On This Day presented by UMKC - June 8, 2020
Stephen Dunn | Allsport

On This Day presented by UMKC: Kansas City earns Preki-inspired road wins in 1996 and 1997

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 eighth day of June was particularly kind to Sporting Kansas City during its infancy as an MLS original.

On June 8, 1996, less than two months into the Kansas City Wiz's inaugural season, MLS superstar Preki led his team to a shootout victory after playing the Columbus Crew to a thrilling 3-3 draw at the iconic Ohio Stadium.

Digital Takawira fired the visitors ahead inside 20 minutes, only for the Crew to strike thrice before halftime to take a 3-1 lead. Kansas City grabbed a goal back five minutes after the restart when Preki assisted Scott Uderitz's first MLS goal, then drew level on the hour-mark thanks to a Preki penalty kick.

In the ensuing shootout to decide the game, Preki, Mark Chung, Eric Eichmann and Kevin Koetters buried their penalties while Kansas City goalkeeper Garth Lagerwey produced a vital save, giving the Wiz a wild win.

Fast-forward one year to June 8, 1997, and Preki once again orchestrated a dramatic comeback. Just 48 hours removed from ousting the Dallas Burn on penalties, the renamed Wizards traveled west to face the San Jose Clash at Spartan Stadium. U.S. international Eric Wynalda gave the hosts an early 1-0 advantage, but Chung leveled terms just before intermission.

Preki tallied his first goal of the night in the 58th minute and the Clash restored parity shortly thereafter through Lawrence Lozzano, leaving everything to play for in the final half-hour. With just three minutes left on the clock, Mo Johnston assisted Preki's game-winner as Kansas City emerged victorious.

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