Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Open Cup Schedule

We finally have an official announcement on who the Wizards will be playing in their qualifier for this year's US Open Cup. The Wizards will play the winner of the Colorado Rapids-LA Galaxy game, that will be held in LA on May 27th. The date and location of the Wizards game against Colorado or LA is not known yet. Since both of those teams play in their own stadium, it seems likely that the Wizards will be going on the road for this game.

Stadium Update

It's been a while since I've written about the Wizards and their stadium situation at Bannister Mall, so I figured it was time for an update. Since the approval by the Kansas City city council, the bill has moved on to the state level. At the state level, it started in the House where it spent most of the month of March. Finally on March 27th it passed the House by a vote of 82 to 70.

It then moved on to the state Senate. It only spent the first half of the month of April in the Senate, where it ended up passing 32 to 1 on April 16th. While in the Senate, though, there were changes made to the bill as a whole, which sent it back to the House. The House, though, did not concur with the changes leading to a Conference Committee with members from both the House and the Senate.

According to a poster on bigsoccer, who claims to be a lobbyist in Jefferson City, the stadium funding is not part of the problems between the House and Senate. That same poster says that the Conference Committee should be done some time this week and that the budget (which the stadium funding is part of) must be finished no later then May 9th. That means by next week, things should be clear at the state level for the funding for the stadium at the Bannister Mall site.

Hope that gives you all an idea of where the stadium situation is.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

More Roster Movement

Another open tryout participant has signed with the Wizards. Kevin Souter, who was invited to go with the team down to Argentina after the open tryouts was signed today. To make room on the roster, 2nd round draft pick, Yomby William was waived. Souter joins Nelson Pizarro as two open tryout participants that have signed with the club.

Signing one player from the open tryouts would have been seen as a success, but signing two, the Wizards have to be extremely pleased with the first open tryouts in many years.

Stadium Renderings Coming

Robb Heineman has posted again on Hillcrest Road, this time about the Wizards future home at Hillcrest Road. Heineman says that he hopes to have the stadium renderings for the site up soon. As Heineman alludes to, it's been a long time coming for Wizards fans to see these renderings. I personally can't wait. Once they're posted Down the Byline will get them linked here.

Don't forget to vote in the Wizards fantasy draft.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Pizarro In, Lowery Out

Looks like Onalfo's quote earlier this year about always bringing in players to push for positions is true. Amir Lowery is no longer listed on the Wizards roster. In his place, is open tryout participant, Nelson Pizarro. Looks like Pizarro has been given a developmental contract at the expense of Lowery.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Reserves Come From Behind Again

While the first team could not come back from a 2-0 deficit, the Wizards reserves could, coming from behind to beat Toronto FC 3-2 today after the first team game. TFC grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first 26 minutes, before Ryan McMahen scored a blast from 30 yards out right before half time. In the second half, the Wizards continued to fight back, with Scott Sealy grabbing the equalizer in the 70th minute. In a crowd, Sealy was able to get his foot on the ball and hit it off the underside of the cross bar and in. Five minutes later, the Wizards had the winner, guest player, Nelson Pizzaro played the ball across the middle, where it was met by Jonathan Leathers who slotted the ball under the keeper for the winner.

Hillcrest Road has their report up on the game. Lineup for the game is here:
Eric Kronberg, Jonathan Leathers, Rauwshan McKenzie, Aaron Hohlbein, Matt Marquess, Nelson Pizarro, Ryan McMahen, Carlos Marinelli (Michael Kraus 33), Sasha Victorine (Yomby William 46), Eloy Colombano, Scott Sealy

Subs Not Used: Boris Pardo, Geoff Miles, Josh Howard

UPDATE: The Hillcrest Road write up gives credit to the second goal to Matt Marquess, not Scott Sealy.

That DAMN Amado Guevara

The last time the Wizards saw former MLS MVP, Amado Guevara, he was busy scoring a hattrick to keep the Wizards out of the 2006 playoffs. Fast forward to 2008, and he puts the boots to the Wizards again, this time scoring 2 goals to lead Toronto FC to a 2-0 win over the Wizards at BMO Field.

The Wizards never truly looked into the game. The poor passing and control of the ball that plagued KC in Chicago followed them up to Toronto, where on the artificial surface, the Wizards had just as much trouble stringing passes together. Too many passes were long, short, behind or too far in front of players, It was a poor performance overall.

After looking shaky, but holding the lead in the first half, the Wizards defense finally allowed a goal, the first since Sainey Nyassi scored in the 40th minute of the Wizards game against New England. A poor clearance by Tyson Wahl off of Michael Harrington fell to Guevara who made no mistake beating Hartman. The Wizards best chance of the game came soon after that, when Claudio Lopez was played in behind the Toronto defense. He played a square ball into Ivan Trujillo, who put his shot right into Toronto keeper, Greg Sutton. Soon after that, Guevara made it two, scoring off of a great free kick, that Hartman had no chance of stopping.

Overall it was a pathetic performance by a team that wants to be one of the best. The passing for the second game in a row was crap, and it was on two completely different surfaces. This "all out attack" that Onalfo likes to brag about bring has shown very little over the last 4 games, yielding a total of 2 goals in that time frame. It's just not good enough, Lopez isn't getting enough support, and the defense is young and shaky, I cringe every time I see a defender other then Jimmy Conrad handle the ball in the defensive third of the field.

Wizards Man of the Match - Claudio Lopez - Got into dangerous positions and should have been rewarded with at least one assist, but his partner up top today, Trujillo couldn't finish. Onalfo has to find him a good partner up top or his going to become extremely upset really quick.

Honorable Mention - Kevin Hartman

Friday, April 25, 2008

Headed to the Great White North

The Wizards continue their 6 game road trip tomorrow in Canada, where they'll take on Toronto FC. Last year the Wizards helped open BMO Field, when Eddie Johnson scored the first goal at the stadium, and the game winner to give the Wizards a 1-0 win in Toronto.

Since then, the TFC supporters have helped to make BMO Field a fortress. They will be a lot harder to play up there then they were last year. Toronto's squad has improved as well, including signing former MLS MVP Amado Guevara and former French international, Laurent Robert recently. Both have helped to pay dividends for the club. It will be a fight for the Wizards.

I'm expecting the same lineup that we saw start the game against Chicago last weekend, it served Coach Onalfo well, and with Carlos Marinelli not completely recovered (and his history on turf), I expect we'll see Kurt Morsink take up the offensive midfield role. The only possible change is if Onalfo wants to have Sasha Victorine out there from the start this week for Roger Espinoza.

Myers - Wahl - Conrad - Harrington
Jewsbury - Morsink - Espinoza
Lopez - Sealy

While the Wizards won last week, they weren't overly impressive, having to do way to much defending against the Fire. If they play like that against the improved Toronto side, they won't win the game. This game worries me, as Toronto has gotten stronger as the young season has progressed. I originally predicted a draw for this match and I'll stick with that prediction.

KC - 1 (Lopez)
TFC - 1 (Dichio)

Fantasy Draft Voting

So it's been a while, but it's time to vote on who has drafted the best fantasy team from throughout Wizards history. The draft ended up having 16 rounds. For those that want to go back through the draft:
1 & 2
3 & 4
5 & 6
7 & 8
9 & 10
11 & 12
13 & 14
15 & 16

Here are the final teams drafted by Team Shook, Team DTB, and Bravado FC. The poll will be open for a week. Remember when voting, you're voting on their career with the Wizards, try to put aside their national team career or how they did with other teams.

Team Shook
Nick Garcia
Chris Klein
Chris Henderson
Diego Gutierrez
Sean Bowers
Alexi Lalas
Matt McKeon
Josh Wolff
Eddie Johnson
Scott Sealy
Mike Ammann
Francisco Gomez
Mike Burns
Eloy Colombano
Garth Lagerwey

Team DTB
Tony Meola
Jimmy Conrad
Kerry Zavagnin
Davy Arnaud
Mark Chung
Uche Okafor
Digital Takawira
Michael Harrington
Alex Zotinca
Sasha Victorine
Shavar Thomas
Chris Brown
Stephen Armstrong
Scott Vermillion
Paul Wright
Chris Snitko

Bravado FC
Mo Johnston
Miklos Molnar
Kevin Hartman
Peter Vermes
Richard Gough
Igor Simutenkov
Brandon Prideaux
Jose Burciaga
Jack Jewsbury
Carlos Marinelli
Carey Talley
Bo Oshoniyi
Frank Klopas
Steve Pittman
Mike Sorber
Gary Glasgow

So get out and vote for your favorite team.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

More on Robinson-Wahl Situation

Houston Dynamo defender, Bobby Boswell, has posted on his blog about the events after Eddie Robinson elbowed Tyson Wahl. On the youtube video of the incident, it looks like Boswell steps on Wahl's leg after he'd gone down to the ground. Apparently the league also thought that Boswell had stepped on Wahl's leg, because he received a fine for it.

The fine, though, was removed after Boswell had a chance to talk with the Players Union and Wahl. No such luck for Robinson, though, as he's still suspended for Houston's next two games.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Reserves Beat Fire

It was a clean sweep in Chicago this weekend for the Wizards. After the first team beat the Fire 1-0, the reserves took the field for their match. After falling behind 1-0 in the first half, scored 3 without reply in the second half to win 3-1. Patrick Nyarko opened the scoring for Chicago by blocking a clearance by Eric Kronberg. Ivan Trujillo pulled the Wizards level in the 49th minute, before he assisted on Eloy Colombano's goal in the 63rd. The Wizards finished the game off in the 73rd, when guest player, Nelson Pizzaro scored off of an assist from Ryan McMahen. The reserves are now 1-0-1 with 4 points in the reserve league.

Here's the lineup for the Wizards:
GK-Eric Kronberg, D-Yomby Willam, D-Rauwshan McKenzie, D-Aaron Hohlbein, D-Matt Marquess (Geoff Milles 45), M-Jonathan Leathers, M-Ryan McMahen, M-Michael Kraus, M-Sasha Victorine (Amir Lowery 45), F-Eloy Colombano, F-Ivan Trujillo (Nelson Pizzaro 64).

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Stuck in a Time Warp?

Was today October 15, 2000? Cause it certainly felt like it watching the Wizards take on the Chicago Fire. Like on that day, the Wizards made an early goal stand up to get a 1-0 win over the Fire. This time the goal scorer was Jack Jewsbury on a superb assist by Claudio Lopez. Lopez's cutting ball was met by Jewsbury, who beat his defended and goalkeeper Jon Busch to the ball and then fired the ball home. After that, it became a matter of absorbing pressure.

Chicago got numerous chances, with Kevin Hartman making saves on Blanco, Chad Barrett, Tomasz Frankowski, Justin Mapp, and any other Fire player who got a shot on goal. Hartman also got some help, when Chad Barrett skied a shot from 5 yards out when he was all alone staring at an open net. While Chicago had the run of play for the most part, KC had their own chances to add to their lead, Scott Sealy had a goal called back for offsides, Lopez just missed the side netting to start the second half, and Tyson Wahl hit the post.

Over the course of the game, the Wizards had trouble stringing passes together. It seemed like all their passes were running short on them, either due to high grass, or lack of power on the pass. Either way, there were way to many give aways, especially in the Wizards defensive half of the field for my liking, that will definitely have to be cleaned up for this road trip.

Great way to start the long road trip, already proving my predictions for the trip wrong. Getting a win in a place where the Wizards haven't been very good in their history has got to give the guys a mental boost heading into Toronto next week.

Wizards Man of the Match - Kevin Hartman - Playing the role of Tony Meola in this reenactment of MLS Cup 2000, Hartman made save after save against Chicago today. Getting some help from his defenders, including Chance Myers who saved one off the line.

Honorable Mention - Jack Jewsbury, Claudio Lopez

Long Road Trips

Today the Wizards begin their long 6 game road trip, the longest road trip in team history. You would think it'd be the longest road trip by a few games, but it's not. This road trip is only one game longer than the 5 game road trip the Wizards went on in the month of June, 2004. The Wizards were gone for less than a month, but played 5 games in that time, actually going undefeated on that trip, beating LA, CO, and New England, while drawing with Columbus and San Jose.

So how can the Wizards do on this 6 game road swing? Let's take a look.

@ Chicago - As I stated in my pregame, KC is not good in Chicago at all. Combine that with the fact that Chicago has looked like a pretty good team so far, I don't see the Wizards getting any points out of this game. (0 points)

@ Toronto - BMO Field has become a lot tougher place to play with the additions TFC have made. It'll be a tough place to get points for any team this year. I think the Wizards can just pull out a point here, though. (1 point)

@ Columbus - Columbus has looked very good earlier in the season, with a lot of young American talent around Schelotto. It'll be an interesting battle between him and Wizards Argentine forward, Claudio Lopez. (1 point)

@ New York - Playing on some of the worst turf in the league is always fun, and New York has always played us tough. With Juan Pablo Angel and Jozy Altidore, the Wizards defense will get a strong test. (1 point)

@ LA - The Galaxy just doesn't impress me at all, outside of Beckham and Donovan, there isn't much on that roster. By this time Ruiz may be back, but this is still the Wizards game to lose, especially with LA's weak back line. (3 points)

@ RSL - Ending the road trip at altitude, and a much improved RSL team, this will be hard to get the full 3 points off of. A lot in this match will depend on how the rest of the road trip is gone, but I'm going to be optimistic right now. (3 points)

So of a possible 18 points available for the Wizards on this road trip, I'm predicting they'll get half of them (9 points). Not a terrible result for the road trip, but not great. They'll have to take advantage of their home games from there on out.

Some good news for when the team returns, though. On their return home from that 5 game road trip in 2004, the Wizards promptly crushed Dallas 5-1.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Long Road Begins

The Wizards begin their 6 game road trip Sunday in Chicago, where they'll take on the Fire at Toyota Park. Chicago has not been a very friendly place for the Wizards to play the previous 10 season Chicago has had a team. In those 10 years, the Wizards have earned a grand total of 4 points in the Windy City, all coming in 2005. Overall, the Wizards are 1-13-1 against the Fire in Chicago, easily the worst record of any team when playing a specific team away. Chicago is so unfriendly that the Wizards even lost to the Chicago Sockers of the PDL in the US Open Cup in 2000 there.

So can the Wizards turn it around this year in Chicago? Unforunately, I have my doubts. Carlos Marinelli is out, and Davy Arnaud's return has been detoured after a hamstring strain has sidelined him again. So we'll likely see a similar lineup to what we saw after Marinelli was subbed out against Houston last Saturday.
Myers - Conrad - Wahl - Harrington
Jewsbury - Morsink - Espinoza
Lopez - Sealy

I'm hoping Ivan Trujillo gets the start, but I have this feeling that Onalfo is going to stick with Sealy.

PREDICTION - It's the Wizards in Chicago, points are very hard to come by up there for the boys in blue. I want them to break their losing streak there and start a new streak, but Chicago is playing well, Blanco has been the best DP signing in the league so far and even Chad Barrett is playing well. I hope I'm wrong, but it's hard seeing the Wizards get a point out of this one.

KC - 0
Chi - 2 (Blanco, Barrett)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Eddie Robinson Suspended

Ives Galarcep and Hillcrest Road have the story, Houston defender, Eddie Robinson has been suspended 3 games and fined $1000 for the elbow that he landed on Tyson Wahl in the second half of the game against Houston last Saturday. Robinson deserves at least that much for the cheap shot on Wahl. Watch the elbow again in the video below from youtube.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Zavagnin Getting Married

I was sent an email today from a friend of mine (not the one that sent me the 3-0 result for the reserve game), telling me that Kerry Zavagnin was on The Program with Soren Petro on Sports Radio 810 here in KC today. According to the email I got, Zavagnin will be getting married , after Thanksgiving this year, down in Mexico. I know there are a few people that will be disappointed knowing that Zavagnin, and his big blue eyes, are now off the market. Congrats to Kerry.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Suspend Eddie Robinson

So I missed seeing this live, and without HDNet, I wasn't able to DVR the game. Someone, though, has gotten Eddie Robinson's cheap shot elbow on Tyson Wahl up on youtube. Before the ball is even played in Robinson clocks Wahl with an elbow, right to the face. Hopefully the league disciplinary office has seen the replay of this game and will be contacting Mr. Robinson letting him know he's suspended for a few games.

Zavagnin and Pore News

As I first brought you after Wednesday's game, Wizards midfielder Kerry Zavagnin tied the team record for league appearances Saturday night with his 224 appearance. Tying him with Nick Garcia for the most in team history. Garcia got held the record for less then a season after passing Preki in 2007.

In other news, Wizards midfielder/forward, Ryan Pore will miss the next 2 weeks after suffering a deviated septum after he broke his nose last week. Pore will be having corrective surgery which will cause him to miss the time.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Wizards Reserves Beat Memphis

Due to other commitments today, I was unable to make the reserve game this morning out at Swope Park. I did have a friend text me during the game though. The reserves defeated the University of Memphis 3-0 this morning. The only goal scorer I got right now is that the third goal was scored by Eloy Colombano. Hopefully Hillcrest Road will have a write up on the game soon.

UPDATE: While I was told it was 3-0, the University of Memphis report on the match says that it was 5-0.

UPDATE 2: According to a Wizards staffer posting on bigsoccer, the score was indeed 5-0, with Colombano getting 2 goals and Ryan Pore, Ivan Trujillo, and Ryan McMahen getting the other 3 goals. Hoping for a full report on Hillcrest Road sometime. Shows how much I should believe my friend huh?

Wizards Draw Champs

The Wizards ended their 4 game home stand to open the season with a 0-0 draw with the defending champion, Houston Dynamo. While the score finished 0-0, it was an exciting game. The Dynamo had the better of the chances though, Kevin Hartman had to make good saves on shots by Dwayne DeRosario and Brad Davis to preserve the shut out. Besides that, the Wizards back line of Michael Harrington, Jimmy Conrad, Tyson Wahl, and Chance Myers did a good job of shutting down the Dynamo attack.

On the other end of the field, the Wizards offense seemed to struggle a bit. They didn't really force Tony Caig to make too many saves. For a keeper that has allowed 6 goals in his 2 games played before last night, I had been expecting KC to pepper the goal with more shots. Overall, the story appears to be out again on the Wizards, foul them, disrupt their game play and you can stop them. The last two games, the Wizards have suffered 32 fouls. Like last year, it appears teams have learned that to stop the Wizards attacks, you foul them.

Wizards Man of the Match - Kevin Hartman - Made some very good saves on DeRosario and Davis to keep the game at 0-0, saves that he may not have made last year when he wasn't in the shape he is now, El Gato is definitely back.

Honorable Mention - Jimmy Conrad, Chance Myers

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Wizards Salaries Updated

The MLS Players Union has updated the salary list for this season. The list now includes the salaries of both Claudio Lopez and Ivan Trujillo. Lopez is making less then I had expected, as his base salary is $720,000 with his guaranteed compensation being $820,000. Trujillo is making $70,000 in both base and guaranteed salary. The rest of the Wizards salaries are listed in this old post.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Wizards Take on Another Undermanned Team

The Wizards finish up their 4 game home stand to begin the season tomorrow when they take on the defending MLS Cup Champion, Houston Dynamo. Both KC and Houston are coming in off of losses on Wednesday. KC lost to New England 3-1 on Wednesday, while the Dynamo lost to Deportivo Saprissa in the CONCACAF Champion's Cup 3-0. The Dynamo come to KC a bit jet lagged, and injured. Goalkeeper Pat Onstad and defender Eddie Robinson are both listed as out for this game. Another starter, Stuart Holden is listed as doubtful. With those three out injured, the pressure will be on the Wizards to take 3 more points on their home stand. I'd expect a few changes from the lineup on Wednesday as the Wizards play their 3rd game in 8 days.

Myers - Wahl - Conrad - Harrington
Jewsbury - Marinelli - Morsink
Trujillo - Lopez

Like the Revolution, the Dynamo are coming in with a bunch of injuries. The Wizards should be able to take down the Dynamo. Back up keeper, Tony Caig has looked shaky, and that's putting it nicely, so the Wizards should be able to score some goals, especially without Robinson playing on defense.

KC - 3 (Lopez, Trujillo, Colombano)
Houston - 1 (Ching)

UPDATE: The most up to date injury report is now out for the game. Onstad is listed as out still. He's joined on that list by Craig Waibel, who played only 5 minutes before being subbed out against Deportivo Saprissa. Robinson has been upgraded from out to doubtful, while Holden has moved up to probable.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Reserves Draw with New England

The Wizards reserves opened up their 2008 MLS reserve league season with a 2-2 draw with the Revolution today out at Swope Park. Ryan Pore and Geoff Miles, a guest player, scored the Wizards goals. Pore scored the opener in the 22nd minute on a curling cross that went through the box untouched, off the post and in. Argenis Fernandez equalized for the Revolution in the 30th minute. In the second half, the Revs took the lead, again through Fernandez, in the 69th. Miles scored the equalizer when he got onto a ball played across the middle from Michael Kraus after he had beaten his guy to the end line in the 81st minute.

The Wizards line up is now online from the game.
Eric Kronberg, Chance Myers (Yomby William 30), Rauwshan McKenzie, Aaron Hohlbein, Michael Kraus, Davy Arnaud (Amir Lowery 46), Ryan McMahen, Ryan Pore, Roger Espinoza (Geoff Miles* 30), Eloy Colombano (Josh Howard* 74), Ivan Trujillo (Andrew Wheeler* 60)

Zavagnin Sets Record

Last night, Kerry Zavagnin set a team record by appearing in his 274th game in all competitions (league, playoffs, USOC, international) for the Wizards. Zavagnin passes former Wizard Nick Garcia to earn that record. Zavagnin will also tie the team record for league appearances Saturday against Houston. If he plays, Zavgnin will tie Garcia with his 224 league game in the Wizards blue.

KC Falls to Under Manned Revs

Missing at least four regular starters, the New England Revolution came into KC last night and handed the Wizards their first loss of the season, 3-1. Unlike the last two games, all the scoring came in the first half.

Things got off to a rough start, when in the 12th minute Tyson Wahl attempted to clear a free kick played into the box, as he did, though, he played it off of Jack Jewsbury and past Kevin Hartman for a 1-0 lead for the Revs. The Wizards started to fight back and had the majority of the ball, when in the 28th minute, Kurt Morsink was taken down in the box giving the Wizards a penalty kick. Jack Jewsbury stepped up and took the kick and leveled the game at one, beating Matt Reis. As they say in soccer, the next five minutes after a goal is scored is one of the most dangerous times, and the Revs proved it, when in the 33rd minute, Khano Smith broke down the right hand side and played the ball across to Sainey Nyassi unmarked on the back post, where he finished to give the Revs a 2-1 lead.

To make matters worse for the Wizards, in the 40th minute a free kick played into the box led to goal number 3 for the Revolution. Sharlie Joseph used his arm to help bring the ball down in the box and it found it's way to Kenny Mansally who scored past Hartman to make it 3-1. In the second half, Chance Myers replaced Michael Harrington at left back and the Wizards enjoyed the lion's share of possession as they went searching for the equalizer. Numerous chances were missed, including a ball played across the mouth of goal with nobody to finish it, and Carlos Marinelli volleying over from about 8 yards out.

Overall it was a poor effort from the Wizards, they looked like a team only coming off of a few days rest. It's not not going to get easier, as the reserves are "suppose to" (I say suppose to, because as I write this it's lightning outside) play the Revolution today, and then Saturday the Wizards are back in action against another injury depleted side in Houston.

Wizards Man of the Match - Jack Jewsbury - Made up for the own goal (that he probably knew nothing about) by putting away a PK and being all over the field as the Wizards tried to get back into the game. It was hard to pick a man of the match last night due to the poor play all around, so going with the goalscorer was my pick.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

UMKC Getting Stadium

The UMKC Kangaroos will be getting themselves their own soccer stadium ON campus. Set to open in 2009 and be fulling completed by 2010. The Stanley H. Durwood Foundation has donated $5 million gift to the athletic department. Included in the project are locker rooms and offices for the men's and women's soccer program as well as a four lane track and concession stand. This will be great for the UMKC soccer team to have a place right on campus to play their games. Without a football team, the team has a great chance to become a really big thing on campus. In the picture below, I'd assume they're going to take out a few of the lanes on the current track to fit the soccer field in there (Click on the picture for a clearer image.).
Credit to the Kansas City Soccer Review for first breaking the story.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Wizards Continue Home Stand

The Wizards will continue their 4 game home stand tomorrow night against New England. New England is coming in to the game having been soundly beaten 4-0 last Thursday in Chicago. Already without Taylor Twellman and Steve Ralston, the Revolution lost Jeff Larentowicz in the 7th minute to a red card. All three will now miss the game on Wednesday. It also looks likely that the Revolution will be missing defender Chris Albright for the defender as well.

Chance Myers is off the injury list again, but will he replace Jonathan Leathers as right back tomorrow remains to be seen. With the Wizards playing again on Saturday against Houston, I wouldn't be surprised to see Coach Onalfo switch up his starters a bit. I figure Scott Sealy will get a chance to start tomorrow in place of Ivan Trujillo who rests in preparation for the game against Houston.
Myers - Wahl - Conrad - Harrington
Jewsbury - Marinelli - Morsink
Sealy - Lopez

The Revolutions, injury woes are going to cost them tomorrow night. Without Twellman and Ralston, the offense is going to struggle, and without Albright, their defense is going to be vulnerable. Even with all that, the Wizards have two less days of rest, as the Revolution played on Thursday. It'll be a close game I think. Steve Nicol isn't going to allow the Revolution to play as bad as they did on Thursday in Chicago.

KC - 2 (Marinelli, Lopez)
NE - 1 (Cristman)

Monday, April 07, 2008

Busy Week for the Wizards

The Wizards have a busy week this week. After defeating the Colorado Rapids 3-2 on Saturday, the team has today off, before getting back to work tomorrow. Wednesday the team will be back in action against the New England Revolution at Community America Ballpark. Thursday the Wizards reserves will take the field for their first MLS reserve league game this season against the Revolution reserves. After having Friday without a game, the Wizards will take on defending champions, the Houston Dynamo Saturday to close out their 4 game home stand to open the season. The Wizards reserves will then be in action again on Sunday as they take on the University of Memphis. So it will be a very busy week for the Wizards, who will have some very tired legs after Sunday.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Wizards Take Down Rapids

The Wizards are off to a 2-0 start this season after the team's 3-2 win over the Colorado Rapids yesterday. Both team's came in off of high scoring games in their first matches of the season. In the first half yesterday, though, it certainly didn't look that way, as the teams played to a dull stalemate at the half.

In the second half, the action picked up quickly. In the 52nd minute, Carlos Marinelli played a great free kick into the box that was met by Wizards captain, Jimmy Conrad. Conrad powered his header past Bouna Coundoul to give the Wizards the lead. Two minutes later, the Wizards had doubled their lead, again through Conrad, as he met a Marinelli corner kick to end the team's long corner drought. Conrad celebrate his second goal of the game by being the first Wizard to jump into the Cauldron at CAB.

With a 2-0 lead, you would think the Wizards would be able to shut down the game and end it. Unfortunately for the Wizards that wasn't true. Colorado came back only 3 minutes after Conrad's second pulling one back. The goal came through former Wizard, Jose Burciaga Jr. as he beat Kevin Hartman at his near post. In the 68th minute, Colorado was level. Following a scrum after a corner that saw 5 players go to the ground, Omar Cummings was the first back to his feet and on the ball, where it was met by John DiRaimondo who blasted it past Hartman.

With the game now knotted at 2-2, Coach Curt Onalfo pushed for the win, by pulling off defender, Tyson Wahl and throwing on a third forward in Eloy Colombano, switching to a 3-4-3. The gamble paid off, as 3 minutes from time, Colombano found Jack Jewsbury on the flank. Jewsbury then played in Scott Sealy, who's first effort was blocked, but stayed with it and on his second chance squeezed a shot past Coundoul to give the Wizards the dramatic win and stay unbeaten.

Wizards Man of the Match - Jimmy Conrad
- The Wizards captain and central defender gets on the scoring sheet for the first time since 2006 with two goals off of great free kicks by Marinelli. Including ending the drought that the Wizards have had on corner kicks.

Honorable Mention - Carlos Marinelli, Scott Sealy

Corner Drought Over

After 180 some odd corners, 35 MLS games, 39 in all competitions, the Wizards end their drought on corners. In the second half of the KC-Colorado game today, Jimmy Conrad met a Carlos Marinelli corner and powered it past Bouna Coundoul to give the Wizards a 2-0 lead in their 3-2 win today. Full report coming tomorrow.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Wizards Back in Action Against Rapids

The Wizards are back in action tomorrow at 4 pm central time, when they take on the Colorado Rapids. KC, 1-0, comes in off of a 2-0 win over DC United last week. Colorado is also 1-0 having defeated the LA Galaxy 4-0. The way MLS has been going so far this season, the Wizards definitely have the advantage (home teams have scored 19 goals in league play while only allowing 2). Colorado comes in revamped with their biggest offseason purchase being the trade for Christian Gomez. Gomez will lead the Colorado attack. There will also be a familiar face on the back line, as Jose Burciaga Jr. is now playing on the Rapids back line.

Kansas City's injury report is getting better, as Chance Myers is up to probable for the game this weekend. This means I'd expect to see the Wizards put out their best 11 tomorrow.
Myers - Wahl - Conrad - Harrington
Jewsbury - Marinelli - Pore
Lopez - Trujillo

The Rapids haven't been good on the road in the past, and have not won in KC since 2002. That aside, this is a different Rapids team, they'll pose a much bigger problem to the Wizards then in the past. KC at home though should be the stronger side. Colorado's 4-0 win over the Galaxy is deceiving because of just how bad LA looked. With the smaller field at CAB and the younger, fitter defenders on KC's back line, they should do a better job of shutting down Gomez, Cummings, and Cooke.

KC - 2 (Lopez, Harrington)
CO - 1 (Gomez)

William Grabs Final Roster Spot?

It looks like the Wizards have filled out their last developmental roster spot. After the signings of Leathers, Marquess, Pardo, and McKenzie recently, there was one spot left on the roster. According to the roster on the Wizards website, it looks like Yomby William has beaten out Kevin Souter and Nelson Pizzaro for the final roster spot.

From checking out Oz City, it looks like Souter was offered a contract, but there were questions with his eligibility. We'll see if there is an official announcement from the team one way or the other.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Wizards 2008 Salaries

Just like the past few years, the MLS players union has released the salaries for all the players in MLS. The Wizards salaries are listed there as well. The one's missing, though, are the Wizards late preseason signings (Claudio Lopez & Ivan Trujillo).

Some notes on the list are the continued shortchanging forward Scott Sealy has gotten. He's definitely due for a raise once his current contract expires. The Wizards developmental players are still not making much of a living wage, as they're only making $12,900 a season. The senior developmental players are making a bit more, as they make $17,000. The highest paid player on this list (Lopez as a designated player makes much more), is Jimmy Conrad, making a base of $213,750. Wizards number one pick, Chance Myers, is making $70,000 in base salary. Here's the Wizards roster minus Trujillo and Lopez. The first number is the players' base salary for 08 the second is the players' guaranteed compensation for this year.

KC Arnaud Davy M $105,000.00 - $106,875.00
KC Colombano Eloy F-M $63,000.00 - $70,750.00
KC Conrad Jimmy D $213,750.00 - $225,000.00
KC Espinoza Roger M-D $45,000.00 - $78,750.00
KC Harrington Michael D $49,600.00 - $67,100.00
KC Hartman Kevin GK $150,000.00 - $150,000.00
KC Hohlbein Aaron M-D $33,000.00 - $33,000.00
KC Jewsbury Jack M-F $55,000.00 - $55,000.00
KC Kraus Michael M-F $12,900.00 - $12,900.00
KC Kronberg Eric GK $33,000.00 - $33,000.00
KC Leathers Jonathan D $12,900.00 - $12,900.00
KC Lowery Amir M $17,700.00 - $17,700.00
KC Marinelli Carlos M $115,000.00 - $115,000.00
KC Marquess Matt D $12,900.00 - $12,900.00
KC McKenzie Rauwshan D $12,900.00 - $12,900.00
KC McMahen Ryan M $33,000.00 - $33,000.00
KC Morsink Kurt M $33,000.00 - $33,000.00
KC Myers Chance D $70,000.00 - $130,000.00
KC Pardo Boris GK $12,900.00 - $12,900.00
KC Pore Ryan F $44,825.04 - $57,325.04
KC Sealy Scott F $34,728.75 - $34,728.75
KC Victorine Sasha M $151,250.00 - $153,750.00
KC Wahl Tyson D $33,000.00 - $33,000.00
KC Watson Lance M $17,700.00 - $17,700.00
KC Zavagnin Kerry M $169,400.00 - $169,400.00

Bruce Arena in KC

Former US Men's National team coach, Bruce Arena will be in KC this weekend for the game against Colorado. Arena will be joining Wizards play-by-play announcer, Sean Wheelock, providing match analysis for the broadcast on Metro Sports and La Playa 1480.

Arena is tied to the Wizards through the fact that Wizards coach, Curt Onalfo, was one of his former players and assistants with the US team. This should make for a very interesting broadcast on Saturday. I'm interested to hear what Arena has to say about our temporary stadium, our team in general, and the signing of Lopez.

Quiet Wizards Week

Not a lot of news out of Wizards land this week. The Wizards have been busy trying to get the word out on the game time change, and they seem to be doing a good job of that. Kerry Zavagnin was on Jack 105 this morning discussing the Wizards and the fact that the game was moved for the KU-UNC game. So I'm hopeful that my main fear about the word not getting out enough will prove to be false.

The only real team news that has come out recently was yesterday, when Hillcrest Road announced that the Wizards other first round pick, Roger Espinoza is available for the team now, and is not appearing on the MLS injury list. Espinoza helps to provide the Wizards more depth in the midfield and will likely start to challenge Ryan Pore for starting time.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


The game time for this weekends game against Colorado has been changed. The game, originally scheduled for 7 pm, has been moved to 4 pm now. Not entirely sure why, but I would guess it has something to do with KU playing in the Final Four that night.

UPDATE: The Rapids site has the game now listed at 3 pm Mountain time (4 central).

UPDATE 2: Hillcrest Road now has it up as well. My original assumption that it was changed to accommodate KU fans turns out to be correct.