MLS: Weekend Preview (June 29-30)

Saturday, June 29

Kansas City at Dallas

Location: Cotton Bowl. Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. (ET). Television:
K.C. American Cablevision (WIZ TV). Satellite: none.

Previous meetings: The Burn are 2-0 against Kansas City, winning 3-2 in K.C. on May 11, and 3-0 in Dallas on April 18.

Injuries: Kansas City -- none; Dallas -- D Ed Puskarich (sprained wrist) is probable, D Tom Soehn (torn ACL) is on injured reserve.

Preview: The Wiz dropped a 2-0 decision to the MetroStars at Giants Stadium on Tuesday, while Dallas romped at New England 4-1 last Sunday. Dallas rallied from a 2-1 deficit to win the last meeting between the two clubs, but will find itself (again) without Colombian midfielder Leonel Alvarez, who was ejected from the New England match. This will be the third game Alvarez has missed through suspension this season. Look for new arrival Zak Ibsen (traded from New England for John Kerr) to see some playing time in defense for Dallas. Kansas City signed goalkeeper Mike Ammann (who played collegiately at Cal State Fullerton) as its first "discovery player" on Friday. Ammann spent two years with Charlton Athletic of the English First Division, appearing in 32 games (one of which was a 2-0 shutout over Millwall and fellow American keeper Kasey Keller) and helping the team reach this year's promotion playoffs.


Kansas City -- Ammann or Lagerwey, Ekeme, Okafor, Bowers, Uderitz, Sorber, Chung, Preki, Klopas, Takawira, Johnston.

Dallas -- Dodd, Puskarich, Lozzano, Farrer, Santel, Ashton, Sonora, Haynes, Kreis, Rodriguez, Sanchez.

Prediction: Third time's the charm -- 3-2 Wiz.

Sunday, June 30

MetroStars at Columbus

Location: Ohio Stadium. Kickoff: 3:00 p.m. (ET). Television:
Univision. Satellite: Spacenet 3, Tr. 5.

Previous meeting: Brian Bliss hit the gamewinner in Columbus' 2-0 win April 27 at Giants Stadium.

Injuries: MetroStars -- D Ted Gillen (strained hamstring) and D Rhett Harty (strained lower back) are questionable; Columbus -- G Bo Oshoniyi (strained shoulder), D Mark Watson (sprained knee) and M Shane Battelle (strained foot tendon) are probable, F Brian McBride (separated shoulder) is questionable.

Preview: After their dismal six-game losing streak, Columbus has notched consecutive shootout wins on the road. David Winner has taken over in goal for Bo Oshoniyi, and has been a force in the tiebreakers. Doctor Khumalo's return and the steady play of Billy Thompson and discovery signing Robert Warzycha have been a big part of Columbus' recent turnaround. The Crew announced Friday that their fifth allocated player will be Ricardo Iribarren, a veteran Argentine defender who spent ten years with Estudiantes (where he teamed with Columbus forward Adrian Paz) and the past two with Belgrano de Cordoba. At the age of 16, the 6-2, 200 pound Iribarren captained Estudiantes to the Libertadores Cup title. He is expected to join the Crew within the next week.

Meanwhile, things are starting to turn around for the MetroStars. Italy's early exit from Euro '96 allowed Roberto Donadoni to rejoin the lineup, and the wily midfielder set up Giovanni Savarese for what turned out to be the winning goal in a 2-0 defeat of Kansas City. Donadoni, however, has returned to Italy for a brief vacation and will likely miss the Crew encounter. Still, Tab Ramos, Chris Da Silva, and recent USISL callup Manny Lagos are playing well in midfield, and Giovanni Savarese regained his scoring touch on Tuesday. Colombian Ruben Dario Hernandez has apparently left the team for personal reasons, while midfielder Mickey Kydes retired after the MetroStars lost to San Jose June 16.


MetroStars -- Meola, Caricola, Knowles, Harty, Zaun, Lagos, Ramos, Da Silva, Vermes, Savarese, Johnson.

Columbus -- Winner, Clark, Watson, Bliss, Caligiuri, Thompson, Warzycha, Michallik, Khumalo, Marino, Paz.

Prediction: Three in a row for team Timo, 3-1 Crew.

New England at D.C. United

Location: RFK Stadium. Kickoff: 4:00 p.m. (ET). Television:
Home Team Sports (delayed to 7:30 p.m., eastern). Satellite:
Spacenet 3, Tr. 23.

Previous meeting: The Revolution thrilled home fans by edging United 2-1 in a shootout on April 27

Injuries: New England -- M John DeBrito (strained hamstring), M Peter Woodring (strained Achilles), and D Ted Chronopoulos (sprained ankle) are probable; D.C. United -- D George Gelnovatch (strained groin) and D Jesse Marsch (bruised calf) are doubtful, D Jeff Agoos (bruised hip) and F Tony Sanneh (sprained ankle) are questionable, M John Harkes (bruised shoulder) and F Steve Rammel (calf contusion) are probable, D Mike Huwiler (pulled groin) is on injured reserve.

Preview: Marco Etcheverry will get his first look at New England, as he missed the Foxboro match due to World Cup qualifying. The skillful Bolivian should make life difficult for Alexi Lalas and the Revs defense. Richie Williams is back in the D.C. midfield after a one-game suspension for a handball in the box against Kansas City, and Mark Simpson will again start in goal after a solid effort in San Jose last Sunday. New England, after a promising start to the season, has fallen into the cellar of the Eastern Conference, despite the presence of three All-Stars in Lalas, Mike Burns, and Welton. With Lalas joining the Olympic team in July, Revs coach Frank Stapleton needs all the victories he can get -- now.


New England -- St. Andre, Fraser, Wylie, Lalas, Chronopoulos, Aunger, Burns, Kerr, Naveda, Keegan, Welton.

D.C. United -- Simpson, Vaudreuil, Imler, Agoos, Gori, Williams, Medved, Harkes, Etcheverry, Diaz Arce, Rammel.

Prediction: Etcheverry gets his league leading tenth assist in a 3-1 United victory.

Los Angeles at Colorado

Location: Mile High Stadium. Kickoff: 4:00 p.m. (ET). Television: KTLA-5 Los Angeles. Satellite: none.

Previous meeting: Eduardo Hurtado scored a hat trick in L.A.'s 3-1 win Wednesday in Pasadena, Calif.

Injuries: Los Angeles -- M Chris Armas (sprained ankle) and D Curt Onalfo (strained hamstring) are probable, M Arash Noamouz (torn knee cartilage) is on injured reserve; Colorado -- M Marcelo Balboa (strained hamstring) is doubtful, D Ian Butterworth (bruised thigh) and F Richard Sharpe (strained knee) are questionable, G Chris Woods (strained groin) is probable, D Troy Edwards (strained groin) and F Jean Harbor (broken arm) are on injured reserve.

Preview: The Galaxy are looking unstoppable now that "El Tanque" (Eduardo Hurtado) has found his game. The Ecuadoran notched his second hat trick in three weeks against the Rapids on Wednesday. Solid play from Harut Karapetyan and Guillermo Jara coupled with the return of Jose Vasquez (2 goals and an assist before breaking his foot early in the season) gives Los Angeles an embarrassment of riches up front. To make room for Vasquez's return from injured reserve, the Galaxy designated Ante Razov as a developmental player.

The Rapids, on the other hand, are foundering at the bottom of the Western Conference, and Marcelo Balboa's hamstring injury couldn't have come at a more inopportune time, with Ian Butterworth and Troy Edwards also hurt. Scott Cannon, who was burned several times early in the year, held his own on Wednesday night -- can he do it again? Roy Wegerle has been forced to play up front for the Rapids recently (he had played well as an attacking midfielder), and he has not seen much of the ball. With Jean Harbor out and Richard Sharpe ailing, this troublesome trend may continue unless Scott Benedetti and Dominic Kinnear step up in midfield.


Los Angeles -- Campos, Calichman, Fraser, Motajo, Semioli, Vanney, Salcedo, Cienfuegos, Jones, Karapetyan, Hurtado.

Colorado -- Woods, Henderson, Kmosko, Hamlett, Cannon, Trittschuh, Kinnear, Rodriguez, Benedetti, Wegerle, Bartlett.

Prediction: Galaxy are 13-0 after a 4-2 win.

Tampa Bay at San Jose

Location: Spartan Stadium. Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. (ET). Television: SportsChannel Florida. Satellite: SBS 6, Tr. 15..

Previous meeting: Carlos Valderrama assisted on three first-half goals, and the Mutiny held on for a 3-2 home victory on May 18.

Injuries: Tampa Bay -- D Steve Pittman (left knee irritation) is out, F Roy Lassiter (mild concussion) and M Goran Hunjak (bruised quadricep) are probable, D Tayt Ianni (sprained knee) and M Peter Hattrup (torn ACL and MCL) are on injured reserve; San Jose -- F Eric Wynalda (separated shoulder) is probable, M Paul Holocher (torn ACL) is on injured reserve.

Preview: The Clash (7-7) are looking to break .500 for the first time since their inaugural game win in April, and they have a good chance with the return of Eric Wynalda to the starting lineup. Although San Jose has won two straight without "Waldo" (who has been nursing a nagging shoulder injury that was aggravated during U.S. Cup '96), Laurie Calloway's club looked very shaky in both affairs. Midfielder/forward Jeff Baicher scored the gamewinner in both matches, and has been a tireless worker, while Dave Salzwedel continues to shine in goal, and the new defensive scheme employing Tim Martin as a sweeper has paid dividends.

Tampa Bay boasts a 4-2 road record, with both losses via shootout. Forward Roy Lassiter has scored goals in an MLS record six consecutive games, giving fans plenty of opportunities to see Tampa's "human glider" post-goal celebration. Carlos Valderrama will need to work his magic against San Jose, because All-Star defender Steve Pittman is out until July 12 after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee this week. John Diffley will replace Pittman in the Mutiny lineup.


Tampa Bay -- Dougherty, Kooiman, Yallop, Diffley, Ralston, Hunjak, Valderrama, Vasquez, Wise, Galderisi, Lassiter.

San Jose -- Salzwedel, Martin, Dayak, Doyle, Draguicevich, Emenalo, Baicher, Iroha, Espinoza, Bravo, Wynalda.

Prediction: "Pibe" and Lassiter soar in Tampa's 3-2 win.

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