Friday, August 31, 2007

Wizards to Try to Rebound

The Wizards will try to rebound from their disappointing loss to Real Salt Lake on Wednesday when they travel to play the defending MLS Cup champion, Houston Dynamo tomorrow. The Dynamo have hit a bit of a lull recently, and will be without a few key players. Brian Ching, Brad Davis, Stuart Holden, and Nate Jaqua are all set to miss the match tomorrow either due to injury or yellow card suspension (Jaqua).

As for the Wizards, they should have their full lineup ready to go tomorrow. The question is, what lineup will we see? Onalfo rested Nick Garcia in Salt Lake so I'd expect him to return. The rest of the lineup is up in the air as there has been a lot of switching around lately. Here's the lineup that I would LIKE to see tomorrow.

Jewsbury - Conrad - Garcia - Burciaga
Colombano - Marinelli - Victorine
Arnaud - Johnson

After a poor performance against Salt Lake, I'd have Zavagnin on a short leash tomorrow.

The Wizards could really use a win. This match would be a statement game for the rest of their season, taking down the West leading Dynamo in Houston. Even with the injuries to the Dynamo though, I don't really see it happening.

KC - 1 (Johnson)
Houston - 2 (Mullan, Ngwenya)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Disgusting and Pathetic

That is the sound of any hopes the Wizards had of winning MLS Cup going out the window. It's also likely the sound of the Wizards hopes of ending their two year playoff drought leaving as well.

A 3-1 loss to Real Salt Lake. REAL SALT LAKE!!!

A goal inside the first minute by RSL set the tone for the game. Even though the Wizards were able to dominate possession for the most part after that, the Wizards weren't able to get any chances that really threatened the Salt Lake goal. A bad pass lead to another Salt Lake goal to put them up 2-0 before half time was even reached.

In the second half, the Wizards started brightly, especially with the insertion of the Eloy Colombano. The Wizards were finally able to take advantage of that in the 69th minute, but it took a moment of brilliance from Eddie Johnson, who turned on a half volley and caught Nick Rimando off guard to pull the Wizards back to 2-1.

In the 85th minute, though, Andy Williams caught Kevin Hartman off his line and scored from about midfield to probably end the Wizards hopes of the playoffs.

This game was just bad, the Wizards high powered attacking offense looks anemic, and predictable. The crossing is shit, as are the set pieces. The early goal the Wizards allowed not only has to fall on the players for coming out flat, but on the coaching staff as well for not having this team ready to play tonight.

Kurt Morsink should not be starting, I don't even think he should be seeing the field. What has Yura done to be pushed behind Ryan Pore? Why is Colombano not starting? Why is Tyson Wahl starting? Why is Carlos Marinelli on the right? He doesn't play defense, and leaving him on the wing left Ryan Raybould exposed way to much on the right.

Tonight the Wizards allowed the first goal for the 16th time this season (counting the 2-1 US Open Cup loss earlier this season). That's 16 of the 23 games that we've allowed the first goal, almost 70% of the time. That's a major problem, it doesn't matter that they are "the best team in the league when a goal down." Seventy percent is WAY too much.

3 Stars of the Game
1. Fabian Espindola - RSL - Scored a screamer for Salt Lake's second goal, and gave Raybould trouble all night.
2. Matias Mantilla - RSL - Except for Johnson's shot out of no where he helped to completely shut down the Wizards offense.
3. Eloy Colombano - KC - When he came on in the second half, he actually gave KC a decent scoring chance. He deserves a start.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Wizards Continue Busy Schedule

After 17 days off, the Wizards will now play their 4 match in 11 days as they travel to Salt Lake to take on Real. Salt Lake is probably the weakest team in MLS this season with only 2 wins. This is the Wizards second trip out to the Great Salt Lake. Earlier this season the Wizards were out there for their US Open Cup play in match, where the Wizards lost 2-1 in extra time. The roster for Salt Lake has changed quite a bit since that time. From the players that played against the Wizards back in April, 5 of them (Klein, Torres, Ballouchy, Adu, Cunningham) are no longer with the team.

Davy Arnaud is suspended for the game due to picking up his 5th yellow of the season in the game against Chicago on Saturday. Other then that, I would expect the Wizards best lineup out there. Kurt Morsink started on Saturday in place of Carlos Marinelli, but I'd expect Marinelli to be back in the lineup tomorrow.
Jewsbury - Conrad - Garcia - Burciaga
Victorine - Marinelli - Harrington
Sealy - Johnson

If the Wizards have any aspirations of winning MLS Cup this year, this has to be a statement game. Anything less then 3 points, and the playoffs actually start to become a question due to the difficulty of the rest of the Wizards schedule.

KC - 2 (Johnson, Sealy)
RSL - 1 (Findley)

Wizards Stadium Announcement Coming?

It looks like the Wizards might be announcing some very big news some time in the next month or so. The Pete Grathoff had news on both the Wizards temporary location and news on a permanent home for the Wizards. As mentioned earlier in this blog, the Wizards are apparently looking at playing at Community America Bank Ballpark, where the T-Bones play. The rumor which I didn't put a lot of faith in at first, due to the source, Kevin Keitzman, not knowing a lot about soccer. The continued news of this rumor and the quotes in the article from the anonymous Wizards staff member and the T-Bones GM make this seem like there is a lot more legs to this rumor then I had originally thought there was. I'm still not sure I like the location of the facility, maybe it's for selfish reasons because of where I live, but I just don't like the idea of driving all the way to the other side of the Metro for the game. I'll make the trip either way, but there are a lot of people in Eastern Jackson County that I'm sure won't make that trip.

The other big news in the article is that before the game on the 27th, the Wizards are hoping to have plans for their Soccer Specific Stadium sewn up. The date for the public meeting on the Bannister location is coming up on the 12th of September. If Lane4 is given the go ahead and TIF funds to help redevelop the Bannister area, the Wizards could very well have started at least demolition at the future site of Bannister Road (Yes I've given the stadium that hasn't even been built yet a name.). Either way the continued developments in this situation make it more and more likely that the Wizards will be in KC for the long term.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Yet Again Chicago Not Friendly to Wizards

Another game in Chicago, another loss there. Should KC just not show up in Chicago and just take the forfeit? The result would be the same. Last night the Wizards though were able to hold possession and spent much of the time in Chicago's end of the field, but could not get any goals. Meanwhile, KC again allowed a late first half goal to send them into the half down 1-0. This one off of a Blanco free kick, Chicago's first shot on goal in the half. At some point you have to look at the coaching because of this. The continued late goals in the halves is starting to get very very troublesome. It happened late in both halves of the Wednesday game, and it happened again last night, as they allowed goals in the 44th and 86th minutes. For only so long you can blame the late second half goals on pushing numbers forward.

Eventually you have to think that there has to be some problem with the way this team is being coached. I know Coach Onalfo has done great things with this team this season, but his faults as a coach are being shown as teams are starting to continuously exploit the Wizards late in each half.

3 Stars of the Game
1. Blanco - Chi - I hate his diving ass, he was going down well before he was touched on that last free kick he earned, but he adds so much to Chicago's attack that you can't ignore him.
2. Davy Arnaud - KC - All over the field as he always is, continually adds to the attack.
3. Jon Busch - Chi - Pitched the shutout against the Wizards.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Can Wizards Take 2 From Chicago?

Tomorrow the Wizards are going to try and do something they've only done twice. That's take points off Chicago in Chicago. The Wizards have a win and a draw in Chicago and a bunch of losses. Both of those results came in 2005. The Wizards will try to get their third result ever in Chicago tomorrow, as the Wizards have the return leg of their home-home this week with the Fire.

Both teams will be missing players due to suspension, but the Wizards will probably suffer the most, as they will be without Jose Burciaga Jr., who played a part in all 3 Wizards goals Wednesday night. With Burciaga out, it likely means Michael Harrington returns to the starting 11 to take over the left back spot, although Ryan Raybould who started Wednesday could move from the right side to the left.
Jewsbury - Conrad - Garcia - Harrington
Arnaud - Marinelli - Victorine
Sealy - Johnson

As I mentioned earlier, the Wizards have earned a whole 4 points in Chicago over the course of their entire history. Unfortunately I don't see that changing tomorrow night. I think the Fire will take the split of the home-home.

KC - 1 (Johnson)
Chicago - 2 (Blanco, Rolfe)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

No Joy for Blanco, Wizards take down Fire

The Wizards broke out of their two game losing streak, coming back to defeat Cuauhtemoc Blanco and the Chicago Fire 3-2 last night at Arrowhead Stadium. Blanco had a chance to give Chicago the lead in the 12th minute, when Jose Burciaga took down Justin Mapp in the box. Blanco's PK, though, was sent right at Kevin Hartman who saved, who didn't move and punched the weak PK away. Chicago finally did take the lead in first half stoppage time when Blanco played in Chad Barrett who beat Hartman short side to give the Fire the half time lead.

The Wizards came out with a renewed offensive vigor in the second half, and it paid off in the 54th minute. Davy Arnaud saved a ball from going out of bounds, Burciaga picked it up carried it down the line and crossed into Sasha Victorine, who roofed the shot into the net to level the score at 1. The Wizards took a man advantage in the games 66th minute when Chicago's Gonzalo Segares picked up a second yellow card for a tackle from behind. The Wizards took advantage of the man advantage 2 minutes later. As Burciaga was going up the line against Blanco, the ball looked to go out of bounds before Burciaga got to it, but no whistle blew. While Burciaga continued to play, Calen Carr stood waiting for a whistle that never came. By the time Carr recovered, Burciaga had already crossed the ball into Scott Sealy, who had a great first touch over a sliding CJ Brown. Sealy then tucked the ball into the far corner to make it 2-1 Wizards.

The Wizards were not done yet, though, as in the 82nd minute a cross by Ryan Raybould was flicked on by Eddie Johnson to Burciaga, who miss hit his shot into the net to make it 3-1. Less then a minute later though Dasan Robinson pulled one back for the Fire after a poorly punched clearance by Hartman on a Blanco free kick. The Wizards held on for the final 7 minutes to claim the win, and to help distance themselves from the pack that is currently outside the playoffs.

3 Stars of the Game
1. Kevin Hartman - KC - Saves a PK, and comes up with numerous other big saves to keep the Wizards in the game. These games were the reason the Wizards picked him up.
2. Jose Burciaga Jr. - KC - While his defense is still troublesome, you can not argue with his offensive impact, a goal and 2 assists, he'll be missing the return leg in Chicago due to yellow card suspension.
3. Cuauhtemoc Blanco - Chicago - Besides the fact that he helped bring in 12,000 plus people for a Wednesday night game, Blanco is the real deal, MLS is no longer pulling in the Lothar Matthaus' of the world, the guys that are just in MLS on vacation.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Wizards Begin Home-Home with Fire

Tomorrow night, the Wizards begin a quick home-home series with Chicago, they'll complete the series Saturday night with a match at Toyota Park. Chicago comes in on a 3 game unbeaten run, having defeated Toronto 3-0, tying Columbus 0-0, and beating Real Salt Lake 2-0. Blanco has helped to turn this team around and has them back into the playoff hunt. The Wizards on the other hand seem to be in a funk, they've lost their last 2 matches to New England and have looked completely out of each game, barely creating any chances. Hopefully the fact that the Wizards won't see New England again until the playoffs will help them to pull out of this. This Wizards, though, are 0-1 against Chicago this season, losing 2-1 all the way back at the second game of the season, where the Wizards only goal was a late PK by Carlos Marinelli.

Speaking of Carlos, he's out for this match due to yellow card accumulation, hopefully the Wizards midfield will pick up the creative slack. The question becomes, who plays in Marinelli's place? Do you put Scott Sealy up top with Eddie Johnson, or do you throw Davy Arnaud up top and let Eloy Colombano make his first career MLS start? My guess is we see Sealy get his chance tomorrow, with Colombano possibly coming on at halftime again. The other question is, will Jimmy Conrad play? Conrad picked up an injury late against New England, although he's listed as probable in the game report. I'd expect him to start.

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

The Wizards really need 3 points here to get out of their mini slump and to reassert themselves as real contenders in the East. Unfortunately I only see the Wizards getting a point out of the game tomorrow.

KC - 1 (Johnson)
Chi - 1 (Blanco)

Lottery for U-17 Player

Israel Sesay has signed with MLS, and will be put into a weighted lottery to decide what team he will be going to. Sesay, a forward, is a U-17 resident at the Bradenton Academy in Florida. He was not selected for the US U-17 team for the ongoing U-17 World Cup due to questions about his citizenship.

As always with these lotteries, it's a question of how the weighted lottery is gonna be weighted. According to a post by scaryice, the publisher of the Climbing the Ladder blog, on bigsoccer it will be weighted by record over the last 32 games. Due to Columbus winning the Robbie Rogers lottery, and the player benefits TFC has already gotten this season, both of them are not in the lottery. KC has the 4th most likely chance of getting Sesay after RSL, CO, and LA. Below are the full results, that I've had verified by the latest entry at Climbing the Ladder. You can find links to where the rules came here.

  1. RSL - 35 points
  2. CO - 34 points plus 4 bonus points - 38 points
  3. LA - 41 points
  4. KC - 46 points
  5. DC - 44 points plus 4 bonus points - 48 points
  6. Chi - 48 points plus 2 bonus points - 50 points
  7. NY - 48 points plus 2 bonus points - 50 points
  8. FCD - 49 points plus 2 bonus points - 51 points
  9. Chv - 49 points plus 2 bonus points - 51 points
  10. Hou - 48 points plus 8 bonus points - 56 points
  11. NE - 59 points plus 6 bonus points - 65 points
So RSL has the best chance of getting Sesay, while NE has the least likely chance to land him.

We'll see how the lottery goes, Sesay looks like a fairly decent player, with quite a bit of upside. He likely wouldn't see much playing time this season but would be a good addition for the future.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Wizards Mail in Another One

The Wizards seemed to mail in another game last night against the Revolution, as they fell to them for second game in a row. Again the Wizards didn't seem to play with much heart and were completely shut down offensively. The Wizards could only manage 6 shots, and only 1 shot on goal. The lack of testing Matt Reis is troublesome as the Wizards offense has started to sputter. The first place Revolution have now probably eliminated the Wizards from contention for the Supporters Shield with that loss. The Wizards high powered offense has lost it's claws lately. Now is the time when we learn exactly what type of coach Curt Onalfo as he tries to pull the Wizards out of the slump they're in, in hopes of ending their 2 year playoff dry spell.

After having 17 days off, you would think the Wizards would come out fresh and ready to play, unfortunately they looked like the less fresh team compared to New England who was undermanned and only on 3 days rest.

The one bright side of last night's performance was the play of Eloy Colombano, who came on at halftime for Yura Movsisyan and showed very well in his first appearance in Wizards blue.

3 Stars of the Game
1. Avery John - NE - Again helped to shut down the Wizards offense, specifically Eddie Johnson who has not looked like the same player the past few games.
2. Shalrie Joseph - NE - Joseph helped completely shut down the Wizards midfield, the Wizards had to start resorting to route 1 soccer due to the play in the middle.
3. Eloy Colombano - KC - The Wizards best player, in his debut Colombano gave the Wizards a bit more attack in the second half.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Wizards Return to Action

After 17 days off, the Wizards will return to action on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium against New England in a rematch of the last game the Wizards played on August 2nd in New England. The Revolution come into this game having lost last night out in Colorado 3-0. That wasn't the only bad news for the Revs either, as Pat Noonan, who's been on a tear lately, left the game in the 29th minute, and could miss the game this Sunday in KC. The Wizards will hopefully be able to take advantage of the Revs and the short rest the same way DC United did against New England the last time they played a Thursday-Sunday schedule.

The Wizards should have their full lineup for this one, everyone seems to be healthy, including Scott Sealy who could see his first action in a while. Eloy Colombano could also make his first appearance for the Wizards on Sunday. With both of these two coming into the 18 man game day roster, I still expect the lineup to be the same that it's been the past few games.

Jewsbury - Conrad - Garcia - Burciaga
Victorine - Marinelli - Harrington
Arnaud - Johnson

The Wizards have had time off to scout this game and prepare, 17 days is a long time to prepare. The Revs come in on 3 days rest, and having already flown half way across the country. This game should definitely be one the Wizards win, and if they have any hopes of the Supporters Shield they need to win this game.

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

July Man of the Month

I completely missed the end of July and naming the Wizards Man of the Month for July. This month I felt that Davy Arnaud earned the Wizards Man of the Month award. In the month of July, Arnaud scored 2 goals in July one in the tie in LA, and the second goal in the win against Chivas USA. It's not just his offensive performance though that earned him this award, it's his continued hustle and intensity on the field that's made him the July Man of the Month.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

VIVA Los Wizards

Earlier this year it was announced that every Wizards game would be broadcast live on MetroSports here in Kansas City. Today comes this news as well. Not only will the rest of the season be broadcasted in English, but also in Spanish. After having very few games shown on TV the past few years, the Wizards become one of the first team's to have their games simultaneously broadcasted in English and Spanish. This is a big step for the Wizards and shows the continued smarts shown by Wizards owners, OnGoal LLC.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wizards News Dump

So I have some random Wizards news to report today. So here it goes.

Wizards coach Curt Onalfo was on Around the League in 90 Minutes, on the Champions Soccer Radio Network. He gives a really good, candid interview with Gary Richards and Peter Brown, including giving more information about new Wizards signing, Eloy Colombano, and some of the things about him that impressed Onalfo. You can listen to the interview, along with the rest of the show by clicking on the Play Channel Now under Around the League here, and choose the show for today's date (August 14, 2007). They also have more background on Onalfo here.

The Wizards Weekly report came out today. Some good information about Wizards player appearances and upcoming games, but the information in it that I want to touch on is the first bit of information. Jose Burciaga Jr. spent his off week down in New Orleans helping with a US Soccer clinic down there. Jose has been very active in the community this year and he's now spread beyond the KC area to help out other kids around the country. This trip has probably earned him the Wizards Humanitarian of the Year award for this season.

I missed this bit of news live, but it's being discussed right now on starting with post 207. Apparently Kevin Keitzman on Sports Radio 810 here in KC was talking about the Wizards stadium. The rumor that Keitzman has heard is that the Wizards will be playing at Community American Ballpark. CAB is where KC's minor league baseball team, the T-Bones play. Unfortunately, according to later posts in the thread, it does not look possible without changes to the outfield wall, and with the T-Bones playing in the summer as well it's going to be nearly impossible to make the changes. This is different than the situation in DC where United plays at RFK Stadium, home to the Washington Nationals. The difference is that RFK was built as a multi-use facility for both baseball and football, so it's easier to fit their field in that stadium.

Now, for a bit of former Wizards news. Former Wizard Josh Wolff will be on the US Men's roster for the upcoming friendly against Sweden in Göteborg. This is Wolff's first call up to the national team since leaving the Wizards for 1860 Munich. Another former Wizard, Tony Meola, is still looking to play, and he'll now be plying his trade in the Major Indoor Soccer League for the expansion New Jersey Ironmen.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Long Break From Games Without Much News

Since the game last Thursday against New England, the Wizards haven't had a game. There hasn't been much news to talk about. The only really interesting thing that's come out lately, was 2 days ago, when this article came out in the Denver Post discussing the injury to Rapids midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy. Ballouchy, you'll remember was the guy that elbow Sasha Victorine in the match at Arrowhead, the elbow got him a 2 game suspension from the league.

Ballouchy says in the article that he was already in the air. My question is, then why does your elbow come out as you're in the air? In the replay you see his elbow come out further as he's in the air.

"It looks worse on video than it actually was in the game." Is his specific quote on the incident. Yeah it looks worse on the video cause it slowed down, but it doesn't look much worse. As has been said before, if Andy Herron got 4 games for his elbow on Jay Heaps, Ballouchy deserved just as much for his elbow.

This weeks pregame article will be up earlier this week, since I have a wedding to go to this weekend.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Colombano Officially a Wizard

It has been officially announced today, the Wizards have announced the signing of Argentine forward/midfielder, Eloy Colombano. According to the article, Colombano will be wearing number 16. It will be interesting to see what he brings to the Wizards. Hopefully he turns out to be a signing this season like Juan Toja or Luciano Emilio and not like Luis Tejada

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Ask and You Shall Receive, Colombano Update

A few days after I posed the question of what was going on with the Wizards and Eloy Colombano, I find out today that his signing is expected to be announced later today. It's taken them a while to get this done, but Colombano will apparently be ready to play next Sunday when the Wizards take on New England. Colombano will be classified as a Youth International under MLS rules.

We'll see how much playing time he gets once he joins the team. The question is, is he good enough to start up top with Eddie Johnson? If so, who from the midfield drops to the bench to make room for him? Honestly right now I'd drop Harrington for a few games, he seems to have hit a wall and is struggling a bit now. If not him than Sasha Victorine may be the odd man out.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

TIF Date for Bannister

I don't remember saying this in any of my other entries on Bannister Mall, so I will be posting it now. I found out today that the TIF meeting to discuss Lane4's plan for the mall, involving a stadium for the Wizards is to be held on September 12. It gives a bit of a doom and gloom approach to the area if this TIF doesn't go through, saying that this could be that areas last shot in some of our lifetimes, but overall gives many good points on the possible redevelopment of the area. The main road block right now is Mayor Funkhouser, who has said that he wants the TIF process reexamined before he approves of any new TIFs. As the article says, though, the Wizards do have other locations and if the city doesn't have their act together, they'll lose this chance.

On another note about Bannister, I was out there this past weekend on business, and man is that place really empty. It's the first time that I've been out there since well before the Walmart closed. It's almost completely deserted out there. I'm surprised that a store like the Family Christian Book Store hasn't moved out to Summit Crossing yet. It's just in a sad stat out there, and something needs to be done, hopefully it's a stadium for the Wizards.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Where's Eloy?

Wizards news has been slow the past few days, so I've been looking more at what other teams are doing. Reading an article about Real Salt Lake having 3 Argentine's in camp on trial and the possibility of signing those 3 got me thinking about KC's work on getting another Argentine to join the Wizards. There's been nothing in the news lately about the standing of Eloy Colombano, the last we heard was was when Robb Heineman posted on bigsoccer saying they were working on a work permit. The Wizards are running out of time to get the deal done with Colombano, as the MLS transfer window closes on the 15th of this month. It's the waiting period that is so hard, as this has been a topic of discussion since around the time Eddie Johnson left for the Gold Cup. The length of time has just worn on many I think. It's frustrating knowing that the team is working on it, but that it still isn't done. Hopefully on the 19th of this month, when the Wizards take the field at Arrowhead against the Revolution, Colombano will be on the bench for that match.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Lazy Second Half Burns Wizards

On ESPN2 tonight, the Wizards laid an egg in the second half, allowing New England to get their first win at home against KC since 1999, 2-0 on goals by Pat Noonan and Adam Cristman. The Wizards came out strong in the first half, controlling possession and creating some good shots. Carlos Marinelli hit the post on a deflected shot in KC's best chance of the half. New England also had their chances, forcing Kevin Hartman to make some very nice saves to keep the score level at zero.

The Wizards, though, came out flat in the second half. They didn't look like the same team, they were slow and their passes were to no one. New England finally capitalized in the 55th minute when Noonan scored after a cross was headed back across goal by Taylor Twellman. The Wizards were getting the majority of possession in New England's half, but were unable to get anything out of it. Ten corners now give the Wizards 109 on the season, they've scored on ZERO of them. With a guy like Jimmy Conrad up on corners, you would expect the Wizards to get a goal sometime off a corner. New England's second goal came in stoppage time in the second half as the Wizards pushed numbers forward looking for the equalizer. Overall, the Wizards played poorly, Eddie Johnson was almost invisible on the field for most of the game, Michael Harrington seems to have hit a wall in his rookie season and looks like he needs a game off just to refocus. The Wizards have 17 days before their next game on the 19th against this same Revolution side in KC.

3 Stars of the Game
1. Avery John - NE - Shut down KC's attack, especially Eddie Johnson, who burned NE for a hattrick last time the two team's met.
2. Kevin Hartman - KC - Earned his pay check tonight making some good saves early on to keep the score at 0-0. Little he could have done on either of the goals.
3. Pat Noonan - NE - Had NE's best chances all game and was finally able to convert one in the second half for the game winner.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Wizards Make First ESPN Appearance Against Revs

The Wizards are in New England for their first of two appearances on ESPN2 this season. This is the Wizards second, and last trip to New England. The Wizards last trip up to New England ended with the Wizards coming from 2-0 down to win 4-3, thanks to Eddie Johnson's first of two hattricks. It should be another competitive game between the two teams, as they are currently 1 and 2 in the Eastern Conference. This time though, the Wizards will have both Jimmy Conrad and Nick Garcia starting this matchup. As I mentioned last time these two teams played, KC has not lost in New England since 1999. Heading into this game there is one bit of news, Kerry Zavagnin's blast from Sunday's game against Chivas won MLS Goal of the Week this week.

The Wizards should yet again have their number 1 lineup out there, as Jose Burciaga returns after missing the Chivas game due to a red card.
Jewsbury - Garcia - Conrad - Burciaga
Victorine - Marinelli - Harrington
Arnaud - Johnson

The Wizards have exploited the 3-5-2 all season when they play it, and Steve Nicol and New England are not fans of changing their lineup, so I'd expect them to run out the 3-5-2 like they did last time. That said, this will be a battle, I'd love to see us come out with 3 points, but I'm worried we'll end up with 0 points. My prediction, though, is a draw.

KC - 2 (Johnson, Harrington)
NE - 2 (Twellman, Noonan)

Groenwald Released

Wizards defender, Matt Groenwald, and the Wizards have come to terms on his release from the team, and a buyout of his contract. Groenwald has been out all season due to blood clots. Groenwald has apparently decided to call it a career playing soccer, and focus not only on getting his masters finished up, but to concentrate on raise his daughter and starting a family.

I honestly can't blame him one bit for it either, blood clots are a tricky thing to come back from, and with a new daughter and new family starting I think Groenwald made probably the right move. Good luck to Matt in all his future endeavors.