Thursday, March 08, 2007

Wizards Offseason

With the season about a month away and the Kansas City Wizards first game of the season against Seattle in a friendly on April 7th, it's time for a look at what the Wizards have done in comparison to the team the Wizards put on the field last season.

Here's the Wizards lineup for their last game of the season, on the road against New York:
Bo Oshoniyi, Nick Garcia, Jimmy Conrad, Ryan Raybould (Yura Movsisyan 69), Jose Burciaga Jr., Davy Arnaud, Jack Jewsbury, Sasha Victorine, Dave van den Bergh (Ryan Pore 77), Josh Wolff, Scott Sealy,

Substitutes Not Used: Will Hesmer, Shavar Thomas, Tyson Wahl, Lance Watson, Kerry Zavagnin

First off let's see who's no longer on the Wizards roster.
Bo Oshoniyi was waived, Dave van den Bergh was traded to New York for a supplemental draft pick, and Will Hesmer was taken in the expansion draft and then traded to Columbus.

Now let's look at the Wizards big pickups this offseason:
Kevin Hartmen was picked up in a trade with LA, Michael Harrington was drafted in the first round of this years draft.

Earlier this offseason, Curt Onalfo said that the 2 main areas the team needed to improve was goalkeeping and midfield. Goalkeeper has been taken care of, the trade for Hartmen is an upgrade over Oshoniyi. Then last Friday, the Wizards released a press announcement with the senior roster for this year. In the announcement was this quote from Onalfo: "When (Technical Director) Peter Vermes and I took over the leadership on the technical side of the organization, we identified the areas we wanted to improve," Kansas City Wizards Head Coach Curt Onalfo said. "I think we tackled those issues during the off-season and I'm comfortable with the roster as it stands now. I'm optimistic we will have a successful 2007 season."

Excuse me Curt, but what happened to getting a midfielder? The midfield is still a very weak spot for the Wizards, currently on the roster there is only 1 maybe 2 midfielders that aren't afraid to take defenders on. The rest are mainly a mixture of unproven players and defensive mids. There's been no improvement there and right now we're gonna be playing the same "bypass the midfield" game we played last season where we just hoof the ball forward to the forwards.

It's frustrating to see other teams going out and improving their team greatly while KC sits on it's hands "comfortable with the roster as it stands." DC signed Luciano Emilio, who's already made an impact in the CONCACAF Champion's Cup, and look like they're going to be signing Fred from Austrailian. Toronto FC is looking to be the strongest expansion team since Chicago back in 98. New York has improved themselves and with a full season under Arena is going to be better.

Overall the Wizards just don't look like they'll be competitive this season, they've addressed 1 need, but haven't touched any other needs, and in that time other teams in the conference have improved, including the one closest to us last season, New York. They'll be missing Conrad, Johnson, and possibly Sealy during the summer for National team duty. This is basically the same group of players that have missed the playoffs the past 2 seasons. Right now I see the Wizards missing the playoffs for the third year in a row, and fighting to avoid finishing 13th out of 13 teams this season.

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