Sunday, March 30, 2008

Wizards Reserves Top Drake

After the Wizards first team beat 2-0 last night, the reserves doubled up their first team counterparts, defeating Drake University today 4-0 out at the Swope Park training facility.

Drake hung in the game in the first half, cutting off a lot of space for the Wizards attackers and limiting their chances. Finally the Wizards broke through late in the first half. Off of a corner, Eloy Colombano headed the ball on, and deflected off of a Drake players foot and into the net for the dreaded own goal.

The Wizards probably got a stern talking to at half time, as the reserves came out and were all over the Bulldogs in the second half, scoring two early goals. I missed who the first goal of the second half went in off of, but it was crossed in by Colombano, who looked to be really pushing to impress this today, as he was all over the field and involved in the first 3 goals. The third was when Colombano again played in a cross that Kurt Morsink headed into the net to make it 3-0 Wizards.

The Wizards finished off the scoring when Yomby William dribbled down the wing and put in a cross on the ground that Michael Kraus met and put into the net to make it 4-0. Overall it was a pretty good game for the Wizards, and Drake was able to hang tough for at least the first half. Colombano was the most impressive Wizard today, definitely wanting to push for more first team time.

Here's the Wizards lineup, including the three players still fighting for that last developmental roster spot, they made no subs today.

Kronberg - William, Hohlbein, McKenzie, Pizzaro - Souter, Lowery, Morsink, Kraus - Colombano, Sealy

Wizards Win Opener

Death, taxes, and beating DC to open the season. Those are the three assured things for the Wizards the past two seasons. Last night the Wizards opened their 2008 season on a high as their two new forward signings, Ivan Trujillo and Claudio Lopez both scored to lead the Wizards to a 2-0 win.

The first half was back and forth, as both DC and KC had good chances to score. Kevin Hartman did the most of the two keepers to keep it scoreless though, punching away a free kick, and then knocking away a bullet of a shot from DC forward Luciano Emilio.

To start the second half, though, it was the Wizards that dictated the tempo, and only 2 minutes into the second half, Michael Harrington's cross was touched by Jack Jewsbury into the path of Trujillo who slotted the ball inside the near post of Zach Wells to make it 1-0 Wizards. DC tried to bring the game back to the Wizards, but had a goal called back due to offsides. Almost immediately after that, the Wizards put themselves up 2-0, as Ryan Pore lofted a ball over the top to Lopez, who calmly chipped Wells to make it 2-0.

Wizards Man of the Match - Kevin Hartman - Hartman is leaner and meaner this year, he had two big saves in the first half that kept the score at 0-0, and helped to organize the Wizards inexperienced back line.
Honorable Mention - Claudio Lopez, Ivan Trujillo

Saturday, March 29, 2008

It's Game Day

In the immortal words spoken by Jimmy Conrad to his napkin, it is most certainly game day. My preview of the match is already up, but for those of you that don't know, you can come over to the Cauldron tailgate before the game. I'll be there wearing my new Wizards jersey, so come say hi. Should be a good one if not a bit chilly.

Some bad news to report this morning, though. The latest injury report lists Chance Myers as being out with a foot strain for this game. So it looks like the rookie will not make his first start of the season. To update my lineup from yesterday then here you go.

Jewsbury - Wahl - Conrad - Harrington
Colombano - Marinelli - Pore
Trujillo - Lopez

Our attack gets an extremely international feel with Myers being out. Pore is the only American in the "attacking" part of the lineup.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Season Opening Preview (500 Posts)

Tomorrow the Wizards open their 2008 MLS season campaign against DC United, the same team they opened their 2007 campaign against. Like last year, this game will be played in a dual use stadium soccer/baseball. This year, though, the game will be played at the Wizards new home, Community American Ballpark.

The Wizards come off of a win against Real Salt Lake in their last preseason game of the season. Along with a very successful preseason down in Argentina. DC United comes into the game having already played two competitive matches, taking on Harbour View FC in the CONCACAF Champions' Cup. KC comes into the game with an injury list that looks more like a mid-season list then for the first game of the season. The team has 8 players on the list, including 2 that would start if healthy.

There's been much talk this preseason about whether the team would play the 3-5-2 or a 4-4-2 again. Having seen the lineup in the game down in Oklahoma, I expect the team to line up 4-4-2 with almost the exact same lineup as the Saturn Cup.
Myers - Wahl - Conrad - Harrington
Jewsbury - Marinelli - Pore
Trujillo - Lopez

DC looked good in their dismantling of Harbour View the other week, but the Wizards are a much better team then them. Plus with DC going to Mexico to take on Pachuca this Tuesday, they may be inclined to rest some starters for that match. If they rest players, then the Wizards will fair very well. If they start the same lineup that they did against Harbour View, the game will be a lot closer. Overall, I'm going to go bold and predict a Wizards 3-1 win.

KC - 3 - Trujillo x2, Lopez
DC - 1 - Fred

And this is post number 500

Wizards Fantasy Draft Round 15 & 16

The final two rounds of the Wizards fantasy draft are now complete. In the next few days I'll have lineups and a write up from each of the draft participants talking about their team and lineup. Once that's posted, I will have the poll posted for voting.

Here are the previous rounds.
1 & 2
3 & 4
5 & 6
7 & 8
9 & 10
11 & 12
13 & 14

15(1). Team Shook - Eloy Colombano - Eloy was signed in August of 07 and he added bench depth and speed to Kansas City. He plays wide midfield and striker and will provide depth for Team Shook. Eloy came off the bench 9 times to provide a spark late in games. He did start one game for the Wizards. In his 10 appearances he gathered 1 goal and 1 assist.

15(2). Team DTB - Paul Wright - The fastest man in MLS, Wright was selected in the 3rd round of the original supplemental draft back in 1996. Wright spent just over 3 seasons with the Wizards appearing in 83 games for the Wizards and scoring 11 goals for the boys in blue over that time period.

15(3). Bravado FC - Mike Sorber - "While our assistants thought that it could serve the team better to snatch up the two best remaining goalkeepers for trade bait with the other two teams in the draft, we remember that in the end, this is a friendly enterprise," said GM John Roushkolb. "While each team has their own priorities for choosing players, it's not necessarily fair to punish those who don't see goalkeeping as the necessity that it is. At least, not any more than we already have."

While he played just one season with the Wizards, (Wiz at the time) he still ranks in the top 30 point scorers for Kansas City, tallying four goals and six assists in 24 appearances. He was traded to the MetroStars for the forgettable Damian Silvera, but his heart was obviously still in Kansas City as he mustered just six goals in his next 100 MLS matches.

16(1). Bravado FC - Gary Glasgow - In his three years in Kansas City, he saw little time in the first team after struggling with injuries in the 2001 season. The Trinidadian international made an impact in the 2002 CONCACAF Champions' Cup, picking up a goal and two assists in four appearances in the competition, with his helpers coming in both the home and away legs of the Wizards' tie with W Connection FC of Trinidad and Tobago.

16(2). Team DTB - Chris Snitko - Drafted by the Wizards in the first round of the 96 MLS College Draft, Snitko didn't join the team until 97 (because he was allowed to play with the US Olympic team in 96). He played mostly as a backup behind Mike Ammann until the 1999 season, when he became the defacto starter after Tony Meola went down with injury. Snitko played only 26 games for the Wizards before being traded to Chicago. He was also recently seen practicing with the team during preseason.

16(3). Team Shook - Garth Lagerwey - Lagerwey was an original member of the 96 Wiz, and by midseason had supplanted Pat Harrington as the first choice keeper. Lagerwey would start 22 reular season games and all 5 playoff games for the team. Lagerwey was then supplanted by Team Shook teammate Mike Ammann and moved on to Dallas and Miami to finish his career before moving upstairs as the GM of Real Salt Lake.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Full Reserve Schedule Released

Earlier, I posted about how I'd found the reserve team schedule over on US Soccer Data. The Wizards have now released the full schedule. A few of the games are not the same as I'd originally posted. The move of the DC game I'd already mentioned.

Here is the full schedule. Home games are in bold and are played at the Swope Park Training Complex, unless noted.

Thursday April 10 New England 10 a.m.

Sunday April 20 @Chicago 2 p.m.

Saturday April 26 @Toronto 4:30 p.m.

Sunday May 4 @Columbus 9 a.m.

Sunday May 18 @New York 9 a.m.

Sunday June 15 Columbus 10 a.m.

Friday July 11 New York 10 a.m.

Sunday August 3 @D.C. United 9 a.m.

Tuesday September 9 D.C. United 10 a.m.

Sunday September 21 Toronto 10 a.m.

Sunday October 5 Chicago 4 p.m. (CommunityAmerica Ballpark)

Sunday October 26 @New England 9 a.m.

Onalfo on The 2 G's

This morning, Wizards coach, Curt Onalfo was on The 2 G's radio show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network. In an interview with hosts, Graham Bell and Peter Brown, Onalfo spoke on multiple topics, from the Wizards to his time with the US Men's National team. There was some interesting information that came out during the show. Here are some highlights.

- Sealy and Trujillo are fighting for a starting spot with Lopez. Trujillo looks like he'll get the start this weekend. (Does this mean Lopez is starting Saturday?)
- Arnaud is actually ahead dof schedule rehab wise. (Very good news for Wizards fans to see that Arnaud is on his way back.)
- Myers picked up an injury is a game time decision for this weekend. (Not good, Myers was likely to start against DC, let's hope he's able to go and has a debut like Harrington last year against DC.)
- Construction to begin in June on our SSS (Fantastic news, can't go wrong with big stadium news)
- Beckham game will probably be at Arrowhead (Figured this would happen, no use in wasting the extra revenue by only selling out CAB, when you can sell another 20K at least on top of that at Arrowhead.)

Those were some of the main highlights about the Wizards. Overall a good interview and worth listening to.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wizards Wednesday News

A few other minor things from the Wizards today. The first could turn out to be a major pain for the Wizards on Saturday against DC United. According to coach Curt Onalfo today in an article on MLSnet, Jimmy Conrad is in doubt for the game this weekend due to a hamstring injury that he picked up in the game against Real Salt Lake down in Norman, OK.

Speaking of Norman, OK and the Saturn Cup, you can see some video of the game, including the Wizards goal in this video on MLSnet.

And don't forget The Jimmy Conrad Show, live tonight from 8-9 pm on 810am, live from McFadden's.

Roster Almost Complete

The Wizards roster up on MLSnet is almost full at this point. There are now 27 players on the roster, as draft picks, Jonathan Leathers, Matt Marquess, and Rauwshan McKenzie have all been added to the roster, along with Boris Pardo, who was a league keeper last year. That leaves the team with 1 roster spot (a developmental spot) left to fill. There have been two players in camp for a while now, and possibly a third fighting for that last spot. Second round draft pick Yomby William and open tryout participants Kevin Souter and Nelson Pizzaro are the three left that I know of that do not appear on the roster.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

KC-DC Reserve Game Canceled

With DC United playing Pachuca in the CONCACAF Champion's Cup the Tuesday after their game in KC, the teams have agreed to cancel their reserve match that was supposed to be played Sunday morning. When the game will be made up is not known at this time.

This does clear up the questions that I'd had about the game and the other reserve game that was scheduled that day against Drake. So the likelihood now, is that the Wizards reserves will be playing Drake this Sunday instead of playing DC United.

Lopez is Good to Go

Claudio Lopez will be available for section by Coach Onalfo Saturday night when the Wizards take on DC United. Hillcrest Road has posted the Lopez's P-1 Visa is done and Lopez, the Wizards designated player, is good to play Saturday. This will give the Wizards the opportunity to start as many as 4 South Americans, and 3 Argentines on Saturday night with Ivan Trujillo (Colombia), Eloy Colombano (Argentina), Carlos Marinelli (Argentina), and Lopez. With three more Argentine's on DC, two Brazilians, a Colombian, a Peruvian and a Bolivian, there could be a total of 12 South Americans on the field of Community America Ballpark Saturday night.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Some Wizards News

Nothing major to report on today, just a few little bits of news that I wanted to touch on about the Wizards.

First, is an update on The Jimmy Conrad Show this season. As I mentioned earlier, the show will be on 810 AM this year. The time I'd originally posted was wrong. Over on Hillcrest Road, they have a list of the first 5 show times. They're all 8-9 pm, except for the show on 4/16, which is at 7-8 pm.

The other thing I wanted to post on, is the fact that the Wizards have released their game themes for each game this year, including some of the give aways that will occur this season. There will be a mix of adult and kid themed games this season. You can see the full list for each game over on the Wizards website.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Wizards Reserves Lose in OK

After the Wizards starters beat Real Salt Lake on Saturday night, the reserves had their last preseason game of the season, taking on Southern Methodist University. The Wizards ended up losing 1-0, but dominated the game, and only some very good goalkeeping by the SMU goalie and the post denied the Wizards. Due to injuries, there were 5 guest players playing with the reserves, including two from the recent open tryouts, Kevin Souter and Nelson Pizzaro as well as having Boris Pardo play as a field player in the game. Here's the full lineup, that included the debut of Andrew Kartunen in net.

Kronberg (Kartunen 46), Pizarro, Hohlbein, Howard (K. Nekuda 83), Kraus, Leathers, Lowery (A. Nekuda 83), Morsink, Souter, Victorine (Pardo 83), Sealy (Colombano 46)

A funny note about the game, Sasha Victorine wore number 32 last night instead of his standard number9.

Super Bo

For those wondering where former Wizards goalkeeper, Bo Oshoniyi, had gone to, I now have the answer. Thanks to a friendly email, I was sent this link. Oshoniyi is now in Florida and will be an assistant coach with the University of South Florida men's soccer team.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Wizards Win Saturn Cup

The Wizards won the Saturn Cup tonight on the back of a Jimmy Conrad header off of a Carlos Marinelli free kick in the 65th minute. To defeat Real Salt Lake 1-0. A full play by play of the game can be found on Hillcrest Road. The Wizards fielded their starting lineup, which looked like this:

Hartman, Jewsbury, Conrad (Hohlbein 82), Wahl, Myers, Zavagnin, Marinelli (Morsink 74), Pore, Harrington, Colombano (Sealy 46), Trujillo

I'll have a full update later. It was a great game, a decent crowd in Oklahoma City for the game. While the game lacked in chances it was still a fun roadtrip for those that went to start the season.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Saturn Cup Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning I'll be heading down to Oklahoma City to watch the Wizards take on Real Salt Lake in the Saturn Cup, and then watch the reserves take on Southern Methodist University in the teams final preseason games before their opener next Saturday. I'll be wearing my new Wizards jersey, number 15, come say hi.

There will be no TV or radio for this game. For those of you that aren't going to the game, I'll have a write up here, some time tomorrow night. For those that can't wait that long, Hillcrest Road will be bringing you live commentary on their blog. So you can enjoy the game like in the days before MLS broadcasted all their games at least on the net.

Another Break for Conrad

I was out at practice today, to watch the team have what amounted to a light work out, before they left for Oklahoma City today. To my surprise, I see Wizards captain, Jimmy Conrad wearing a cast on his left hand. Considering I'd seen him last night at the Wizards meet and greet at Dave and Buster's and hadn't seen a cast on his hand at that time, I was a bit shocked by this. Talking with Conrad after practice, apparently he'd broken it recently, and had been trying to tough it out. This morning, though, he had x-rays done on his hand that showed he had a break. He'll still play, as he participated in all of practice today, but he'll be wearing a cast for the next 4 weeks or so he'd said.

Wizards Fantasy Draft Rounds 13 & 14

Rounds 13 and 14 are now completed.

Previous Rounds
1 & 2
3 & 4
5 & 6
7 & 8
9 & 10
11 & 12

13(1). Team Shook - Francisco Gomez - Despite his poor finishing ability (referenced in our write up for number 1 pick Preki), and the fact he never quite lived up to all of the hype surrounding the him as a younger player; 'Cisco carved out a solid niche for himself in six seasons for the Wizards appearing in 114 games at multiple positions in the midfield. Francisco's best season for the Wizards came in 2001, when he replaced the briefly departed Preki at attacking midfielder, scoring 4 goals and 6 assists. For Team Shook Gomez figures to be a late game sub/backup with his flexibility to play all of the midfield positions.

13(2). Team DTB - Stephen Armstrong - Traded to KC before the 2002 season, Armstrong brought some experience to the Wizards team. He continues to fit with the way Team DTB is lining up, with players that can play in multiple positions on the field. In 49 MLS games for the Wizards, Armstrong had 5 goals for the team and provided needed depth during the Wizards run to the semifinals of both the US Open Cup and the CONCACAF Champions Cup.

13(3). Bravado FC - Frank Klopas - One of two original allocations to the Wiz, Klopas appeared in 49 matches in MLS competition for the Wizards, scoring seven goals and 11 assists, better than half of his career production in the league. He also scored the lone goal for the Wizards in the 1997 U.S. Open Cup, as the Wizards bowed out after their first contest, a 2-1 loss to the San Francisco Seals.

14(1). Bravado FC - Steve Pittman - Another Kansas City player who made his name in the indoor game, "Stevie" logged better than 2,000 minutes for the Wizards after being acquired in a trade with Tampa Bay. He started 23 of his 26 MLS appearances for the Wizards, committing just 26 fouls on the campaign. He was also tabbed in the first XI for the Wizards' Open Cup match in 1997.

14(2). Team DTB - Scott Vermillion - The first local product the Wizards signed that actually played considerable minutes for the club. Vermillion was the team's second Project 40/Generation Adidas signing. He played in 52 games for the Wizards on the back line before being traded to CO before the 2000 season.

14(3). Team Shook - Mike Burns - Burns played the final two seasons of his illustrious career with the Wizards in 2001 and 2002, manning the back-line and earning an All-Star nod in 2002. During Burn's career he appeared in 75 games for the USA and played in many major tournaments including the U-16 and U-20 World Cups, the 1992 Olympics, and the 1994 and 1998 World Cups. Despite being on the decline during his time with the Wizards, Burns provides Team Shook with an experienced back-up defender and an additional veteran presence in the locker-room.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Jimmy Conrad Show is Back

The Jimmy Conrad Show will be back this coming Wednesday. The show, which started last year, will be on 810 AM, WHB here in Kansas City every Wednesday at 7 pm Central time. It will also be streamed live on Jimmy Conrad and Sean Wheelock will broadcast the show live from McFadden's in the Power and Light District in downtown Kansas City.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

No Contract for DiCicco

George Shook over at the Kansas City Soccer Review has filed a report from practice today. Some good information in there, but the point I want to focus on, is the fact that Andrew DiCicco, son of former US women's coach, Tony DiCicco, was not offered a contract with the team. DiCicco had 3 goals in preseason with the team, but those 3 goals were not enough to get DiCicco a contract. He was just a victim of the numbers game at forward. With the signing of Claudio Lopez and Ivan Trujillo, DiCicco likely would have been 5th or even 6th on the depth chart at forward (behind Lopez, Trujillo, Scott Sealy, Ryan Pore, and even Davy Arnaud). It just didn't look to work out for him. With how long he hung around though, you would think that DiCicco would be able to hook on with at least a USL-1 team if he wanted to.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Raybould Signs in Sweden

Another former Wizards player has landed on his feet after being waived by the team. Like Pat Healey, Ryan Raybould will continue his playing career. Raybould, though, has gone outside the United States to continue his career. Raybould has signed with Swedish fourth division side, Sandvikens IF. The Kansas City native played 19 times for the Wizards before being waived this season. Raybould will be wearing number 8 for Sandvikens. Good luck to Ryan in Sweden.

Waived Wizard Lands on Feet

The Wizards first round supplemental draft pick this year, Pat Healy has landed on his feet after getting waived by the team before their trip to Argentina. Healy has signed with Crystal Palace USA of the USL division 2, the third division in the US.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Full 3 Trails TIF Plan

Thanks to a poster on bigsoccer, we now have the full TIF plan for the 3 Trails Development (WARNING: it's 60 MBs). The 794 page document outlines the entire plan that is in front of the state. There are 24 pieces to the TIF, the stadium, hotel, tournament fields, and stadium retail will all be done by 2010. The entire project must be completed in 10 years. There are a ton of good numbers in the plan, see this post by dusty144 on bigsoccer for a better break down of some of the numbers.

The entire stadium cost will be only $46 million, which seems a little low to me personally, with over half of it ($25 million) coming from private funds. We also see the reason why there has been no development on the project yet, even though city funding has been approved, and state funding looks to be very good. That reason is the fact that $17 million of the Super TIF (which requires state approval to go into affect) is going to be used for the purchase land and demolition of the current buildings on the site.

Including Wizards tickets and other events at the facility (concerts, high school/college athletics, other sports teams, etc) the revenue per seat at the stadium will be around $345 a year.

Starting on page 421, you have the standard soccer participation levels for KC and all of US Soccer.

Some interesting news, league wide is on page 433, where the plan has each team's payroll for 2007. The surprising news is that KC was FOURTH last season in team payroll. Of course they were over $2 million below third.

LA - $9,179,949
NY - $4, 909,556
Chicago - $4,464,113
KC - $2,626,175
RSL - $2,607,531
TFC - $2,453,208
Houston - $2,439,999
Colorado - $2,374,164
Dallas - $2,285,499
DC - $2,163,103
Columbus - $2,021,398
Chivas - $1,886,076
New England - $1,860,448

On page 497, starts the potential demand of the stadium and youth fields. It talks about the different uses for both, including the Wizards, women's pro soccer, Missouri high school events, concerts, and other things held in the stadium, along with practices for soccer and other sports along with league games held on the youth fields. On page 512, you can see the potential demand of the stadium and the youth soccer fields. Fifty events at the stadium, including the Wizards (20 games at 13,500 attendance), women's pro soccer (8 games at 5,000), concerts (6 at 20,000), International soccer (4 at 15,000), and other events (8 at 5,000) would bring in half a million people to that area a year. The youth fields would bring in even more, with soccer tournaments, camps, leagues, practices, other sports (rugby, ultimate Frisbee, lacrosse, etc) and festivals expected to bring in 750,000 people to that area a year.

Starting on page 671, you can see the layout of the site including some artist rendered pictures. Overall, it's a great read if you have time to read through it, or to even skim different parts of it for some great information.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Kings Season Ends

The Kansas City Kings first season in the PASL ended today with an 11-6 loss at nationals, to the host team, the Fredericksburg Generals, 11-6. The Kings fell behind early, going down 8-0 in the first half to the Generals, even though the Kings had numerous chances, they could not convert. They mounted a comeback in the second half, scoring 6 unanswered points, while missing other opportunities to grab another goal making the score 8-6. With 1:30 left in the game, the team pulled their keeper to play with a 6th attacker, but were unable to find the net. The Generals were able to grab an empty net 3 point goal late in the game to finish the Kings title hopes, and sending the Kings to only their second loss of the season. Overall it was a very productive first season for the Kings here in Kansas City.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Kings Win Nationals Group

The Kings topped their group at Nationals today. They opened play with a 9-9 tie against Monterrey of Mexico. The Kings then defeated Performance FC from South Carolina 16-8 to help them win Group C. With the number 1 seed, the Kings didn't have to play a third game tonight, and instead will play the host team, Fredericksburg, who finished 2nd in Group A, tomorrow morning at 10:50 am. According to the blog entry on the Kings myspace page, Waza FC out of Michigan looks to be one of the strongest teams. Should the Kings beat Fredericksburg tomorrow they'd likely play Waza in the semifinals at 1:50.

Wizards Drop Final Argentina Game

The Wizards lost their last game down in Argentina today, their first of the trip, 3-0 to Estudiantes. It was the team's first loss, since they lost to Toronto on their last preseason game in Florida. The team will be returning to KC tonight, and will be off until Tuesday, when the team will return to training at their Swope Park training facility. The starters played at least 60 minutes, and unless the paper work for Claudio Lopez gets done quickly, I'd expect this to be the lineup out on the field the 29th against DC United.

Hartman, Jewsbury, Conrad, Wahl (Hohlbein 60), Myers (Leathers 60), Zavagnin, Marinelli (Morsink 60), Pore, Harrington, Sealy (Colombano 60), Trujillo (DiCicco 60)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wizards Reserves get Draw

The Wizards didn't play Boca or Velez, but they did play today. The reserves tied Tristan Suarez of the Argentine Third Division. It was an 80 minute game with mainly players that did not play in yesterdays game. Scott Sealy and Kurt Morsink were the only two who played yesterday that also played today. Suarez took the lead in the 50th minute. That strike was canceled out by rookie, Jon Leathers after a cross by Rauwshan McKenzie bounced around the box. Per the report on Hillcrest Road, Wizards goalkeeper, Eric Kronberg made key saves in the game. The Wizards are hoping that Kronberg will begin to challenge Kevin Hartman this season.

Here is the Wizards lineup:
Kronberg, Hohlbein, William, Kraus, Leathers, Souter, Lowery, Morsink (McKenzie 55), Troyano, Sealy (Santiago 55), Colombano (DiCicco 55)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Reserve Team Schedule

While on bigsoccer today, I found a link to US Soccer Data, where you can click on game schedule, and enter in the information to find out the Wizards reserve schedule for the upcoming season. It's not up on MLSnet yet though. If this is true, the note I posted recently about the team playing Drake on 3/20 is actually false (Which is weird because I got that news from a Drake player.). The Wizards will only be playing the other Eastern Conference teams this year, playing each home and away. All home games are played at the training facility in Swope Park.

3/30 D.C. United Reserves @ Kansas City Wizards Reserves
4/10 New England Revolution Reserves @ Kansas City Wizards Reserves
4/20 Kansas City Wizards Reserves @ Chicago Fire Reserves
4/26 Kansas City Wizards Reserves @ Toronto FC Reserves
5/18 Kansas City Wizards Reserves @ New York Red Bull Reserves
6/15 Columbus Crew Reserves @ Kansas City Wizards Reserves
7/11 New York Red Bull Reserves @ Kansas City Wizards Reserves
7/18 Kansas City Wizards Reserves @ Columbus Crew Reserves
8/3 Kansas City Wizards Reserves @ D.C. United Reserves
9/21 Toronto FC Reserves @ Kansas City Wizards Reserves
10/5 Chicago Fire Reserves @ Kansas City Wizards Reserves
10/26 Kansas City Wizards Reserves @ New England Revolution Reserves

Wizards Get Another Win

Another day, another Wizards win down in Argentina. The Wizards got their 5th win of the Argentina trip today against San Lorenzo, 3-0 today in a 70 minute game. Last year, the Wizards drew and lost to San Lorenzo, but the story was different this year. Ivan Trujillo scored two goals, and Carlos Marinelli got the third as the Wizards starters played the entire game, except Marinelli who subbed out in the 60th minute according to the Hillcrest Road report. The lineup looks to be the continued use of the 3-5-2 or more of a 3-4-1-2, with Pore playing in a role right behind the strikers would be my guess. Something like this:
Jewsbury - Conrad - Wahl
Myers - Marinelli - Harrington
Trujillo - Sealy

It's great to see more goals out of Trujillo, hopefully he can carry it through to the season and give the team a great lift up top along with Lopez and Sealy.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Kings Prepare for Nationals

The Kansas City Kings are arriving early to the national finals in Fredericksburg to prepare. The league is calling them one of the favorites for the finals this weekend. After winning the Midwest Division, the Kings have now been grouped with Monterrey and Performance FC in Group C. Monterrey won the International finals, while Performance FC won the Southeast. They'll play Monterrey first, on Friday the 14th at 3 pm. And will then play Performance FC at 4:40. Then depending on how they do, the Kings will play a third time on Firday, or play Saturday morning. The entire tournament will be over by Saturday night.

Friday - 3pm vs Monterrey
Friday - 4:40pm vs Performance FC
Elimination Games
Friday - 8:10pm D2 vs C3
Friday - 8:10pm C2 vs D3
Saturday - 10am A1 vs D2-C3 winner
Saturday - 10am B1 vs C2-D3 winner
Saturday - 10:50am C1 vs A2-B3 winner
Saturday - 1pm - 10 am winners
Saturday - 1:50pm - 10:50 am winners
Saturday - 6pm

Wizards Take a Draw

The Wizards didn't score for the first time during their tour of Argentina this preseason. Today, the Wizards drew with Argentine second division side, Platense, 0-0. The game was divided into 3 30 minute periods today. Many of the starters played only about 30 minutes, with reserves getting the majority of the time. The starting line up was basically what you'd expect for the season opener, minus Kevin Hartman, Claudio Lopez and/or Scott Sealy. Eric Kronberg and Boris Pardo split time in net. After this results, the Wizards are 4-0-1 in Argentina and 5-2-3 in their preseason. Tomorrow the team plays San Lorenzo, and according to Hillcrest, the starters will get most of the time.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Rest of the Argentina Trip

The Wizards have released their weekly update for this week. In it, the team has released their schedule for the rest of their trip down in Argentina. The team has 4 more games schedule over the next 4 days. Tomorrow the Wizards will be playing Platense of the Argentine Second Division. Wednesday the Wizards will play San Lorenzo of the Argentine Primera Divsion. Last year, the Wizards reserves drew San Lorenzo 2-2, while the first team lost 2-1. Thursday's opponent is yet to be finalized, but is either going to be Boca Juniors, or the team will play Velez Sarsfield for the second time on this trip. Last year Boca defeated the Wizards 2-0. The Wizards final game in Argentina will be on Friday against LP Estudiantes, also of the Argentine Primera Division. After that, the Wizards will be returning to Kansas City, where they will train in KC on Tuesday the 18th in preparations for the Saturn Cup and the team's season opener against DC.

Watson Out

There was a rumor going around bigsoccer recently that one of the posters swore they saw Lance Watson around town, a few days after he'd scored the goal against Defensa y Justicia in the Wizards first preseason game in Argentina. Turns out today that those rumors were likely true. Hillcrest Road is reporting that Watson broke his foot against Velez Sarsfield. He will have surgery tomorrow and will now be out for 6+ weeks. He joins Roger Espinoza on the side line, as both of them have a broken foot, Espinoza didn't even make the trip to Argentina because of it.

It's a tough blow for Watson, as he had been getting quite a bit of playing time this preseason, including a lot of minutes with the expected first team.

Preki Misses Hall of Fame

Preki was the closest of numerous former Wizards players up for election to the US Soccer Hall of Fame this year. Candidates need to be named on at least 75% of the 128 ballots to be elected to the Hall. Preki was named on 87 of them (68%). He was the highest finishing player along with Joy Fawcett. Other former Wizards, included current technical director, Peter Vermes (28%). Brian Bliss and Mike Burns (13%). Frank Klopas and Mike Sorber (11%). Roy Lassiter (8.5%). Mark Chung at only 2.3% is dropped from the eligibility for appearing on less then 5% of the ballots.

Former Wizards coach, Bob Gansler was almost elected on the "Builders" ballot, falling 3 votes shy of the 50% required by for "builders." Anson Dorrance was the only member elected person from the builders group. Hugo Perez was elected by the veterans committee.

Lopez Teleconference

Due to work issues, I had to miss the teleconference where Claudio Lopez was introduced officially as a member of the Wizards. For anyone else that missed it, you can listen to the replay here. The actually conference starts at 3:37 in that recording unless you want to enjoy some classical music. There are a few technical issues with the phones and everything, but overall it's really good and I appreciate that the team has put this on for the fans to hear.

UPDATE: I've just received an email saying they've updated the audio for the teleconference so it starts right at the beginning now.

Wizards Continue Argentine Win Streak

The Kansas City Wizards continued their win streak down in Argentina with a 2-1 over River Plate. The game was played in 2 35 minute halves. Jack Jewsbury opened the scoring for the Wizards from the penalty spot for his second goal of the preseason in the 20th minute. River Plate equalized in the 43rd, before open tryout trialist, Kevin Souter got the winner off of a rebound after Michael Kruas had his header saved.

Here is the lineup and their subs at the end of the 35 minute half. It looks like the team went back to the 3-5-2 in this game.
Hartman (Kronberg 36), Jewsbury (Leathers 36), Conrad (William 36), Wahl ( Hohlbein 36), Myers (Souter 36), Zavagnin (Lowery 36), Morsink (Troyano 36), Harrington (Kraus 36), Pore (McKenzie 36), Colombano (trialist Santiago 36), Trujillo (DiCicco 36)

According to the report, Scott Sealy and Carlos Marinelli didn't play because the game was played on field turf.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Lopez News Conference

I received an email from Brad Porter with Metro Sports tonight. In it, he informed me that Metro Sports will be carrying the news conference where Claudio Lopez will be introduced live tomorrow, starting at 1:25 pm central time. Dave Stewart will be in studio with Executive Vice President Greg Cotton. Lopez, Robb Heineman, Peter Vermes, and Curt Onalfo will be live from Argentina. They'll be answering questions from the Argentine media during the press conference.

So remember to set your DVR's/VCR's to record this event.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Lopez Physical Passed, Introduction Monday

The Wizards have released a press announcement advising the media that the team will be introducing Argentine forward, Claudio Lopez, Monday at 1:30 central time. The team will be holding a conference call, as the team is currently down in Argentina for preseason. Prior to the call, there will be a press conference at the team's hotel in Argentina, where he will be presented to the Argentine media as a member of the Wizards. According to Robb Heineman on bigsoccer, he passed his physical today and signed his contract formally at 7:30 local time in Argentina. Lopez will become the team's first designated player officially tomorrow. Hillcrest Road has their story up now, including pictures of Lopez in his new uniform. Lopez will be wearing number 7 this season. The number had been previously worn this preseason by Chance Myers.

Welcome to Kansas City Claudio.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Warning on Lopez

I'm excited as the next Wizards fan at the news that it looks like Claudio Lopez will be signing with the Wizards. That said, my excitement was dampened by this article that I found. Basically, Lopez talks about the fact that he wanted to end his career at Racing Club, but that it wasn't going to work out that way for him. The part that worries me, is that Lopez is already starting to think about retirement and his life after soccer. "Son mis últimos años en el fútbol" basically translates to "These are my last years in soccer." Not a good sign to have your soon to be designated player already looking towards retirement. Hopefully he already realizes that the league isn't a push over and that he'll have to work in this league. Otherwise this DP signing will turn out less like Juan Pablo Angel and more like Denilson.

Lopez With the Team

Steven Goff has an update on the Claudio Lopez watch down in Argentina. Goff has spoken with Curt Onalfo, and has confirmed that Lopez is in fact with the team down in Argentina. When Goff spoke with Onalfo, the team was on their way to a team BBQ. According to Onalfo, all that remains for Lopez to do is to pass a physical and finalize paperwork. According to Bob Luder, with the KC Star, the team plans to announce the signing tomorrow.

Wizards Win Again

The Wizards were supposed to play River Plate today, but for some reason they backed out at the last minute. Instead, the Wizards played Deportivo Moron. Moron plays in what amounts to the Argentine third division. The Wizards won 5-1, with two goals coming from new signing Ivan Trujillo. His first was a tap in, in the 8th minute. Carlos Marinelli doubled the lead in the 12th minute on an individual effort. Trujillo's second came in the 20th minute on another tap in, again set up by Scott Sealy. Jack Jewsbury made it 4 in the 36th on a free kick, before Moron pulled on back in the 40th. The Wizards made wholesale changes at half time, with everyone but Ryan Pore being subbed out at the half. In the 72nd, Eloy Colombano made it 5-1 on a header after a cross from Jon Leathers.

Finally we get some goals, even if it was against a lower league opponent. It's also great to see goals from the new signing Trujillo. Good news from the team today.

Claudio Lopez Deal Nearly Done

According to Brad Porter, via his blog, the Wizards have nearly finished the signing of Argentine forward, Claudio Lopez to be their designated player. The terms of the deal are not know at this time, but according to Porter, Lopez will be making way over the $400K that qualifies him as a DP.

Lopez, 33, becomes the team's first official designated player, after the departure of Eddie Johnson and his being a "grandfathered" DP.

According to Porter, if the Lopez deal feel through, the team was also looking at another player from South America and another from Africa, let the speculation begin on who those players were.

Steven Goff is reporting
the deal is not 100% yet, but his contact says that Lopez is expected to sign a 2 year contract.

UPDATE: I've updated the link, Porter has updated his blog to say the deal is nearly done.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Conrad the Author is Back

Jimmy Conrad the author is back with a new article up on ESPN Soccernet. He does another interview, this time with the talented soccer player, himself. Yes, after much debate with himself, he decided to ask himself 15 questions, with some humorous answers.

Some highlights.

1. What did you do for your birthday?

What I said: Not much. I was in Florida with the Wizards and I was doing my best to not let anyone know that I had become a 30-something. I'm like a dinosaur compared to some of these young guys on our team now. Of course, let it be known, I am a dinosaur that crushes them in fitness.

What I should have said: I rented a stretch limo to take all of us down to South Beach and we partied like it was 1999. We made the rookies dance on tables as part of their initiation and Davy Arnaud and Jack Jewsbury sang a duet to "[I've had] the Time of my Life," at the karaoke bar. Davy nailed the female lead with surprising range.

21. Who's got the goofiest time-killing off-the-field hobby? Someone on the team knits, right?

What I said: I know quite a few players who have such a serious Halo addiction that they talk trash to their opponents through their headsets. Mind you, these opponents are 11 years old and are dominating these players, who will remain nameless, with relative ease.

What I should have said: Do you consider Kerry Zavagnin modeling women's lingerie a hobby?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Konopka Signs in Ireland

Former Wizard, Chris Konopka has signed a contract with Irish club Bohemian FC. He's been training with the club since their camp opened in January, and was offered a contract for his play during the preseason. While over in Europe, after being waived by the Wizards at the end of the season, Konopka trailed with teams like Cardiff City and Walsall, before landing with the Bohs.

Wizards Win Again in Argentina

The Wizards came from behind for their second win of their Argentina trip today against Velez Sarsfield, coming from behind to win 3-2. The Wizards fell behind in the 13th minute, but equalized on a goal by Ryan Pore in the 21st off of an assist by Carlos Marinelli. They fell behind again in the 38th minute. At half time many changes were made to the team (full line up on Hillcrest Road), and went from playing a 3-5-2 to more of a 4-4-2 it looks like. The Wizards started their comeback in the 84th minute, when Eloy Colombano curled a left footed shot into the upper 90. Trialist Andrew DiCicco continued to make it hard for Curt Onalfo to not sign him as he scored the winner in the 87th off of a cross by Colombano. The goal was DiCicco's 3rd of the preseason, which leads the team. Included in that total is his goal in the split squad scrimmage. Here are the goal scorers for the Wizards this preseason.

Andrew DiCicco - 3
Carlos Marinelli - 2
Ryan Pore - 2
Kurt Morsink - 1
Lance Watson - 1
Eloy Colombano - 1

The team also announced in that release that the team will be playing River Plate on this Friday morning, and will be playing San Lorenzo on Tuesday. So the team will have at least 5 games on this current trip now.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Waiver Draft Goes by Unchanging

After today's waiver draft, there are no new additions to the Wizards roster. Only 3 players were taken in the draft, including former Wizard, Brandon Prideaux, who is going to Chicago. Ryan Raybould was not one of the other two taken. They were Jeff Curtin to DC and Kyle Brown to Houston.

Trujillo Official

The Wizards have put out a press release today announcing that the signing of Iván Trujillo is now official. While the past few weeks we're heard the deal is done and just waiting on paper work, now we get the official word from the team. Below is the entire release.

(March 4, 2008) – The Kansas City Wizards announced today that the signing of forward Ivan Trujillo is complete. The Colombian, who last played for La Equidad in Colombia’s first division, scored seven goals in 18 games for La Equidad during the fall season after scoring four goals in 13 games for Once Caldes in the spring of 2007. Per team and league policy, financial details of the signing are not disclosed. Trujillo will join the Wizards tomorrow afternoon in Buenos Aires, Argentina and begin training with the team Thursday.

“Ivan Trujillo is a young, powerful forward who we have targeted for some time,” Wizards Technical Director Peter Vermes said. “We’re very excited to have signed a forward like Ivan to our organization. It takes time for all foreign players to acclimate themselves to the style of play in Major League Soccer, and we look forward to helping him through that process.”

“Ivan is a strong, hard-working target forward that has been a proven goal scorer wherever he has played,” Head Coach Curt Onalfo said. “He plays much bigger than his six-foot frame will add another scoring threat to our roster for the 2008 season.”

Trujillo will become Kansas City’s second Colombian-born player. Former Wizards midfielder and local Blue Springs High School alumnus Diego Gutierrez was born in Bogota, Colombia’s capitol city. He moved to the United States and the Kansas City area at age 15.

Trujillo becomes the sixth fluent Spanish-speaker on the Wizards. Head Coach Curt Onalfo (USA), midfielder Carlos Marinelli (Argentina), midfielder/forward Eloy Colombano (Argentina), midfielder Kurt Morsink (Costa Rica/USA) and 2008 SuperDraft selection Roger Espinoza (Honduras/USA) all speak Spanish fluently. Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman (USA) and Technical Director Peter Vermes also speak Spanish well.

Wizards Win in Argentina UPDATE

In their rescheduled friendly with Defensa y Justicia this morning, the Wizards defeated Eloy Colombano's old club 1-0 on a goal by Lance Watson. It's the team's first win since they beat the US Under 17 team 3-0 in their first preseason game of the season, not counting the inter squad scrimmage. I'll update this once Hillcrest Road has updated with more information.

UPDATE: The team has posted again on their blog with the lineups for both halves. Watson scored in the 7th minute to give KC the lead. Just before the half, Kevin Hartman saved a PK to keep the score at 1-0. The interesting fact is that the Wizards went away from the 3-5-2 in this game, playing a standard 4-4-2 diamond. Other interesting bit of information, Colombano didn't play against his former team.

The Wizards also have a new trialist with the team too. According to the write up, the trialist's name is Paulo Troyano. No clue who that is, but I did find a Paulo Troyano on the roster for Deportivo Heredia in the Liga Nacional de Futbol in Guatemala. The Troyano there plays the right position and is from Argentina.

Waiver Draft Part Deux Today

The second waiver draft of the offseason is today at 2 pm local time. Soccer America has the list of players available in the draft, most of whom were salary cap casualties. Even though the Wizards are under the salary cap pretty safely right now, I don't see them going after any of those players, including Kyle Martino, Kelly Gray, and Celestine Babayaro, who the Galaxy just signed. I find it likely that this waiver draft will go much like the first one this offseason, with no one taken. Former Wizard, Brandon Prideaux is also available in today's draft, but chances are slim he'll be picked up, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him head back to Seattle, where he played before joining the Wizards back in 1999. The lone Wizards player available, is Ryan Raybould, who was waived yesterday.

UPDATE: Ives has the draft order for the draft today along with the list of players available. The Wizards select 11th.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Raybould Waived

The Wizards have just sent out their weekly email release. At the bottom is the news that the Wizards have released local product, Ryan Raybould. Raybould signed with the team in 2005 as a developmental talent, and in 3 years with the club he appeared 19 times, including 10 starts recording 3 assists playing mainly as a right back and right midfielder. With the drafting of Chance Myers and other players that could play on the back line or on the wing, Raybould became expendable. Last season he was captain of the reserve team. Raybould grew up playing with the KC Legends and attended Rockhurst High School, before going on to play soccer at Yale.

Defensa y Justicia Game Back On

The game was canceled today due to the weather down in Argentina, but is back on now. The game will be played tomorrow down in Argentina. The Wizards have had to deal with the weather since they landed down in Argentina and have spent much of the time training indoors.

Lopez Deal Close

More news on the Claudio Lopez front. Steven Goff is reporting that the teams are very close to a deal and are ironing out details. According to Goff, barring any major problems late in the process, a deal could be announced later this week. Goff links to an Argentine article that talks about the ongoing process as well. According to the article that is linked, Lopez is currently in Buenos Aires having been introduced to the team and will join them for their continued preseason. The article also mentions two other teams that the Wizards will be playing while down there, Boca Juniors and River Plate. Last year, the Wizards played both teams last year on their trip down to Argentina, losing 2-0 to Boca and defeating River Plate 4-0 in their final game of the trip.

Preseason Game Canceled

The Wizards preseason game today against Eloy Colombano's former club, Defensa y Justicia has been canceled today due to the rain that has been falling almost constantly since the team arrived in Argentina.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Wizards Fantasy Draft Rounds 11 and 12

Rounds 11 and 12. Also with the team's 11th round pick, they are posting how their current lineup would look.

Previous Rounds
1 & 2
3 & 4
5 & 6
7 & 8
9 & 10

11(1). Team Shook - Scott Sealy - Sealy, the only current Wizard selected by Team Shook, has been with the team for three seasons netting 26 goals in 75 games, which puts him in sixth in all time goals scored for the Wizards, and only 6 goals out of third place. Sealy burst on to the team in 2005 with 9 goals, setting a KC rookie record, leading all rookies in goals, and was a finalist for MLS Rookie of the Year. In 2006, Sealy lead the team in goals with 10 (in just 20 starts) and though slowed by injuries in 2007 still netted 7 more, good for second place on the team, behind Team Shook teammate Eddie Johnson.

For Team Shook, Sealy provides depth at striker, as both a late game option, and as a fill-in-starter for the streaky Josh Wolff and EJ.

Team Shook's starting roster is as yet incomplete, as we are still lacking a keeper, but the rest of the starting eleven shakes out as follows:

Team Shook will be playing a 3-5-2 formation.
Bowers - Lalas - Garcia
McKeon - Gutierrez
Klein - - - Preki - - - Henderson
Johnson - Wolff

The formidable three man backline of Sean Bowers, Alexi Lalas, and Nick Garcia has the speed and talent to shut down most teams attacks, especially with the help of dual-holding midfielders Matt McKeon & Diego Gutierrez.
Chris Klein and Chris Henderson can push the attack on the edges from the right and left flanks, respectfully; while Preki controls the middle of the field, with the ability to push forward and add to his MLS record assists dishing to the dual-USA-National team strike force of Josh Wolff and Eddie Johnson, with T&T international Scott Sealy able to step in later in the game if additional offensive firepower is needed (most likely at the expense of a holding midfielder).

Though the Wolff/Johnson/Sealy strike force was a disappointment for the Wizards in 2006, they never had players like Klein, Preki, and Hendo offering them midfield support and precision passes. Likewise, even at its height during the 2000 MLS Cup run, this midfield combo has never had two (or three) as naturally gifted strikers as this team offers.

Additional flexibility also exists as McKeon and Gutierrez both can play on the back line if the current three-man unit needs additional support.

11(2). Team DTB - Shavar Thomas - With the selection of Sealy the pick before, I had to look a different way at addressing my team's needs. Thomas spent 3 years in KC playing in 76 games and scoring 2 goals after coming over from Dallas. He came into his own playing behind Conrad and Garcia, and has shown it since he's moved on.

With the Sealy selection, Team DTB had to change their tactics on how the team would set up. Instead of going with a standard 4-4-2, we'll be going with a 3-5-2 like the current Wizards and the 2000 team.
Zavagnin - Victorine
Zotinca - - - - Chung - - - - Harrington
Arnaud - Takawira

A much more defensive lineup then I had originally planned, but starting in the back, Team DTB has the best keeper in Wizards history behind a very strong back line of Thomas, Conrad, and Okafor. The midfield is also defensive minded with both wingers being able to play as a wingback as well. Zavagnin and Victorine will cover the defensive mid position, although Victorine will be the one that pushes forward of the two. While Chung spent a lot of time on the left wing, he also pushed central at times as well. Up top, Team DTB will have two of the highest scoring players in Wizards history in Arnaud and Takawira. Overall I expect to be playing a much more defensive style with my team. Getting the goal and then killing the game off.

11(3). Bravado FC - Carey Talley - Appearing in 50 games for the Wizards, Talley notched three goals and two assists. Although plagued with injuries during his stint with Kansas City, Talley still mustered 32 regular-season starts for KC. He will slot into a holding midfield role in either a 3-5-2 or 4-4-2.

The lineup for Bravado FC is expected to look like this.

Gough - Vermes - Prideaux
Jewsbury - Talley - Johnston - Burciaga
Molnar - Simutenkov

"We went into the draft with the knowledge that the players were there to play either a 3-5-2 or a 4-4-2, but our coaching staff feels that the 3-5-2 allows for more flexibility and creativity in our offense. With the veteran leadership of Vermes and Gough in our backline, we feel comfortable slotting both Carey Talley or Jack Jewsbury in the back line should we need to go to a 4-4-2 if the game situation warrants."

12(1). Bravado FC - Adegboyega "Bo" Oshoniyi - Despite a rough start to his MLS career - he was selected by the Columbus Crew in the fifth round of the draft and saw action in 13 contests for the Crew before being beaten out by pre-faux brit Brad Friedel - Oshoniyi returned to the league, eventually making his way to the Wizards. He compiled a 33-33-27 record, recording 22 shutouts and a 1.52 goals-against average. Despite being criticized as not quite good enough to be a starter in some circles, he is a great backup keeper for any team.

12(2). Team DTB - Chris Brown - Brown appeared in 123 games for the Wizards over his career, scoring 15 goals and 11 assists in MLS play. While not a fan favorite, Brown always came on and did his job. Brown is also the Wizards all time leading scorer in international competitions with 4 goals. For Team DTB he'll provide support at striker as well as on the wing.

12(3). Team Shook - Mike Ammann - Ammann was with the Wizards from the inaugural 1996 season till his trade to New York in 1999 for Team Shook teammate Alexi Lalas and future Wizards icon Tony Meola; spending the last two seasons as the starter. His best season in MLS came in 1997 where he started 29 games in net for the Western Conference's best regular season team, and set a then league-record with 21 wins. After his trade to New York, Ammann had several solid seasons for the Metrostars and DC United before suffering a series of injuries that ended his career.

Saturn Cup News

I have my ticket for the game down in Oklahoma on the 22nd to see the Wizards final tune up match against Real Salt Lake how about you? Friday more news on the event came out through the University of Oklahoma's athletic website. Much like the Wizards friendly match against the Seattle Sounders last year, the Wizards reserves will be in action as well. After the first team plays RSL, the reserves will take on Southern Methodist University in a friendly. That game is schedule to start around 8.

Kings Win PASL Midwest

Last night at the KC Soccer Dome, the Kansas City Kings won the PASL Midwest division title defeating the Springfield Spirits 16-14 in the division's championship game. The game started off slowly by indoor standards, as there weren't a lot of goals in the first half. After the first quarter, the Spirits were leading the Kings 4-0 (goals are worth 2 points, unless on a power play, 1 point, or behind the line which is a 3 pointer). The second quarter was even slower, as there was only 1 goal, as the Kings cut the lead to 4-2. The second half was a more typical indoor game, and the scoring started early in the second half, as the Kings tied the game early in the quarter. They continued on their run scoring another 6 goals without response from the Spirits to make it 16-4 before a late goal made it 16-6 at the end of the third quarter. The fourth quarter saw the Kings get a little lax on their defending and let the Spirits back in the game. The Kings defense was able to hold up, though, and won 16-14. They'll now travel to Washington DC for the PASL championships March 14-16.