05/30/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 05/30/2020 08:43
On This Day presented by UMKC takes daily strolls down memory lane and celebrates memorable moments in Sporting Kansas City history. As one of Major League Soccer's proud charter members, Sporting has a decorated past full of thrilling victories, amazing goals, momentous off-the-field developments and more. This series pays tribute to these specific instances, turning back the clocks while treating fans to nostalgia and club history lessons. For more, visit SportingKC.com/OnThisDay.
The 1997 regular season campaign was one to remember for the Kansas City Wizards, who racked up a club-record 21 wins under head coach Ron Newman and finished atop the Western Conference standings.
Over the course of 32 games, Digital Takawira, Mo Johnston, Mark Chung and league MVP Preki sparked a lethal attack that averaged nearly two goals per game. The 1997 Wizards also developed a habit of winning on the road, claiming nine victories away from Arrowhead Stadium.
Among Kansas City's statement performances in its successful sophomore season was a 3-1 defeat of the LA Galaxy at the Rose Bowl. Twenty-three years ago today, Newman's men ventured west to face a Galaxy outfit that had come agonizingly close to winning the inaugural MLS Cup the previous year. Kansas City and LA played to a scoreless first half before the hosts took a 55th-minute lead through Brian Taylor.
Undeterred, the Wizards staged a late-game rally to stun the Rose Bowl crowd and emerge triumphant. Takawira assisted Paul Wright's equalizer in the 71st minute before turning goal scorer himself in the 87th, finishing off a pass from Preki. The victory was effectively sealed two minutes later when Greg Vanney's own goal made the score 3-1 in favor of the visitors.