Tuesday, September 17, 2013

17 September 2005 - Never Too Old To Lend A Hand (Or Foot)

On 17 September 2005, Preki simultaneously became MLS's oldest assist provider and Kansas City's all-time assist leader when he helped them earn a 2-2 draw with Los Angeles.

The 42-year old striker was in his ninth season with Kansas City. He first joined them in 1996, then left in 2001 for a season with Miami before returning to the Wizards in 2002. During his time there, he won the MLS Cup in 2000 and the US Open Cup in 2003, and was twice named the league's MVP, in 1997 and 2003. To date, he remains the only player to win that award more than once.

In 2005, however, the team was struggling and by September looked unlikely to make the MLS playoffs. The Galaxy were still hopeful of reaching the postseason and took a substantial step toward that goal by going up 0-2 against Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium with goals from Chris Albright (26') and Hercules Gomez (36').

The margin held until the 81st minute, when Davy Arnaud headed home from a corner kick. Five minutes later, Preki provided his record-setting assist to Josh Wolff, who equalized with another header. Preki's precise age was 42 years and 85 days, which remains an MLS record. It was also his 98th career assist for Kansas City, a club record.

Unfortunately for Kansas City, the draw did not help them reach the playoffs. Los Angeles did make it, though, and went on to win the MLS Cup over New England, 1-0.

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