So it’s almost time to say goodbye to 2006 and hello to 2007. Normally at this time of year, people put out their wishes and wants for the coming year. Naturally, I’m gonna do that as well. So without further ado here are my hopes and wishes for the new year in the realm of soccer and the Wizards.
- The Wizards Announce 2007-2008 home. We know the team will be in KC next season, and with the renovations to Arrowhead, playing there is not an option. At the season ticket holder Christmas Party back on December 20th, season ticket holders were told that the location should be announced in January. Get it announced soon we're all ready to know where we'll be playing next season. The final 3 locations seem to be Ray-Pec High School, College Boulevard Atletic Complex, and Rockhurst High School.
- Announcement of Plans to Build Wizards SSS. The whole thing with 159th and 69 highway is over, time to look towards other things. Here's to hoping that in 2007 we get to hear the great news that the Wizards will be building a Soccer Specific Stadium. OnGoal LLC has continued to work since the failure of the youth soccer complex initiative back in November to find a location for an SSS. Here's to hoping it's announced early in the year and possibly even a ground breaking later in the year.
- Return to the Playoffs for the Wizards. Two years in a row now the Wizards have failed to make the playoffs. In the parity that is MLS, that is unacceptable. Definitly don't want to make it 3 years in a row without a playoff appearance. The Wizards have made 1 change that I feel will definitly help with this. The trade for Kevin Hartman is a major upgrade of the keeper position for the Wizards. For the past 2 seasons, Bo hasn't seemed like a starter, he is a good back up and can play well when called upon that way, but when he's named the number 1, as he was from MLS Cup 2004 on, he showed he wasn't a true starting keeper.
- Return to form for Eddie Johnson. For the Wizards to be successful this season, Eddie needs to get back into form. With Josh Wolff gone, Eddie becomes the focal point of the attack, and here's hoping he responds in kind. With Scott Sealy and Dave van den Bergh, an in form Johnson could make the Wizards offense extremely potent. Course this was what was expected last season and we all saw what happened. So here's to a return to form for Eddie Johnson along with some making up with teammates over his attitude late in the season that led to his suspension at the end of the season.
- Jamie Trecker Exposed for the Pompous Ass He is to the Entire World. Not just for getting all of Americas hopes up by saying that Klinsmannas US Men's National Team Coach was a done deal, but for years of being probably the stupidest soccer journalist I have ever read. Then his latest column, where he continues his hate for Kansas City and his crusade to have the team moved. You can read it here, if you dare. WARNING, this is linked to a Trecker article, BEWARE.
- US Men's National Team Gold Cup and Copa America Success. I want the US team to get back on it's feet after a very lackluster 2006 World Cup. The team has 2 federation tournaments they are competing in this year, a chance to find some redemption. That said, I don't want them to do too well. The hiring of Bob Bradley was a huge mistake in my opinion, and I fear a good run in both tournaments would turn Bradley into the permanent coach, which would be terrible for the US team. Bradley is in the Arena mold, he's worked under Arena and has a similar style, he's not the one to take the US to the next level.
- The Wizards Bring in an Attacking Midfielder. The Wizards have had a lack of creativity out of the midfield since Preki retired. At times Davy Arnaud has shown flashes of creativity, but not enough. With Coach Curt Onalfo's attacking style that he says he's bringing to the team, the Wizards will need someone in the middle of the park that will distribute the ball. Here's hoping Onalfo and Peter Verme's trip to South America was productive and they found a player that can fill that spot who will come to KC.
- A Friendly Against a European Team for the Wizards. At the season ticket holder party on the 20th, Wizards season ticket holders were told that the Wizards are working on getting a European team to come to Kansas City next year to play a friendly against the Wizards. As well as setting up a possible home-home series with said European team. Here's to the Wizards finally getting a game against a foreign team in Kansas City.
Happy New Year everyone.