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Fire-Wizards Preview

May 14, 2010 - 7:28 PM By MATT BEARDMORE STATS Writer

Chicago (2-3-2) at Kansas City (2-3-1), 8:30 p.m. EDT

Since opening the season with two shutout wins at home, the Kansas City Wizards have not posted a victory. Returning to CommunityAmerica Ballpark might help them get back on track.

Playing its first match in 10 days, Kansas City looks to snap a four-game winless streak Saturday night when its faces a Chicago Fire team trying to bounce back from its worst performance of the season.

Since a 4-0 victory over D.C. United on March 27 and a 1-0 win against Colorado two weeks later, the Wizards (2-3-1) have scored only once while going 0-3-1. Kei Kamara's goal in second-half stoppage time of a 2-1 loss at D.C. in Kansas City's last match May 5 was the Wizards' first score in more than 360 minutes.

"It was good to get the goal," coach Peter Vermes told the Wizards' official website. "But we needed to get it a little earlier to put a little more pressure on them because that was what they were a little bit fearful of, us getting a goal and how they would respond."

Kansas City looks to rebound with its third victory and fourth straight shutout at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

Chicago (2-3-2) will try to be the first team to score against Wizards goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen in Kansas City this season, but Fire coach Carlos de los Cobos will need a better performance from his club than in Saturday's 4-1 loss at Toronto FC.

Chicago, which gave up one score in its previous three matches combined, allowed its highest goal total since a 4-1 loss at FC Dallas on Sept. 21, 2008.

"It was 100 percent our fault," defender C.J. Brown told the Fire's official website.

Chicago received a boost from Logan Pause, who returned after missing more than a month with a left knee sprain and scored the MLS goal of the week.

Pause and the Fire, though, will have to adjust to Kansas City's playing field, which is listed at 110 yards long by 70 yards wide - one of the smallest in the league.

"We're going there to obviously get three points, that's not any secret," Pause said. "We'll deal with that a little bit later in the week talking about dimensions and stuff like that, but it doesn't really change a whole lot of what we're trying to do."

With Fire goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra trying to rebound from a rocky performance, Kansas City will look to avenge a 2-0 home loss to Chicago on Aug. 16. It was Vermes' first game as the Wizards' interim coach after Curt Onalfo was fired.

Davy Arnaud, who missed that match due to yellow-card accumulation, is eligible to return Saturday after serving a one-game suspension for getting red-carded in the Wizards' 3-0 loss at Houston on May 1.

Fire midfielder John Thorrington remains out with a quad injury.

Chicago leads the all-time series 20-9-7.