Columbus - D Mike Lapper is questionable (shoulder contusion); Miami - G Garth Lagerwey (ankle sprain), F Eric Wynalda (strained Achilles).
Key matchup: Columbus F Brian McBride vs. Miami D Pablo Mastroeni - With Crew strikers Jeff Cunningham and Dante Washington running free down both flanks, McBride will spend much of his time in the center of the field as the withdrawn attacker. If Mastroeni is pulled from the middle to help with the speedsters, McBride will have plenty of room to work.
Notes: The redesigned Crew attack heads to South Florida looking to put an end to the Fusion's three-game winning streak. . . Awaiting it is the affable new coach Ray Hudson, who had the interim removed from his title on Monday after leading the once dismal Fusion to three consecutive victories. . . Coming off their first win over a divisional opponent (2-1 over Dallas), the Crew will likely stay with a three-forward attack, which McBride in a withdrawn role, acting as a feeder to speedy forwards Cunningham and Washington. . . The Crew's plan worked well against the Burn as Cunningham netted two assists, while Washington and flanker Brian West each
tallied a goal in a 2-1 victory. . . Columbus still remains inconsistent on defense and goalkeeper Mark Dougherty was forced to make five big second half saves to hold Dallas at bay. . . Despite the return to Todd Yeagley, the Crew still miss the regular presence of Lapper, whose leadership and steady play have been missed. . . An added story line to the match will see Fusion midfielder Andy Williams make his first appearance against his former team. The Jamaican international was traded to Miami during the offseason for a first-round draft pick that later helped the Crew land Washington from Dallas. . . Williams showed flashes of brilliance in Columbus, but his
inconsistent play frustrated Crew coach Tom Fitzgerald.
Scheduled officials: Referee - Rich Grady (3 games, 16 yellow cards, 2 red cards). Assistants - Sharon Wheeler, Peter Kokolski.
San Jose Earthquakes at Los Angeles Galaxy, 10:30 p.m., Fox Sports Bay Area.
Records: San Jose 2-6-3, 9 points, fourth in Western Division; Los Angeles 6-1-5, 23 points, second in West.
Season series: Series tied 0-0-1 (teams drew 0-0 in first meeting).
All-time regular-season series: Los Angeles leads 12-4 (Galaxy leads 30-23 in aggregate goals).
Leading scorers: San Jose - F Roland Cerritos (4-1-9); Los Angeles - M Cobi Jones (4-2-10).
Did you know? The Earthquakes will use their 12th different starting lineup in as many games as Richard Mulrooney, who was the only Quake to play every minute this season until a red card in the 80th minute against Kansas City, will be forced to sit this one out.
Key players out: San Jose - M Richard Mulrooney (red-card suspension); Los Angeles - D Robin Fraser (sprained ankle)
Key matchup: San Jose M Khodadad Azizi vs. Los Angeles M Danny Peña - If Azizi can create some space in the depleted San Jose midfield, the Quakes offense will be the benefactor. It won't be easy against Peña, whose hard-nosed style is an underrated component of L.A.'s consistency. With Fraser expected out, Peña's defensive contributions gain added importance.
Notes: The teams played to a 0-0 tie just 10 days ago at Spartan Stadium, with the underdog Earthquakes getting more shots on goal than their California rival 10-7. . . The Galaxy lost their first match of the season 2-1 at New England Wednesady. . . San Jose is winless on the road in 2000 and has not won at the Rose Bowl since a 1-0 win in September of 1998. . . Luís Hernández returns to fuel the Galaxy offense after missing Wednesday's match at New England for personal reasons. . . The Earthquakes offense, on the other hand, appears to be out of gas and has not scored in its last 210 minutes. . . San Jose rookie goalkeeper Jon Conway earned the shutout in his first MLS start vs. L.A. last week, but veteran Joe Cannon is listed as probable and might return after missing two matches with bruised ribs. . . San Jose’s Cerritos has 16 points on four goals and four assists versus the Galaxy in his career. . . The Galaxy drew 40,302 fans one week ago when Hernández made his MLS debut in a nationally televised match vs. D.C. United.
Scheduled officials: Referee - Kevin Stott (3 games, 17 yellow cards). Assistants - Tom Bobadilla, David Bragg
New England Revolution at Colorado Rapids, 5 p.m., Fox New England.
Records: New England 5-3-4, 19 points, first in Eastern Division; Colorado 5-7, 15 points, third in West.
Season series: Colorado leads 1-0 (Rapids lead 4-3 in aggregate goals).
All-time regular-season series: Colorado leads 7-4 (Rapids lead 20-13 in aggregate goals).
Leading scorers: New England: F Wolde Harris (5-3-13); Colorado - F Junior Agogo (4-4-12)
Did you know? New England's Harris scored 26 goals for Colorado from 1997-99.
Key players out: New England: none; Colorado: D Lance Key (cervical strain - injured reserve).
Key matchup: New England D Rusty Pierce vs. Colorado F Henry Zambrano - Zambrano was instrumental in causing a second half implosion by New England in a 4-3 Rapids win at Foxboro last week. Pierce will look for redemption after getting beaten badly on the flank when Zambrano sliced up the Revolution to set up Agogo for the easy game-winner in the 85th minute.
Notes Through 12 games, the Rapids have yet to field the same starting 11 in more than one game. . . Its very possible that trend could continue on Memorial Day with both Marcelo Balboa and Joey DiGiamarino questionable. . . Balboa strained a hamstring in last weekend’s loss to Miami, while DiGiamarino suffered a concussion after a collision with the Fusion's Jay Heaps and teammate David Vaudreuil. . . It is likely, however, that the Rapids will see the return of midfielders Ross Paule (offseason knee surgery) and Anders Limpar (hamstring). Paule has yet to see time this season, while Limpar has played a very limited 373 minutes. . . Also back in the lineup for the Rapids will be forward Jorge Dely Valdes, who missed last week's games because of World Cup qualifying matches with the Panamanian national team. . . The match will be New England's fifth in the last 16 days, meaning the Revs could be slowed by fatigue if not injury. . . Midfielders John Harkes and Leonel Alvarez have both battled injuries lately. Their ability to contribute will be a key factor in New England's performance. . . Revenge could play a factor in this match with New England wanting payback for Colorado's shocking three-goal explosion in the final 11 minutes of a 4-3 Revs loss in a midweek game last week. . . An
approaching matchup with fellow Eastern Division front-runner Miami on June 3, should serve as added motivation for New England, which remains atop the East despite inconsistent performances.
Scheduled officials: Referee - Ali Saheli (4 games, 24 yellow cards, 2 red cards). Assistants - Roger Itaya, Scott McCaslin.