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 Tuesday, August 13, 2002 20:54 EST

MLS Previews


Los Angeles (10-7-3) at Columbus (8-10-4), 7:30 p.m. ET
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Los Angeles Galaxy will try to sweep their season series with the Columbus Crew on Wednesday, when the clubs square off at Crew Stadium.

Galaxy striker Carlos Ruiz scored nine minutes into the contest and with 15 minutes left on July 27 as Los Angeles posted a 2-1 home triumph over Columbus at the Rose Bowl. Ruiz, who scored six times in four matches last month, on Friday was named MLS Player of the Month for July.

The league's leading goal-scorer with 16, Ruiz recorded his first assist of the season, setting up Cobi Jones' game-winner in the Galaxy's 2-1 win over the New England Revolution.

The Galaxy will look to become the first team this season to record a three-game winning streak by beating the Crew.

Columbus will attempt to bounce back after Saturday's 2-1 loss at Colorado.

The Galaxy have no injury concerns, while the Crew will miss two key players. Midfielder John Wilmar Perez has a sprained left MCL and striker Brian McBride has a sprained left ankle.

Kansas City (8-6-8) at Chicago (8-9-4), 8:30 p.m. ET
NAPERVILLE, Illinois -- The Chicago Fire look to continue their regular-season mastery of the Kansas City Wizards on Wednesday, when the teams meet for the first time during the 2002 campaign.

The Fire swept their two-game series with the Wizards a year ago, outscoring Kansas City by a combined score of 9-0. Chicago has posted a 10-2-0 record in its all-time series with Kansas City, including a 6-0-0 home mark.

However, the Wizards beat the Chicago Fire, 1-0, in the 2000 MLS Cup final.

Chicago forward Ante Razov has enjoyed past success against Kansas City. He has tallied seven goals and two assists for 16 points in eight career games against the Wizards.

Both sides with be without key players. Fire midfielder Peter Nowak is out with a sprained left MCL, while defender Evan Whitfield (torn left ACL) and midfielder Chris Armas (torn right ACL) still are recovering from their respective reconstructive surgeries.

Meanwhile, Wizards defender Nick Garcia will be serving a one-match ban due to an accumulation of yellow cards.

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