Thursday, May 31, 2007

Capped Wizards

Another statistical entry from me today. I don't really remember where I got this idea from, but it's one that I liked so I thought I'd research it.

With the Gold Cup starting, Eddie Johnson will have the chance to add more caps to his resume. When the roster came out, I started to wonder what Wizards player has the most caps for his national team. So I began to look around seeing what info I could find. Using US I was able to get pretty much every single US player that has played a game for the US. It was then a matter of searching for other federations and wikipedia pages to find the information on Wizards who had represented countries other then the US. Through my research, I found that Wizards players have represented 14 different countries. While I was not always able to get exact numbers, or some times even numbers at all, all these current and former Wizards have represented their national team.

Tony Meola - 100 Caps
Alexi Lalas - 96 caps, 9 goals
Chris Henderson - 79 caps, 3 goals
Mike Burns - 75 caps
Peter Vermes - 67 caps, 11 goals
Mike Sorber - 67 caps, 2 goals
Josh Wolff - 48 caps, 9 goals
Frank Klopas - 40 caps, 12 goals
Brian Bliss - 34 caps, 2 goals
Roy Lassister - 30 caps, 4 goals
Eric Eichmann - 29 caps, 4 goals
Preki - 28 caps, 4 goals
Mark Chung - 24 caps, 2 goals
Eddie Johnson - 24 caps, 9 goals
Chris Klein - 22 caps, 5 goals
Kerry Zavagnin - 21 caps
Jimmy Conrad - 21 caps, 1 goal
Mark Santel - 8 caps, 1 goal
John Debrito - 6 caps
Nick Garcia - 6 caps
Yari Allnut - 5 caps, 2 goals
Kevin Hartman - 5 caps
Sasha Victorine - 4 caps, 1 goals
Steve Pittman - 3 caps
Alan Prampin - 2 caps
Diego Gutierrez - 1 cap
Curt Onalfo - 1 cap

Samuel Ekeme - 32 caps

Alex Bunbury - 65 caps, 16 goals

Miklos Molnar - 18 caps, 2 goals

Antti Sumiala - 38 caps, 9 goals

Onandi Lowe - 65 caps, 19 goals
Wolde Harris - 25 caps(at least), 3 goals (at least)
Khari Stephenson - 21 caps, 3 goals
Shavar Thomas - 12 caps
Jermaine Hue - ??? caps, 2 goals (at least) (I was unable to find any good evidence of how many caps he has, if you know of a location, let me know)

Dave van den Bergh - 2 caps

Uche Okafor - 34 caps

Igor Simutenkov - 20 caps, 9 goals


Richard Gough - 61 caps, 6 goals
Mo Johnston - 38 caps, 14 goals

Serbia and Montenegro

Vuk Rašović - 10 caps

Trinidad and Tabago

Gary Glasgow - 49 caps, 11 goals
Scott Sealy - 21 caps, 2 goals


Refik Šabanadžović - 8 caps

Vitalis Takawira - 26 caps, 12 goals

With that done, who is the most capped while a member of the Wizards? Here's the list of players and their number of caps while wearing Wizards blue.

Josh Wolff - USA - 38 caps, 6 goals
Preki - USA - 26 caps, 4 goals
Kerry Zavagnin - USA - 21 caps
Jimmy Conrad - USA - 21 caps, 1 goal
Chris Klein - USA - 17 caps, 3 goals
Gary Glasgow - Trinidad - 16 caps, 1 goal
Scott Sealy - Trinidad - 15 caps, 1 goal
Eddie Johnson - USA - 13 caps, 1 goal
Tony Meola - USA - 9 caps
Nick Garcia - USA - 6 caps
Mike Sorber - USA - 3 caps
Mark Chung - USA - 2 caps
Chris Henderson - USA - 1 cap
Steve Pittman - USA - 1 cap
Miklos Molnar - Denmark - 1 cap

The rest of these players I know or am pretty sure have played for their national team while with the Wizards but can't find exact numbers
Onandi Lowe - Jamaica
Vitalis Takawira - Zimbabwe
Wolde Harris - Jamaica
Khari Stephenson - Jamaica
Shavar Thomas - Jamaica
Uche Okafor - Nigeria
Jermaine Hue - Jamaica

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Former Wizards

I was cruising the other day, and was on the Revolution board on there looking at their pregame thread for last weekends game against KC, and came across this thread. It got me thinking of the former Wizards that are not only playing in MLS and the USL now, but also those that are playing around the world. With me being a lover of stats stuff like this, I took on the challenge.

So I pulled out my 2007 media guide, which is already showing wear and tear from all the times I've looked through it, and started researching through the Wizards all time player registry. From google searches, wikipedia searches, and looking through USL and MLS websites, I came up with at least 23 and as many as 27 former Wizards that are currently still playing the beautiful game. Here are the players in order of the number of appearances they've made with their current club.

Vicente Figueroa - California Cougars (indoor), 23 appearances, 23 goals and 9 assists.
Josh Wolff - 1860 Munich (Germany), 10 appearances, 2 goals.
Chris Klein - Real Salt Lake, 8 appearances, 1 goal, 1 assist.
Dave van den Bergh - Red Bull New York, 8 appearances, 1 goal, 3 assists.
Matt Taylor - Chivas USA, 8 appearances, 1 goal.
Carey Talley - Real Salt Lake, 7 appearances.
Jay Alberts - Vancouver Whitecaps, 7 appearances, 2 goals, 2 assists
Kevin Friedland - Minnesota Thunder, 7 appearances.
Andrew Gregor - Portland Timbers, 6 appearances, 4 goals, 1 assist.
Diego Gutierrez - Chicago Fire, 6 appearances.
Diego Walsh - Adelaide United FC (Australia), 6 appearances.
Alex Zotinca - Chivas USA, 5 appearances, 2 assists.
Antti Sumiala - Porin Palloilijat (Finland), 5 appearances, 1 goal
Stephen Armstrong - Charleston Battery, 5 appearances, 2 goals, 1 assist
Chris Brown - Real Salt Lake, 4 appearances, 1 goal
Brandon Prideaux - Colorado Rapids, 3 appearances
Shavar Thomas
- Chivas USA, 3 appearances
Taylor Graham - Red Bull New York, 1 appearance, 1 assist
Will Hesmer - Columbus Crew, 0 appearances
John Wilson - DC United, 0 appearances
Khari Stephenson - AIK (Sweden), 0 appearances

The following players I've found information on where they are playing now, but have no clue on their current stats with those teams.

Gary Glasgow
- Joe Public FC (Trinidad)
Jermaine Hue - Harbour View FC (Jamaica)
Dustin Branan - Minnesota Thunder (does not appear on team's website roster)
Onandi Lowe - Miami FC (although he does not appear on team's roster)
Wolde Harris - Winnipeg Alliance (indoor) (he does not appear on team's roster)
Igor Simutenkov - Dynamo Voronezh (Russia)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

DTB Wizards Player of the Month & the US Open Cup

So the month of May is winding down and it's time to announce Down the Byline's Wizards Player of the Month. I didn't do April's player of the month, because you can't really argue when the league picks a Wizards player to be MLS player of the month.

So we are on to May and for me this month comes down to 2 players. Either Eddie Johnson or Davy Arnaud. Stat wise, Eddie scored 3 goals and had 1 assist in the month of May to up his season total to 6 goals and 3 assists, both of those are 3 times his stats from last season when he finished with 2 and 1 respectively. As for Davy, he finished the month with 2 goals and 2 assists. His first points of the season.

While Eddie's stats are overall better then Davy's for this month, I have to give the award to Davy this month. Eddie's 3 goals all came in the game against New England and while that is fantastic and great, over the course of the whole month, I think Davy has had a better month. He played his ass off in the second half against Dallas after everyone had played a poor first half. He scored the game tying goal in Colorado, and he scored the first goal that helped get the Wizards back into the game in New England after falling behind 2-0. So with that said, I name Davy Aranud, Down the Byline's May Wizards Player of the Month.

US Open Cup
Onto Brass news. It looks like the Brass will get to play their first match of the US Open Cup at home, at William Jewell College. According to US Soccer, the pairings for the first round of matches was released today. The Brass will open their US Open Cup run against USL-2 side, the Cleveland City Stars. The Stars are in their first season of USL-2 play, but are currently 3-1-1 in league play. The Brass will play down in Springfield this Friday, but their next game after that will be the match against the Stars. So everyone, be prepared to get out and support your local team in the US Open Cup.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Trialist from Israel working out with Wizards

According to a poster on bigsoccer, the Wizards will be having a trailist from Israel training with them, starting June 4th. The original article can be found here, but don't expect me to be translating it for you.

The trialist, Idan Shriki, just finished his season in Israel with F.C. Ashdod. For Ashdod he played in 33 games, starting 32 of them, scoring 11 goals and 3 assists. According to his wikipedia page, he is one of Ashdod's brightest talents. According to the poster on bigsoccer, he's a national team caliber, but has not received a call up as yet. Shriki is the second player from Israel to be linked with the Wizards this year, earlier this year, the Wizards were linked to Hapoel Tel Aviv player, Luciano De Bruno.

This is an interesting move for the Wizards in my opinion, it's another forward being brought into the team. With Scott Sealy having been out for a good month now with his injury, and with Eddie Johnson getting ready to leave for national team duty at the Gold Cup, it seems that Coach Onalfo is looking for some extra support up top other then Ryan Pore and Yura Movsisyan. Which makes sense, Pore and Movsisyan are not ready to be full time starters in my opinion, Movsisyan has tons of potential, but he's still not reading the game well enough in my opinion, the raw talent is there but it needs to be worked. Pore has always reminded me of a bench, fringe forward on the Wizards roster, he's there, but not much is expected of him. This is something that probably needed to be done, to put pressure on all the forwards, bringing in what looks to be a capable forward is gonna create competition and get the best players on the field.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Brass Qualify for US Open Cup

While the Kansas City Wizards fell to Real Salt Lake in the first round of MLS qualifying for the US Open Cup, Kansas City's other team, the Kansas City Brass qualified tonight to play in the oldest soccer tournament in the United States, by defeating the St. Louis Lions 3-1 at the Tony Glavin Complex in St. Louis.

To qualify for the Open Cup, the Brass first defeated 2005 PDL Champs, and the Heartland's US Open Cup representative the past two years, the Des Moines Menace 3-1 at William Jewell College, which I mentioned in this entry. The Brass then went up to Sioux Falls, and beat the Spitfire 2-1. Then last night they defeated the Springfield Demize in KC, to set up today's match in St. Louis. A win or a draw by KC would have put them in the tournament, and thanks to goals by Garret Guthrie, Joshua White, and Joshua Howard, the Brass went through 3-1.

The team will now wait to see who they get paired with in the first round of the tournament and where the game will be played at. The match though will be played on June 12. The Brass will either be paired against a USL-1 or a USL-2 team, the second and third tier of US soccer. This is the Brass' first appearance in the US Open Cup since 1998 when they lost in extra time to the Central Jersey Riptide. So while the Wizards did not make the actual tournament this season, the Brass will be representing Kansas City in the US Open Cup in 2007. Go Brass.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Wizards get GREAT road win

The Kansas City Wizards pulled out a fantastic win on the road tonight in New England against the Revolution, thanks to a hattrick from Eddie Johnson. The Wizards, playing without 3 starting defenders, started the game pressuring the Revs higher up the field. Pressure by the midfielders and the forwards allowed there to be less pressure on the Wizards back 4, which was starting 2 rookies, a second year player, and a converted midfielder. Even though the Wizards went down 2-0, the high pressure was working effectively, as the Revs had only a few chances, the problem was, they converted those first two chances to put the Wizards in a hole. Then results changed, only 2 minutes after Taylor Twellman made it 2-0, Davy Aranud equalized, bringing down a cross from Sasha Victorine sweetly off his chest and then one timed it past Matt Reis to cut the deficit in half. Less then a minute later, the Wizards found themselves level thanks to Johnson's fourth of the season. Johnson received the ball from Jack Jewsbury, turned Jay Heaps, then beat him and placed the ball under Reis to tie the game at 2 with only 25 minutes played. The Wizards made it 3-2 in the 38th, with Johnson again being the goal scorer. Johnson beat Heaps again, as he cut across the face of goal, and finished between 2 Reves defenders to give the Wizards a shocking 3-2 lead as the teams headed into the half time break.

The Revs were able to draw level in the 69th minute thanks to a Jewsbury handball that lead to a PK, which was buried by Shalrie Joseph. The final goal of the game in the 82nd minute, was probably the best of them all. Carlos Marinelli played a fantastic through ball, splitting the Revs defense. Johnson was able to run across the field, and his first touch was excellent, as it allowed him to round Reis with the touch and then bury it into the net to make it 4-3, and complete his first ever hattrick. It was the Wizards first hattrick since Davy Arnaud back in 2004. The win was preserved a few minutes later off of a great save by Kevin Hartman on Twellman.

This is a fantastic result for the Wizards, they went into New England undermanned and came out of there with the full 3 points. The Wizards are now only 1 point out of first place with a big game against Red Bull coming up at Arrowhead next weekend.

3 Stars of the Game
1. Eddie Johnson - KC - Eddie's best game I think I've ever seen him play, he was physical, he used pace, he used skill, he looked dangerous, he looked like the striker that the Wizards and the US National team need.
2. Davy Arnaud - KC - Davy has now gotten a point in 3 straight games now, and a goal in his last 2. His first touch on his goal was world class.
3. Steve Ralston - NE - The Revs best player tonight, scored their first goal and had a shot off of a free kick hit the cross bar.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Undermanned Wizards to take on New England

The Wizards have not been able to field their full first team yet this season. First Marinelli was not up to fitness yet, then Scott Sealy went down with an injury. The closest the Wizards have come to a full first team, was in the second half of the US Open Cup against Salt Lake, when Marinelli subbed in the game.

The Wizards will continue to be without their full first team this weekend in New England as they take on the Revolution. According to the preview on MLSnet, and from his radio show on Wednesday, Jimmy Conrad is ruled out for the match due to his hamstraing strain. Sealy is also listed as being out for this match, but according to a poster on bigsoccer who went out to practice yesterday, Sealy was at least practicing. Also from his observations though, was that Jose Burciaga did not practice, neither did Nick Garcia. Which left the converted midfielder, Jack Jewsbury as the only starting defender that practiced. Not a good sign when you are going to be taking on the league's leading scorer, Taylor Twellman. From his observations and overhearing Coach Onalfo talking, this is apparently what the lineup will look like in New England:

Jewsbury - Hohlbein - Garcia - Wahl
Arnaud - Victorine - Harrington
Movsisyan - Johnson

That defense scares me quie a bit, especially with Steve Ralston on the wing for Tyson Wahl to contend with. I'd probably feel more comfortable with Michael Harrington moving back to left back and playing Kurt Morsink in the middle in front of him. While that takes away Harrington's attacking ability, it at least gives us a player who has played left back more then Wahl, who is more of a center back.

I'm not to optimistic about this game, the Wizards are playing well below full strength right now.

KC - 1 (Johnson)
NE - 2 (Twellman, Ralston)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

US Gold Cup roster announced

US Men's Head Coach, Bob Bradley, announced his roster for the upcoming Gold Cup. There is one Wizard on the roster, Eddie Johnson. Jimmy Conrad had to rule himself out of the running for the Gold Cup, due to his hamstring injury that he picked up in Colorado this weekend. Jimmy though seemed to be more interested in going to Venezuela for the Copa America, judging by his comments on his radio show. The hamstring injury will keep him out of the match against New England this weekend.

The MLS players will be reporting to camp on June 3, so Eddie will play this weekend against New England, and next weekend at home against Red Bull New York, before missing possibly the next 3 matches (@ New York, @ Columbus, and Houston) while on duty with the national team. The US will be taking on Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, and El Salvador in group play, June 7th through June 12. Should the US advance, which if they don't would be a major upset, they'll play either June 16 or 17, in the Quarters, a semifinal date on June 21, and the Gold Cup finals are June 24.

The Wizards could also be without Scott Sealy if he happens to get called up by Trinidad's national team, although with his current injury problems, that seems unlikely.

As for the Wizards opponents while Eddie is gone with the national team, the Wizards will play a full strength New York side, who is losing no one to the Gold Cup. They will then play at Columbus against a team that will be without captain Frankie Hejduk, who was called up. Finally if they make the finals they'll face Houston, who will be without Brian Ching and Ricardo Clark. They could also be without Dwayne De Rosario, if Canada happens to make the Gold Cup finals as well.

An interesting note about the roster for the Gold Cup though, as according to Ives, injuries forced a lot of changes to be made to the roster (Jimmy having to be dropped, etc). One name that was apparently being floated as getting a call up for the cup, was Wizards rookie Michael Harrington, who has had a fantastic rookie season so far.

Cerner Takeover?

I heard an interesting rumor from a friend of mine today, he was asking if I'd heard about the possible takeover of Cerner. I told him I had not and immediately went to my computer to see what I could find. I was able to find this article online in the Kansas City Star's business section.

Apparently Cerner is being eyed by General Electric. Co. and McKesson Corp. Although an analysis dismisses these rumored takeovers, it's still an interesting topic.

Why you might ask in a blog about soccer, would a rumored takeover being interesting? Well, when one of the owners of the Wizards is the chairman of the board, chief executive officier, and co-founder of Cerner, Neal Patterson, and another is currently vice chairman of the board of Cerner, Clifford Illig, that's when.

The takeover could have and immediate impact on the current state of the Wizards, depending on what happens if/when the takeover occurs, do Patterson and Illig stay on in some way or do they leave the company?

The main question though is how a move like this would affect the Wizards. That I do not know, I don't pretend to be a business savvy person. I'll leave the answers to those questions to people that know more about the topic, but I thought this was something worth mentioning to my readers.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Weekend in Colorado

Getting up at 5 am on your day off isn't normally something that you look forward to, but when you're a Kansas City Wizards fan, and you're getting up so that you can meet up with a van to ride out to Denver to watch the Wizards play, it's something you definitly look forward to. By plane and automobile, 40 plus Wizards fans made the trip out to Denver this weekend to watch the Wizards take on the Colorado Rapids. 18 of us traveled in 2 12 passenger vans. As anyone that has taken the drive from KC to Denver will tell you, it's one of the most boring drives in the US, but when the closest MLS team to you is 8-10 hours away, sometimes you gotta make the long boring drives.

Once in Denver, with the realization that another Kansas City team was in town to play as well, a group of us made the trip to Coors Field to watch the Royals come from 2 down in the 8th inning to win the game 5-2. Coors is an amazing stadium, and it's situation near downtown Denver, and within walking distance of the Breckenridge Brewery, almost makes me change my mind about a downtown baseball stadium in KC.

Saturday was another early morning for many of us, as we got up to go to a local pub to watch the FA Cup final between Manchester United and Chelsea. A rather dull encounter only avoided penalties thanks to a late Didier Drogba goal to give Chelsea the 1-0 win, and a "double" as they'll call it. For me personally winning the league cup and the FA Cup is in no way a double, but I digress.

It was then on to a supporters match between the Cauldron and a mix of the Colorado supporters groups, which was won by the home fans, 7-3. After that is was on to the parking lot to tailgate with the Rapids supporters. From the fans I've met, that have come to KC or from going to other teams stadiums, the Rapids supporters are right up there with the Dallas fans as some of the friendliest in the league, they welcomed us, fed us, and gave us beer, in my book, that's a trifecta.

As for the game, the Rapids took the lead in the first half thanks to an iffy handball call that he switched from being outside the box to inside giving the Rapids a PK. The Wizards equalized in the second half, thanks to Davy Arnaud who received a great cross from Eddie Johnson, as he beat Pablo Mastroeni to the ball and beat Colorado keeper Bouna Coundoul. The Wizards level of play picked up remarkably in the second half, thanks to the introduction of Carlos Marinelli into the game. Marinelli, who was thought to still be a few weeks away from returning, was able to change the make up of the game, and add a stronger punch to the Wizards attack. The traveling support of the Cauldron were great, and also got some props during the HDNet broadcast crew according to fans back in KC who watched the game, the quote apparently in the broadcast was "what a subdued crowd.... well except for the KC fans."

You can see pictures from both the Wizards-Rapids game, and the supporters match here, thanks to Yellow Card Journalism.

3 Stars of the Game
1. Davy Arnaud - KC - Scored the tying goal and was working his butt off all night, it was about time he earned himself a goal this season.
2. Terry Cooke - CO - Was giving Jose Burciaga a lot of trouble down the week and was creating a lot of chances that CO, specifically Roberto Brown numerous times, was unable to finish.
3. Eddie Johnson - KC - Created numerous chances, and probably should have had a goal, his great cross into Davy in the box was brilliantly placed, he also had another few crosses later in the game from almost the same position that no one was just able to finish.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

On the road again

The Wizards are back on the road this week, in Colorado. They'll have company on the road as well, because the Cauldron has a good sized group of fans traveling to Colorado this weekend to cheer the Wizards on at The Big Dick, as Jimmy Conrad calls it. Kansas City is coming off their tough 2-1 loss at home against Dallas. Colorado is coming in off handing New York their first lose of the season.

Kansas City got some good news last night, as on the Jimmy Conrad Show on 97.3 FM in Kansas City, Jimmy announced that his jaw break this time was in the same place as last year. And that last year's break did not heal properly. The good news is though that he said he would be playing this Saturday in Colorado. Carlos Marinelli though is still out for at least another week or two before he comes back. Scott Sealy is also likely still going to be out this week. This means that Yura Movsisyan is going to be starting up top with Eddie Johnson again this Saturday. Kansas City has been getting fouled quite often lately, as the last 3 games they've been fouled over 20 times in each game. This choppiness is slowly down the Wizards attack and playing into the hands of the other team. Will be interesting to see if Colorado picks up their number of fouls as teams have done against the Wizards. The Wizards will likely field a lineup similar to the game against Dallas, except for Conrad replacing Aaron Hohlbein.
Jewsbury - Garcia - Conrad - Burciaga
Arnaud - Victorine - Harrington
Movsisyan - Johnson

These two teams have split their season series the past 2 seasons, with each team winning at home. The Wizards last won in Colorado in 04. The Wizards have also not won while the traveling Cauldron has been in attendance in a while, games in Dallas, Chicago, and Colorado last season were losses, the season before was a loss in Chicago and a tie in Dallas. The hope is that the Wizards will finally break it, but I think we'll see a tie.

KC - 1 (Arnaud)
CO - 1 (Gomez)

The KC Brass won their season opener last night, coming from a goal down to defeat the Des Moines Menace 3-1 last night. With goals by Michael Thomas, Keith Gorczyca, and JD Warman.

I will be with the traveling Cauldron this weekend and will try to give reports on all the goings on, including the Royals-Rockies game Friday night, the FA Cup final at Fado's Irish Pub in Denver Saturday morning, Supporter's Match against the Colorado supporters Saturday afternoon, and the match on Saturday night.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Wizards Youth System

As MLS Commissioner Don Garber stated a few months ago, all MLS teams will be starting a youth system to help develop home grown players, that would be tied to the parent club. This way players that develop in each teams youth system would not be put into the draft, but rather would could be called up to the reserve team and then the full team of the MLS team.

Today the Kansas City Wizards announced their plans for their own youth system that will start to be put together this summer, to begin playing next fall. The Wizards will start by having U-15, U-16, and U-17 teams, these teams will compete in the Super Y League and the Midwest Regional League, as well as tournaments, although they will not be playing in the 2007 State Cup. The technical staff, that will be overseeing the youth teams, will be looking to pull in players from Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Oklahoma for the team.

It's good to see the Wizards starting to comply with this part of Garber's plan for the youth system. While the Wizards have got 2 local products on their team right now (Will John and Ryan Raybould), John came to the Wizards after a trade, while Raybould was drafted by the Wizards. Under this new youth system, both John and Raybould could have retained the "professional" rights of those 2 players, meaning that they'd have come to KC a lot easier.

The major question that will remain, is will the best players from MO, KS, IA, NE, and OK come to play for the Wizards youth team? Each of those states have some very good club teams already in exsistence. The Wizards will be joining that already crowded club soccer landscape. This will be a problem that I'm sure will take quite a while to get settled, players in the U-15-U17 age divisions who are already on good teams will probably be reluctant to switch to the Wizards new system. These teams will not be affliated with any current club in KC, so they'll be starting from scratch.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Kansas City's OTHER Team

Kansas City's other soccer team, the Kansas City Brass will be opening their season this Wednesday night at William Jewell College up in Liberty against the Des Moines Menace at 7 pm. This match is also the beginning of their US Open Cup qualifying schedule. While the Wizards dropped out of the competition to Salt Lake a few weeks ago, the Brass' qualifying cycle is just beginning.

The Brass is a semi-pro team that have been around for almost as long as the Wizards have, the team was founded in 1997. They play in the Premier Development League. Their most notable former player is former US Youth international, Will John, who now plays for the Wizards. Current Wizards Ryan Raybould also played for the Brass in the past.

Get out this Wednesday and support Kansas City's other team, the Brass.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Wizards lose at home to Dallas

For the first time since 1998, Dallas won a game in regulation in KC (they won in a shootout in 1999). Thanks to goals by Kenny Cooper, Juan Toja, and some questionable refereeing, Dallas was able to walk out of Kansas City with a 2-1 win. Playing without Scott Sealy or Carlos Marinelli even on the bench, is a major concern, that was not even noted in the preview for the game. Without those 2 in the lineup, KC's high powered offense has looked rather pedestrian. That said the Wizards did have their chances, as Eddie Johnson went off the wood work, Davy Arnaud shot right at Dario Sala, and Yura Movsisyan missed about 4 good chances, including a break away that he didn't even put the shot on goal for.

Overall in the first half, the Wizards were ran around too easily by Dallas, a looping header from Kenny Cooper gave Dallas the lead. They doubled their lead right before halftime, when a long ball from Ramon Nunez was brought down on the hip of Toja, the ball then bounced up, hit Toja's arm and went right back into his path. Toja then placed the ball to the far corner past Hartman. No call was made and Dallas was up 2-0.

In the second half, KC came out and dominated the game, but were unable to find the back of the net as Sala played extrodinary in his first game back from his 6 game suspension to start the season. Finally the Wizards got on the board in second half stoppage time thanks to a Michael Harrington goal. Harrington's performance as a whole was great, he's gonna be a star in this league.

Teams have learned how to stop Kansas City's high powered offense, they're playing a hack-attack approach, it was seen last weekend against Columbus and again this week against Dallas, as the Wizards suffered over 20 fouls for the third straight game. Team's come in and hack, kick, and chop down Wizards players to stop the team from getting into their flow, which helped them to get goals early in the season.

3 Stars of the Game
1. Dario Sala - Dallas - Had 9 saves, many of them in the second half to help preserve the points for Dallas on the road.
2. Michael Harrington - KC - The Wizards goal scorer last night continues to impress and to make his early case for Rookie of the Year. He's worked his ass off every game this season.
3. Juan Toja - Dallas - His handball and hacking aside, he did exactly what was expected of him, he stopped the Wizards attacks, and slowed down their tempo, exactly what he was suppose to do.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Wizards vs FCD

Kansas City continues their season tomorrow night against FC Dallas at Arrowhead Stadium. The match is also a tribute match to the late owner of both the Wizards and FC Dallas, Lamar Hunt. The Cauldron has made a special banner for the match to honor Lamar's memory.

As for the match, the Wizards will be without captain Jimmy Conrad after he broke his jaw against the Crew last weekend. Taking his place will be either second year man Tyson Wahl, or rookie Aaron Hohlbein, who played in place of Nick Garcia against DC United the first game of the season. The good news for the Wizards is that the preview for the game lists neither Scott Sealy or Carlos Marinelli on the list of injured players, so both those players stand a good chance of starting on Saturday. With those 2 starting the Wizards attack looks as dangerous as it can be, and could be the first time those 2 will be on the field for a long period of time with Eddie Johnson. The question though is who goes to the bench so both of them can start. In all likelihood Marinelli will come off the bench this game.

Jewsbury - Hohlbein - Garcia - Burciaga
Arnaud - Victorine - Harrington
Sealy - Johnson

Some interesting news came out of Dallas this week as well. Apparently Carlos Ruiz took an unexpected extended vacation and missed practice earlier this week. According to Buzz at 3rd Degree, Ruiz will not be starting this weekend in KC due to his missing practice.

KC is coming in on a 3 game winning streak, 2 of those games have been at home, while Dallas is coming off 2 loses at home. Dallas hasn't won a game in regulation in Kansas City since 1998, and while Ruiz hasn't been playing great the last few it's' good news that he won't be starting on Saturday. As for the game, Kansas City is playing the better soccer right now, and their speed up top should create a ton of problems for Dallas' slow back line.

KC - 2 (Sealy, Arnaud)
FCD - 0

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Lamar Hunt Tribute

The Kansas City Wizards will honor their former owner, Lamar Hunt this Saturday as the Wizards take on another team owned by Hunt Sports Group, FC Dallas. For the game, the Wizards will be wearing commemorative jerseys for the game. The team will also have a commemorative logo as well for the game. The logo was seen in the Wizards media guide for this season, which was passed out to Season Ticket Holders this past Saturday against the Crew. Here is a picture of the logo that will be on the Wizards uniforms on Saturday. The logo is a throw back to the Wizards original Wiz logo from back in 1996, which apparently was a logo that Lamar really liked. The jerseys of both the Wizards and opponent, FC Dallas will then be auctioned off on the Wizards website.

Conrad breaks jaw

Jimmy Conrad will now miss more time this season, thanks to another broken jaw. This Saturday against the Crew the challenge by Ricardo Virtuoso that earned him a yellow card has broken Conrad's jaw for the second time in less then a year. Last year when Conrad broke his jaw, he missed over a month of play. This injury will likely rule the center back out of the Gold Cup for the US Men's National team this summer that starts in June.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Jose, Jose Jose Jose

Kansas City continued their good form as of late, as they downed the previously unbeaten Crew 1-0 at Arrowhead Stadium this afternoon. The Wizards were able to control much of the flow of the game, carrying possession and keeping the Crew of mounting many attacks in the first half. Kansas City for it's efforts though had nothing to show for it. They did have a few chances, particularly Eddie Johnson who had a shot destined for the corner cleared away by a defender in the first half. The first half was also marred by some vicious challenges. Both Ricardo Virtuoso and Danny O'Rourke saw yellow for hard challenges on both Jimmy Conrad and Kerry Zavagnin.

In the second half, Columbus was able to get more of the play, and got 3 good chances for it. The first was on a slow ball through the middle that Hartman called off the defenders to clear. The problem was, he cleared it right into a Columbus player, luckily the ball did not have enough pace on it off the Crew player and Jack was able to pick it off. The other 2 chances came on breaks down KC's right side, one from Eddie Gaven that he put into the post and then off Jack Jewsbury for a corner. The second from new Crew signing Guillermo Barros Schelotto as he picked up a very poor back pass from Jimmy Conrad and forced Hartman into a save at the near post. Finally just before second half stoppage time, Jose Burciaga received a ball in the middle of the field, dribbled to his left, was able to cut onto his left just outside the box, and the ball low and to the left of Crew goalie Andy Gruenebaum to give the Wizards the only goal they'd need.

3 Stars of the Game
1. Kerry Zavagnin - KC - Played hard nosed and tackled well, also had a nice looking shot saved by Gruenebaum in the first half.
2. Jose Burciaga - KC - The game winning goal and a good performance defensively, as his continued work in that area of his game can be clearly seen on the field.
3. Andy Gruenebaum - Crew - The KC product is having a very good season so far, he's playing with confidence and is not allowing many goals, he's gonna do well in this league.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Crew preview

The Wizards are back playing, finally getting a midweek off after having 5 games in 15 days. The Wizards now return home to take on the Columbus Crew. Last season the Wizards swept the series with the Crew, but this season, the Crew have been playing a lot better. They are one of 3 undefeated teams left in the league, and the only team so far to have taken points off of New York. KC local Andy Gruenebaum has had what has been a break out season so far this season in net for the Crew allowing only 2 goals in their 4 MLS games. The problem for the Crew though has been their lack of scoring, in that same time, the Crew have only scored 3 goals. This will also likely be the MLS debut of former Boca Juniors legend, Guillermo Barros Schelotto. While at this time it doesn't seem likely that he'll get the start, chances are good that we will see him play a bit on Saturday afternoon.

For the Wizards, they're coming off their sweep of the home and home with Toronto, including a big win in Toronto. As Davy Arnaud said on The Jimmy Conrad show on Wednesday, many teams are going to struggle to get points up in Toronto this year with the fan support that they have. As for the noon kickoff this Saturday, both Carlos Marinelli and Scott Sealy are listed as probable for the game tomorrow, although Curt Onalfo said last night on the Wizards Weekly that Sealy is more likely to play then Marinelli at this point. If that's to be believed then this seems like the likely lineup for the game tomorrow.
Jewsbury - Garcia - Conrad - Burciaga
Arnaud - Victorine - Harrington
Sealy - Johnson

If Sealy can't go then I would expect Yura Movsisyan to start with Johnson up top.

This is not the same Crew team as last year. They will definitly be tougher to beat this season, I don't expect 3-4 goals at home against them as the Wizards scored last season. That said, they're lack of scoring punch and the Wizards attack ability, I think the Wizards will take this one.

KC - 2 (Johnson, Sealy)
Columbus - 1 (Gaven)

In other Wizards news, congratulations go out to Jimmy Conrad and his wife Lyndsey on the birth of their first daughter on Monday. According to a post on BS, the future women's national team player's name is Julia Rose.

Also, Eddie Johnson was named as the MLS player of the month for April after his 3 goal 2 assist performance of the month. All 3 of the goals were game winners. The goals and assists also pass his performance for all of last season when he only had 2 goals and 1 assist.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Houston, We Have a Problem

Corny title I know, but it's the best I could come up with. So I was going through some blogs I will normally read, and I came across this entry from My Soccer Blog about the Dynamo game this weekend. Apparently there was an incident in one of Houston's 2 supporters sections, El Batallón involving a flag pole, a few cops, a racist comment, and a walkout by both the Batallón and the Texian Army.

There are two stories about the incident, one from the front office and one from the supporters group themselves. Both views can be found in this Houston Chronicle blog about the incident as well. The front office first said they were expelled for throwing objects at stadium security and police, the second said they voluntarily left after an incident with a flagpole hitting a lady. The lady apparently required stiches.

The story from the supporters group is quite different. They say that the lady was only had the fabric of the flag brush her. Security decided to step in and took the flag. Members of the group went and tried to get the flag back, but were unable to and when arrest was threatened, the group left. In that blog entry you will see that one of the responses says that one of the officers threw out a racist comment towards, the mostly Latino, El Batallón.

I'm sure the truth of this story is somewhere in between the front office's version and the version from El Batallón. We'll likely never get the true story out of this.

Thankfully the Cauldron itself has never had an incident of this magnitude take place inside the section. While there's been the odd throwing out and stern talking to, there's never been an incident with Arrowhead security that hasn't been able to be talked out with them. Security and the front office have usually been very accomdating of the section and what it does to bring some atmosphere to the games at Arrowhead stadium.