Sunday, March 25, 2007

Wizards News

Nothing major to report that I've found out about the team, just wanted to get some of the recent news out there and comment on it about the team.

The Kansas City Wizards were back in town on Thursday, and were out on Saturday night at the VooDoo Lounge for a meet the players night that was fairly enjoyable. This is one of the good things about soccer in this country and particularly MLS. The players are so approachable and easy to talk to. I was able to laugh with Sasha Victorine about UCLA beating KU in the NCAA tournament. In a world where most of the sports players in this country seem so above the fans, it's nice to have guys that are willing to spend time interacting with the fans. There are also 2 more chances to meet some of the Wizards players before their first game on the 7th. See this post on bigsoccer for details on gatherings on both the 5th and 6th of April.

The Wizards also updated their roster on Friday, with one roster spot left available, and 3 players still non-contract players listed on the website. The interesting thing, is that one of the none roster players, KC's fourth round pick of the superdraft, Kurt Morsink, is listed as a non contract player. Yet this article on MLSnet says that Morsink has been given Preki's old number, 11. You wouldn't go around announcing the guys number if he wasn't going to be on the roster come opening day. Especially considering that Morsink started many of the preseason games with the first team, as Victorine was out injured. So if Morsink is on the roster, then as of Friday, the roster was full.

Then came this news later Friday night. The Wizards traded back up central defender Shavar Thomas to LA for a conditional second round draft pick next season. I'm not liking this trade at all right now for KC. Shavar is one of the best backups in the league, and with Jimmy Conrad spending time with the National team this summer at either the Gold Cup or the CopaAmerica, KC was gonna need an experienced center back to team with Nick Garcia while Jimmy is away on nats duty. Now the Wizards will likely rely on either second year man Tyson Wahl, or rookieAaron Holbein. Wahl had 607 minutes in 10 games last season. Whoever is the first off the bench out of those 2 will be thrown to the fire early this season, as Nick is suspended for his red card at the end of last season and will miss the first game of the season at DC.

The one good that comes out of this trade is that it does open another roster spot up for another player. One can hope the continued rumors of an Argentinian playermaker are true and the Wizards are getting ready to make a signing. From deals with the old ownership of the Wizards though many Wizards fans are not holding their breath on anything coming of this.

Finally, Jimmy Conrad and Eddie Johnson both started for the US today in their match against Ecuador in Tampa, FL. Jimmy went the full 90 for the US in their 3-1 win, while Eddie was subbed off at the half. While Jimmy and the rest of the US back line looked very shaky in the first half, the US was level 1-1 as Landon Donovan scored in the first minute. In the second half, the US defense tightened up and Ecuador had very few really threatening chances in the second half. Donovan scored 2 more goals for his second career hattrick, the first on a break away similar to his goal against Mexico, and his other 1 minute later a rocket into the upper 90 to the keepers left. As I mentioned in my blog about their call up, Eddie has got to be running out of chances with the national team, as he had another lackluster performance for the US. Will be interesting to see if he even makes the bench for the game on Wednesday.

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