Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Another Former Wizard Moves

Former Wizards midfielder, Khari Stephenson has moved clubs. Stephenson, who would have played fellow former Wizard, Ryan Raybould, at his old club in Sweden, AIK, has now moved on to Aalesunds FK of the Norwegian Tippeligaen, the top division in Norway. Aalesunds is also the home to American keeper, Adin Brown, and midfielder Pat Noonan (who could be on his way back to MLS).

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

July Player of the Month

July is almost over, but the Wizards don't have another game until August. In the month of July, the Wizards went 1-0-3 in league. Add in a win and a draw in the US Open Cup and the Wizards were undefeated with a 2-0-4 record in the month of July. Unlike June, there are plenty of people with stats and play this month that could be considered for the Player of the Month award. Here are the candidates I considered.

Claudio Lopez - The Wizards DP had 2 assists in league play, but added another goal and assist to his total in the US Open Cup. Combine that with his continued play on the field and it's been a productive month.

Davy Arnaud - Arnaud had a goal and an assist in the month of July, and has returned to his regular high energy play that we came to expect from him before his off season surgery.

Jack Jewsbury - Jewsbury had two assists against the Crew, and while had some trouble defensively as well, has helped the Wizards go undefeated since he moved to right back. His work on Sunday night helping to shut down Blanco solidified his position as a candidate.

Kurt Morsink - Morsink has been one of the fans punching bags this season, but his play in the month of July has started to change people's minds. He's been more composed in the midfield and has picked up 2 assists. Along with that, he had a secondary assist taken away and another ball set up the own goal against Columbus.

This month I'm giving the award courtesy Thad Bell

Morsink has come into his own this month. He's been composed in the central midfield and even started to cut back on the cards. In fact, his godding got Blanco his yellow card that will see him suspended for their next game. While I can see a case made for any of the 4 guys I've listed, I'm going to give this one to Morsink.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Set of Goose Eggs

Photo courtesy of Alan Hainkel (Caught Looking Photography)

Last night, the Wizards and the Chicago Fire played to a 0-0 draw that saw both teams have some decent chances and a few PK calls turned away. Throughout the game, it seemed that it was Chicago that had the better of the chances, as Wizards goalkeeper had to come up big on multiple occasions to keep Kansas City in the game. On the offensive end, the Wizards didn't really test Jon Busch as much, but they had their chances. A poor touch from Josh Wolff kept him from getting a good shot on frame against the Chicago keeper. The Wizards also had the strongest claim for a penalty, when a cross struck the arm of a Chicago defender. The foul was called, but placed outside the box. Replays showed that a case could easily be made for it being a penalty kick.

In the end, though, a draw was a fair result, as both teams had their chances, but neither one was able to get that big moment to win it. It's disappointing as well, cause the Wizards can't continue to keep getting draws, it's eventually going to bit them in the ass.

WIZARDS Man of the Match - Michael Harrington & Jack Jewsbury - Co-man of the match award for last night. These two seemed to draw the honor of marking Blanco all game. Harrington did such a good job on him in the first half, that Blanco switched sides to get away from the second year man. Moving to the other side wasn't much better, as Jewsbury was just as up to the challenge of shutting down the Mexican international.

Honorable Mention - Kevin Hartman

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Juniors Lose National Finals

A 90th minute free kick goal by Solar gave the North Texas team the U-19 National title, beating the Wizards Juniors 1-0. It sucks to lose on such a later goal, but congratulations to the team on a great run to the national title.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Here Come the Fire

With the "all star break" over, the Wizards are back in action this Sunday against the Chicago Fire. Kansas City comes into the game unbeaten in their last 5 league matches, and have pulled themselves back into the playoff race, after looking like they'd struggle for the early part of the season. They're still the second lowest scoring team in the league, but their 3 goals against Columbus gives hope that they are getting out of that scoring funk. Chicago on the other hand actually comes in unbeaten in the last 4 league games. With Cuauhtemoc Blanco on their side, you can expect a sellout crowd easily for that game with plenty of people there fans of Blanco more so then the Fire.

The Wizards will likely still be without Carlos Marinelli, but everyone else should be healthy for this match. The question is whether Josh Wolff will get the start this week up front for the Wizards. I hope he does, as he's played two games (1 league, 1 reserve game) and has two goals.
Jewsbury - Conrad - Hohlbein - Harrington
Arnaud - Morsink - Victorine - Espinoza
Wolff - Lopez

PREDICTION - This should be an exciting game with an exciting atmosphere, as along with the Blanco fans there, Section 8 will apparently be bringing about 50-60 people down for the game, which will help to create an intense atmosphere in the stands. With that, it should lead to a more exciting on the field product. Last year in KC was the dramatic 3-2 win by the Wizards, so will we see something similar this year? With the way the Wizards attacked against Columbus I'd expect to see the same type of attack from KC tomorrow.

KC - 2 (Lopez, Wolff)
Chi - 2 (Blanco, Mapp)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Juniors Draw Final Group Game

In a game that meant absolutely nothing, the U-19 Wizards Juniors played to a 1-1 draw with their finals opponent, Solar out of North Texas today. Both teams played with more of a laid back attitude to the game, getting players further down the bench some time. The game ended with 10 minutes of the teams just standing around passing the ball around with each other, as neither team wanted to exude too much energy with the final on Sunday.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Conrad Captains Allstars to Win

Wizards captain, Jimmy Conrad, is now all star winning captain, Jimmy Conrad. Conrad played all 90 minutes, captaining the MLS all stars tonight against West Ham United at BMO Field in Toronto. United put up a good effort against the MLS all stars. They grabbed the lead through Dean Ashton in the 26th minute. A minute later, though, MLS was equal, as David Beckham fed Cuauhtemoc Blanco, who's cheeky back heal found Christian Gomez, who dribbled in and beat Robert Green to the far post to equalize. Before half time, Blanco had given MLS the lead. Juan Toja fed Blanco, who "broke" his defenders ankles before elegantly placing the ball into the far corner for a magnificent goal.

While MLS dominated the play in the second half, it was Ashton who equalized for West Ham United with his second goal of the season. Ashton's shot deflected off of Conrad, and went past Matt Reis, who had committed to the other side of the goal for Asthon's shot. Again, though, MLS came back. This time through Dwayne De Rosario. De Rosario dribbled into the box where he was fouled by a United defender. The resulting PK was converted by DeRo, as his shot bounced off the cross bar, off the ground and into the roof of the net to give the MLS all stars the lead that they would not relinquish.

MLS Man of the Match - Cuauhtemoc Blanco - The Fire midfielder/forward had a good game, his back heal and his goal, showed the class that Blanco has, both were first class.

Honorable Mention - Christian Gomez, David Beckham

Raybould Moving Up

Former Wizards defender, Ryan Raybould looks to be moving up in the Swedish leagues. Raybould has moved from Sandvikens IF in the Swedish 4th division to Gefle IF to Allsvenskan, the Swedish first division. This is a big move for Raybould, and a move that seemed to be coming when he signed for the team, as he had a deal with Sandvikens to transfer to a higher club if they came calling.

According to the article I linked (thanks to a translation on BS) "Idag blev det klart" means it became official today. Congrats to Raybould on the move, it looks like he'll be competing for a spot on the outside back line for Gelfe, who finished 10th in the league in 2007.

Jimmy and the All Stars

Tonight Jimmy Conrad and the rest of the MLS all stars take on West Ham United in this years All Star game. Conrad is the Wizards lone representative on Steve Nicol's team. Being one of only 5 defenders, and with Michael Parkhurst likely not playing due to his Olympic commitments, chances seem high that Conrad will not only play, but likely play the full 90 against the Hammers tonight at BMO Field.

So far the all stars are undefeated in these games against foreign opposition in the all star game. Will that continue this year? One would hope so, but we will have to wait and see.

Not going to do a full line up for the all star game tonight, but I'd guess we'll see Nicol's traditional 3-5-2 with Conrad anchoring the middle of it.

PREDICTION - West Ham is not the team to lose your all star game streak too.

MLS - 1 (Conrad)
WHU - 0

Harrington named Olympic Alternate

While Michael Harrington wasn't named to the orignal group of players heading to the Olympics, or to that alternate list, Harrington has now been added to Coach Nowak. Harrington moves into the spot vacated by Dax McCarty, who moved onto the team to replace Nathan Strugis. He won't travel with the team to China, but will be on call should another injury occur to one of the players on the team. Time will tell if we'll end up losing the left defender/midfielder to the Olympics, but it's great for Harrington to be rewarded for his play the past two seasons.

Juniors Into National Finals

Due to internet issues this is getting out a little later then I would have liked. The U-19 Juniros won again today, 3-1 over Colorado Rush Nike down in Little Rock. That win, coupled with the win by Solar in the other game, means that both teams are 2-0 and will advance to the National finals on Sunday, no matter what their result is tomorrow against each other. Congrats to the Juniors on this great accomplishment. Solar tomorrow will be extremely rough, as Solar's club is well known in the US for producing some very good teams.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Another Look at the Open Roster Spot

With the recent trade of Scott Sealy, the Wizards again have an open roster spot to fill. From comments made by Coach Onalfo and Peter Vermes, the team is looking to fill that spot with a player. Will the Wizards go out and try to get a forward to partner Josh Wolff? Pushing Ivan Trujillo to the bench? Or go for a midfielder? Someone that can be more reliable then the oft-injured Carlos Marinelli? Or will they try to bring in a defender to strengthen the back line? Of the choices, I don't see the team going after a defender. I think it'll come down to a forward or a midifelder. It all depends on Claudio Lopez. Lopez has looked good on the left side of midfield. But if his performance with Wolff during the Columbus game is repeated, he might end up staying up top.

Right now, it seems like a forward may be the way the Wizards are looking. There's been talk that KC would look in league for a forward. With that possibility in mind, here are a few trades that could make sense with the allocation money the Wizards have.

Chad Barrett/Chris Rolfe to KC, allocation money to TFC, McBride to Chicago - This is one possiblity for a trade. It doesn't make a huge amount of sense, as TFC has stated they want a player for the rights to McBride, but the allocation would allow TFC to bring in their own outside player if they wanted to. Barrett is a candidate to go to Europe after this season, so would getting him be much different then Sealy, who has wanted to leave after this season? As for Rolfe, his ability to drop back into the midfield makes him more important to Chicago, and less likely of a trade candidate.

Jeff Cunningham to KC for allocation money - Cunningham is in the dog house in Toronto, especially after his miss in last night's match with Montreal that decided the Canadian representative in the CONCACAF Champion's League. He's also apparently been moved to the TFC "reserve locker room". He can't be staying in Toronto much longer. The bad thing is that he's been known as a locker room cancer. The other thing working against this trade is that Wizards president, Robb Heineman has said it's not Cunningham.

Carlos Ruiz to KC for allocation money - LA is always looking for a way to get more allocation money to allow them to bring in all the "name" players that are linked with a move to LA. KC has the allocation money to give, so it makes some sense that LA would be interested in trying to make a deal for that money. With the emergence of Edson Buddle again, Ruiz is expendable. His battles with former Wizard, Nick Garcia are well known to Wizards fans. But could Wizards fans cheer for a guy that's been so hated here in KC?

These all seem like trades that could possibly be done. Are any of them really ones that could get done? I'm not sure, but they're certainly trades to teams that could use the allocation money. We'll have to see what happens over the next few weeks.

Juniors Win First Game

The U-19 Wizards Juniors started their Nationals campaign with a big come from behind win against Freestate United from Maryland. The Juniors came from 2-0 down, scoring 3 goals in about a 15 minute span in the second half to win their opener 3-2.

Another update is that Sereno 89 White out of Arizona is not competing in the tournament. From what I've been told, they were booted out because of paper work. They've been replaced by Colorado Rush Nike, who will be the Juniors opponent tomorrow at 11:30 am.

While the writeup on the site for the national finals says that the Juniors were actually up 1-0, first hand accounts from the KCW Juniors blog, and contacts I have down in Arkansas say that it was definitely Freestate up 2-0 before the Juniors came back.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Follow the Juniors at Nationals

I had been planning on getting my brother to help blog about the Wizards Juniors trip to nationals this week, and he still might. But the Wizards look to have someone stepping up to blog on the team down in Arkansas this week. The team has set up a KC Wizards Juniors blog, which as the little blurb about the blog says, "This is the online home of news and information for the KCW Juniors, the official youth development arm of the Kansas City Wizards. Owned and operated by OnGoal, LLC, the KCW Juniors are overseen by Wizards Technical Director Peter Vermes and Director of Coaching Jon Parry".

I look forward to getting their opinion on how the team played along with family that will be down at the tournament.

Conrad ESPN Chat

Jimmy Conrad was part of an ESPN chat today. Oz City has posted the entire transcript for people to read. Some of the stuff you've come to expect from Jimmy regarding his humor. He also touches on who the best card player on the team is, his team of choice in FIFA 08, and his favorite Mexican place. Good read for everyone, enjoy.

We're on Top of the League...

...the reserve league.

The reserves beat Red Bull New York today 3-0 in a game this morning at the Swope Park training complex. The game was postponed when it was originally supposed to be played (July 11th), due to the Wizards friendly against Atlas that was on that day. Hillcrest Road has the story. Goals by Josh Wolff, Nelson Pizarro, and an own goal that apparently was set up by Pizarro. With the win, the reserves move to the top of the Eastern Conference reserve division. Good to see the reserves win and keep the shut out.

UPDATE: Full write up now on Hillcrest.

Monday, July 21, 2008

U19s Arrive at Nationals

Was talking with my parents tonight and found out that the Wizards U-19 team has arrived down in Little Rock for Nationals, which technically begin tomorrow. The Juniors first game isn't until Wednesday when they take on Freestate United from Maryland. Thursday they take on Sereno 89 White of Arizona, and finish group play on Friday against Solar 89 of North Texas. Should they finish in the top two, they'll play on Sunday in the final. The full schedule is here. And here's a Google maps location of the fields.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Wizards Make Trade

Hold on, it's not that big a deal. According to 3rd Degree, the great FC Dallas blog, the Wizards have traded one of their international slots to Dallas in return for a 4th round draft pick in next year's SuperDraft.

So no, not a glamor trade of any kind. It's the second international slot the Wizards have traded away in the last two seasons. Last year they sent an international slot to Salt Lake with Yura Movsisyan. That leaves the Wizards with 1 open international slot (they are currently using 4, Lopez, Marinelli, Trujillo, Souter).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wolff Saves Point

photo courtesy of Thad Bell

In his return to the lineup for Kansas City, Josh Wolff salvaged a point for the Wizards in Columbus tonight. Kansas City came out strong, pressuring Columbus high and not giving them a lot of space. The Wizards capitalized on that pressure in the 22nd minute, when a Claudio Lopez free kick was not fully cleared. Kurt Morsink played the ball back in towards Sasha Victorine, who was beat to the ball by Frankie Hejduk. Hejduk, though, headed the ball past his own goalkeeper, Will Hesmer, and into his own net to give the Wizards the lead. The goal set off a frantic 16 minute stretch. Only two minutes later, Morsink won the ball and played Jack Jewsbury out wide. Jewsbury's low cross was met by Roger Espinoza, who beat Chad Marshall to the ball and put it past Hesmer to put KC in the lead 2-0.

Less then two minutes after that goal, a foul 20 odd yards out from goal allowed Guillermo Barros Schelotto the chance to pull one back, which he did, taking the shot before Kevin Hartman had gotten fully set. In the 33rd minute, Columbus was even, when Schelotto received a quick throw in and ran down the line before crossing to Alejandro Moreno, who's scuffed shot deflected off Jimmy Conrad and past Hartman, who couldn't get back in time to save it. Columbus continued to pressure and in the 38th minute took the lead off of a Schelotto corner, that Chad Marshall beat Conrad to.

As the second half started, KC pressured Columbus, but was unable to get a really good attack going, as passes were too long, too short, or to nobody. Finally, though, KC was able to capitalize, yet again, Morsink started an attack, playing the ball wide to Jewsbury, who crossed in low again to an unmarked Wolff on the back post who had a simple tap in to tie the game at 3-3. After that, KC started to attack more earnestly, as a great dummy by Wolff found Lopez in the box but he couldn't get the ball down after he rounded his defender.

Overall, I'm not happy with blowing a 2 goal lead, but I am happy we were able to fight back for the point, and to see Wolff get on the scorers sheet in his first game back. Our defense looked suspect, but that could be because of the more attacking presence we took in the game tonight. While Jewsbury got two assists, Robbie Rogers owned him on the defensive third all night. The same could be said about Michael Harrington on the left with Emmaneul Ekpo. The offense still isn't totally clicking, but what I saw from Lopez and Wolff late was very encouraging.

Wizards Man of the Match - Kurt Morsink - Morsink is starting to pick his game up. He played a role in all 3 of the Wizards goals tonight. Sure, late in the game, his shooting was suspect, but his play in the middle tonight was sharp, and you can't argue with two assists and another ball that caused an own goal.

Honorable Mention - Jack Jewsbury, Josh Wolff

Beckham Game at Arrowhead (Official)

Very early Wednesday morning I posted that the Wizards game against LA would be moved to Arrowhead. Today the announcement has been made official by the team. The game has been officially moved to 4 pm with the Chiefs game against the Raiders the next day.

Individual game tickets for the game have not gone on sale yet, but people can get tickets to the game through a special ticket offer. By buying a 3 game flex pass and putting down a deposit for season tickets next year, you get a "free" ticket in the lower bowl to the game against Beckham and the Galaxy.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Back to Columbus

The Wizards make their token appearance on ESPN tomorrow night when they travel to Columbus to take on the Crew. The Wizards are 0-2 against the Crew this year after dropping the first game in Columbus 2-1 and then being humbled at home 3-0 a few weeks ago. The Wizards come in on a four game unbeaten run in the league (2-0-2) and on a 6 game unbeaten run overall (3-0-3). The Crew lost either first game since early June last weekend when they lost 2-0 at Real Salt Lake. While the Wizards are trying to pull themselves out of the depths of the Eastern Conference, Columbus is looking to make a run on New England and the top spot in the East.

There will be some changes to the lineup from last week, as the Wizards no longer have Scott Sealy to play up top alongside Ivan Trujillo. Does that mean that Claudio Lopez moves back up top and either Lance Watson or Roger Espinoza takes his place on the left, or does someone like Ryan Pore step in up top next to Trujillo. Of those three options, I'd rather see Espinoza. Pore and Watson don't impress me that much. We all remember Espinoza's last performance in Columbus though, and you wonder if that's weighting on his and Onalfo's mind while deciding the line up.
Jewsbury - Conrad - Hohlbein - Harrington
Arnaud - Victorine - Morsink - Espinoza
Trujillo - Lopez

PREDICTION - The Wizards need a win to pull themselves into the thick of the playoff race. Getting points in Columbus are going to be hard for them though. Someone is going to have to step up this game, and it really should be Lopez. Columbus is a good team, especially on attack, and the Wizards defense is going to have to play the way they have the last few to shut them down and give the Wizards a chance.

KC - 1 (Arnaud)
Cbus - 1 (Schelotto)

Beckham Game at Arrowhead (Proof)

Thanks to WildcatWizard on bigsoccer for bringing this to my attention. On the Wizards schedule on their website, they now have a symbol next to the game at home against the Galaxy. At the bottom of the schedule it says that the symbol means that the game will be played at Arrowhead. The game has also been moved to 4 pm on Saturday, up from the 7 pm start time that is listed on the schedule, this has likely been done to give Arrowhead staff more time to get the field ready for the Chiefs game the next day. It shouldn't come as that much of a surprise to fans though, I think most expected this all season. Props also go out to the guy who left a comment on my speculation post after the announcement of the St. Louis Night for the game calling the game time before that was announced.

I've taken a screen shot of the schedule right now in case it is changed between now and the time you read this post. For a larger picture, click on the image.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Where in the World is Carlos Marinelli?

Carlos Marinelli hasn't appeared for the Wizards since coming off at halftime of the Wizards 4-2 win over the Carolina Railhawks in the US Open Cup. Since then, he hasn't been around, hasn't appeared on the bench, and from reports hasn't even been at practice. Thad Bell over at The Back Post is now reporting that Marinelli is not even in the country.

Marinelli? Still not at practice and it is my understanding that he is not even in the country at this point. The official “off the record” statement was that he is at home taking care of some personal issues and getting treatment for his injury. Have we seen the last of him also?
To answer Thad, I don't think we've seen the end, but I certainly think that we are close to the end. Marinelli just can't stay healthy. He's not worth the money he's making if he continues to spend most of his time on the training table. We're now starting to see more and more the injury problems that have plagued him his entire career. I don't expect him to be back with KC next season, Onalfo just can't rely on him to be healthy enough to make a difference in the team.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Midseason Grades

After Thursday night's game against New York, the Wizards are now half way through their season. Through 15 games, the Wizards are 5-5-5 and tied for 6th place in the Eastern Conference. Overall, it hasn't been a great start to the season, after starting off with a 4 game home stand, the Wizards went on a two month road trip of 6 games. They went almost 4 and a half games without scoring a goal during the first half of the season. The good news is that they are undefeated in their last 6 competitive games, going 3-0-3 during that stretch. The good news is that the young inexperienced is playing better then expeced, as they have 6 shutouts this season. Also, Kevin Hartman is having an MVP caliber season as he's come up with multiple big saves in games to keep the Wizards in games, and win them points. The bad news has been the offense, who has scored a grand total of 14 goals in the 15 games so far this season. That's the lowest total in MLS minus expansion side San Jose. Either way, it's time to look at the player grades for the midpoint of the season.

Davy Arnaud - C - He missed the early part of the season recovering from his offseason knee surgery. He looks to be finally coming into form after struggling the first part of the season. But his first part of the season hasn't been that good.

Eloy Colombano - INC - played only 131 minutes in 7 games before he was waived by the team in mutual agreement.

Jimmy Conrad - A - Captain Kansas City has been a bright spot for the Wizards early in this season. He's got a team high 4 goals in league play and has anchored a young back line that has started to excede expectations.

Roger Espinoza - D- - Barely passing right now, Espinoza leads the league in red cards with two in only 412 minutes. Both could have been avoided if Espinoza showed a bit more composure.

Michael Harrington - B - Harrington's best attack has come from the US Open Cup games. During league play, Harrington hasn't been able to get field as much in league play, and unlike in the Open Cup has played in the back. Overall he's not having a great season, but he's definitely not having a sophomore slump.

Kevin Hartman - A+ - The Wizards MVP for the first half of the season. He dropped a lot of weight coming into this season and has played great with the less weight. He's helped the Wizards win points this year, which is why he was brought in last season. He won't get it, but he deserves MVP consideration.

Aaron Hohlbein - B - Came in for Tyson Wahl and has not reliquinshed that spot next to Jimmy Conrad. I thought Hohlbein should have been next to Conrad to start the season, and he's proven he's capable of helping anchor the back line next to him.

Jack Jewsbury - B- - Has raised his grade as the season has gone on, and he's moved back to the right back slot he anchored last year. Taking over the spot from two rookies, Jewsbury has helped to stablize the back line.

Andrew Kartunen - INC - League keeper training with the Wizards, hasn't made an appearance.

Michael Kraus - INC - Only seen him play in two games, against Seattle and against Atlas. Hasn't looked terrible, but hasn't looked like a guy who will really be in the team's future.

Eric Kronberg - B- - Has played in 3 and a half games this season and allowed 5 goals in that length of time. Still he's looked very good at times as well, especially against Seattle, where he was easily the Wizards man of the match in that game. He's showing that he can one day take the number one spot for the team.

Jonathan Leathers - C - Started the season for the Wizards and didn't look terrible, but he didn't look great. He has a future in this league, but at this point he needs a little more pro seasoning.

Claudio Lopez - c+ - I can't give any offensive player a high grade when you average less then a goal a game. Of the offensive players, Lopez has been the best, 3 goals and 3 assists in league play, and the intangibles of Lopez make him the best, but he is a DP and he needs to show more.

Carlos Marinelli - D - We're now starting to understand a bit more about his injury issues. He's almost missing too much time now to be worth it at this point. Even when he's on the field, he hasn't been fantastic.

Matt Marquess - INC - Only 3 games this year, but has showed some promise at the left back. May be able to take over the position for Harrington allowing him to move up to midfield.

Rauwshan McKenzie - INC - Only has 45 minutes of play this season in meaningful games, and didn't look good at all in that game.

Ryan McMahen - INC - Not enough time, but if he wants to stay with the team he needs to start contributing some how, as he's on the senior roster now.

Kurt Morsink - c- - Kurt's been a whipping boy of mine for a while now, but the last two games have been two of his best for the team. His pass to Davy for the second goal against New York was sublime. Hopefully he can continue to develop and become the player that Onalfo seems to see.

Chance Myers - C- - The number one pick in the draft has shown his youth so far. He hasn't looked bad, but like Leathers has been prone to rookie mistakes. He has talent and will be a good player in this league, I just don't see it coming this season though.

Boris Pardo - INC - Has only 45 minutes of a game I've seen (the friendly against Atlas).

Nelson Pizarro - INC - I've been impressed of what I've seen of him, but not enough to give him a full grade.

Ryan Pore - D- - He's not in college any more. This is his fourth season with the team and he has under a goal every 500 minutes. That's very poor (no pun intended) for a striker.

Scott Sealy - D - Well he's no longer a Wizard but he played the first half of the season with the team. In 13 games, he only had 2 goals, and missed other opportunities to get goals. I'm not happy to see him go because getting rid of goalscorers is not what a team that has trouble scoring should do.

Kevin Souter - INC - Hasn't gotten much playing time, especially lately with an MCL sprain.

Ivan Trujillo - D - Trujillo hasn't shown bad in the Open Cup (3 goals) and friendly games (2 goals). In league play, though, Trujillo has struggled only scoring the Wizards first goal of the season.

Sasha Victorine - C - Victorine missed an early part of the season with injury, but has come back and claimed a starting spot in the central of midfield. He's not doing terrible, but he's not helping KC control the midfield.

Tyson Wahl - C+ - Wahl hasn't done bad, but he's lost his starting spot to Hohlbein after 9 games this season. He hasn't seen the field for the first team in league since.

Lance Watson - INC - Has just returned from injury, and has just played in Seattle and against Atlas.

Kerry Zavagnin - C+ - Has been his consistant self on the field, but he continues to lose a step. He's just over a full game away from passing Nick Garcia for most MLS minutes for the Wizards. Surely he'll get enough time the rest of the year to pass him.

Wizards Trade Sealy

The Wizards today announced the trade of forward Scott Sealy to the San Jose Earthquakes for allocation money. Sealy had scored 2 goals this season, in what had so far been a down year. He'll move to San Jose, who is the lowest scoring team in the league and look to reestablish himself as a goal scorer.

I'm going to hold out full judgment on this trade until I see what the Wizards do, if anything, with the allocation money this season. My first take on the trade, though, is that I don't overly like it, but it's a bit of a mixed bag. On the good side, Sealy has struggled this season and is out of contract at the end of the year. He'll requiring at least doubling his salary which is between $30K and $40K. On the bad side, our offense is already thin, I mean Ryan Pore is our first forward off the bench. My hope with the Wolff signing was that it would push Pore further down the bench and give us a decent offensive spark off the bench.

The midseason transfer window opens tomorrow, let the new transfer speculation begin

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Will John Relegated to Randers Youth Team

According to an article on Randers FC's website, former Wizard, Will John has been demoted to Randers FC's youth team over in Denmark. A poster on bigsoccer has said that the article basically says that since John can't expect any more playing time with the first team, he can train with the youth team.

All I really have to say, is ouch. The former Wizards and US Under-20 player has fallen very far now. After his comments in February, though, I don't think he'll get a lot of sympathy from Wizards fans.

Wizards Take Down Sister Club

The Wizards got a dramatic winner against their sister club Atlas last night out at Community America Ballpark. Michael Kraus put in a rebound from an almost impossible angle after Atlas' keeper, Pedro Hernandez, blocked a shot by Nelson Pizarro in the 91st minute to give the Wizards the win.

The Wizards started almost the same team from the Open Cup game against Seattle, the only change was Pizarro replacing Kraus. The game was fairly even from the start, with the Wizards holding their own against the Mexican team. In the 37th minute, the Wizards got the break through, when Jonathan Leathers found Pizarro in the box. Pizarro turned on his defender and slotted the ball into the corner of the net to give KC the lead. After that point, the game started to turn a bit, as Atlas asserted themselves on the match. The Wizards were put on their heals, and right before the half ended, Atlas equalized off a corner, Ulises Mendivil as his header looped in. Tyson Wahl tried to clear it off the line but was too late.

In the second half, Atlas made almost full scale changes to the team and continued to have a good run of play. Boris Pardo and Ryan McMahen both came into the game at the half for Eric Kronberg and Kerry Zavagnin. Later in the half, Kraus came on for Jonathan Leathers, and right before stoppage time, Geoff Miles came in for Lance Watson. The final goal came when Kraus took a quick free kick to Pizarro after an Atlas handball.

Wizards Man of the Match - Nelson Pizarro - Pizarro really impressed me last night, he had a goal, and then got the first shot that set up the winning goal. He still needs some training, as he's a little to selfish (see his 2v2 break away against Seattle where he didn't play to the open Ryan Pore). Still, I see plenty of talent in him, and would love to see him make the bench for the first team and some first team minutes if possible.

Honorable Mention
- Chance Myers

Sealy Named to Trinidad Squad

Wizards forward, Scott Sealy was named today to the preliminary roster for Trinidad and Tobago for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against the US, Cuda, and Guatemala. Sealy is not on the roster for any of the games quite yet, which begin again on August 20th against Cuba. So the Wizards could be missing another one of their forwards come late August.

According to the article, some of the new players called in, could play in an upcoming friendly. That friendly is unlikely to include Sealy, as he will still be in league play with the Wizards. Congrats to Scott.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Beckham Game at Arrowhead (Speculation)

I have no proof of this, but the guess all season has been that the game between KC and the LA Galaxy on September 13th would be moved to the Wizards former home of Arrowhead Stadium. There was speculation back in February that the Wizards could play two games at Arrowhead this season. And while nothing has been officially announced, it seems like Arrowhead is going to be the site.

Why, you may ask? It's because of some of the advertising that the Wizards are doing for this game against LA. The game is being advertised as "St. Louis Night" (at the end of this article). Now Community America Ballpark seats only 10,385 people for the Wizards games. The Wizards got 32,867 people at last years Beckham game that was Beckhamless. If the team wasn't going to be moving the game to a larger venue, why would they spend the time and resources advertising a "St. Louis Night" for a game that you know will sell out CAB without it? The Wizards have sold out CAB 3 times this season and to think that the draw of Beckham alone wouldn't be enough to sell just over 10,000 tickets in KC alone then you need your head checked. There is just no reason to advertise this game like this to the other side of the state unless you plan to move it to a larger venue.

All signs seem to be pointing at the game being played at Arrowhead. The only hiccup is the fact that the Chiefs play the next day at noon, but Arrowhead staff have done quick changes in the past, they can do it again.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wizards Win, and Score More than Once

For the first time since the second game of the season, the Wizards scored more then one goal in an MLS game. Goals by Jimmy Conrad and Davy Arnaud helped the Wizards to the 2-1 win over Red Bull New York tonight at Community America Ballpark.

The Wizards started the first half strong, keeping the action in New York's end of the field. It paid off in the 11th minute when Conrad met a Claudio Lopez corner with his head for his fourth goal of the season. As the half continued, the momentum shifted and New York had some decent chances as Kevin Hartman looked into the setting sun. The Wizards made it into the half though without allowing a goal. KC came out hard again in the first half, as just over a minute in, Kurt Morsink played in Arnaud who beat Jon Conway and made it 2-0.

Again, KC continued to pressure, but couldn't get another goal. As the match continued I started to feel like I was watching a repeat of Friday's game in Dallas. Onalfo subbed in both Roger Espinoza and Ryan Pore for Scott Sealy and Ivan Trujillo, two subs Onalfo made on Friday. New York continued to press hard, and were rewarded when Dane Richards crossed to Juan Pablo Angel, who headed past Hartman. The attacking continued, but Hartman was up to the challenge, punching away a bullet of a shot from Richards before being saved by his post on the ensuing corner. He made another fine save in the same sequence, knocking Dave van den Bergh's shot wide for a corner that New York couldn't convert. With the win, KC moves to .500 at 5-5-5, and out of the cellar of the East, ahead of New York, who they are level on points with.

Wizards Man of the Match - Kevin Hartman
- Another big game by Hartman, he's having an MVP caliber season even if his stats don't show it. His saves late in the game against Richards and van den Bergh were top class.

Honorable Mention - Jimmy Conrad, Kurt Morsink

Friendly Friday

Busy couple of days for the Wizards, as after tonight’s game against Red Bull New York, the Wizards will take on sister club Atlas tomorrow night, again out at Community America Ballpark. I’ve been disappointed in the timing of this match, as it keeps any regular first teamers from being able to play in this game due to the game tonight. That said, while quite a few people I know won’t be attending, I’ll still be out there to enjoy the game, as I’ve been calling for an international friendly for a few years now.

So don’t expect to see Jimmy Conrad, Kevin Hartman, Claudio Lopez, or other players that play the majority of the game tonight. Earlier this week, Onalfo mentioned that the lineup would likely be similar to the lineup from the Open Cup match against Seattle. Should that be true, then we’d see this lineup.

Leathers – McKenzie – Wahl – Marquess
Myers – Zavagnin – Espinoza – Watson
Pore – Kraus

You might ask, what about Wolff, you said he might play in this game. Well word from the press conference where he was announced today is that the team was told he could not play in any game until the window opened up. So don’t expect to see Josh Wolff play tomorrow night.

PREDICTIONS - The guys that the Wizards put out tomorrow night are going to be tired, many of them will have gone 120 minutes on Tuesday against Seattle in the Open Cup, and some will be getting minutes tonight as subs. That said, Atlas is still in preseason form, which should help the team out. In the end, though, this will be the Wizards reserves vs Atlas. Expect Atlas' starters to play at least a half in this game, as they did in Omaha against Red Fury FC. Depending on what Onalfo does, there won't be a lot of bench help for the Wizards either.

KC - 1 (Pore)
Atlas - 2 (Rergis, Mendivil)

Conrad an All Star

Looks like Jimmy Conrad has been named to the MLS "First XI" for the All Star game coming up against West Ham United in Toronto. This will be Conrad's fifth consecutive all star appearance.

While Conrad is on the "First XI", that doesn't mean he will be starting the game at BMO Field. He's just been selected to the team. The final say on the lineup will fall on Steve Nicol, the All Star coach. Voting for the "First XI" involves; fans (25 percent), players (25 percent), coaches/GMs (25 percent) and the media (25 percent) all voting. Congrats to Jimmy.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Back to League Play

After the disappointing result last night, the Wizards will go back to league play tomorrow night when they take on Red Bull New York. Both teams have been struggling as of late, with both teams sitting at the foot of the Eastern Conference. KC can actually get even with New York on points with a win tomorrow. KC comes in off of their 1-1 draw with Dallas and the loss to Seattle in the Open Cup. New York is coming in off of one of their worst weeks in team history. They tied Chivas USA on a poor defensive play. They then lost 2-0 to USL-2 side Crystal Palace Baltimore in the Open Cup before being destroyed 4-0 by Colorado last weekend.

Will their poor week continue, or will New York come back? They look like they'll have Juan Pablo Angel back, which will give their offense a boost. As for KC, they'll have their entire starting lineup for the game. Jimmy Conrad and Michael Harrington will likely play again after 120 minutes last night.
Jewsbury - Hohlbein - Conrad - Harrington
Arnaud - Victorine - Morsink - Lopez
Trujillo - Sealy

PREDICTION - The Wizards need to win this game. After the lineup they put out last night in the US Open Cup, pressure is on Onalfo to prove this move right and get a win with the first team in league play. Even with Angel back, KC should be able to win this game. New York is in the form spot we were in recently, and is finishing up a 3 game league road trip (5 games including friendlies and Open Cup). NY will likely be ready for this game though, as their coach, was none too pleased with the performance and laid into the team after the Colorado game. We will see which team shows up tomorrow.

KC - 2 (Lopez, Harrington)
RBNY - 1 (Angel)

Wizards Fall on Spot Kicks

The Wizards bowed out of the US Open Cup to the Seattle Sounders 0-0 (5-6) on penalty kicks tonight. Misses by Jimmy Conrad and Tyson Wahl during the spot kicks gave Seattle the edge, as Sebastian Le Toux hit the cross bar as well to keep it even. In the PKs, Ryan Pore, Ryan McMahen, Roger Espinoza, Kerry Zavagnin, and Michael Harrington all put their chances away.

As for the rest of the game, it was surprisingly even considering the Wizards started 10 guys who had a grand total of just over 5400 MLS minutes, along side Zavagnin to start the game. KC had some decent chances, with Sounders goalkeeper Chris Eylander having some decent saves. The majority of KC's shots on goal were weak grass burners, easy pickings for Eylander. On the other end of the field, Eric Kronberg had a very good game for KC, making some big key saves to keep KC in the game. He also got help from his cross bar in both regulation and overtime, along with the penalty shootout. Overall Kronberg was the Wizards best player tonight.

It's disappointing that the Wizards couldn't have put out a stronger team, as the way the tournament has gone, this was a good way for the Wizards to earn some hardware this year. Unfortunately the technical staff and coaches decided to concentrate on the upcoming league match against Red Bull New York. While I understand that a bit, it's only 1 game in a 30 game season. But it means we need to have a big performance from the first team on Thursday then.

Wizards Man of the Match - Eric Kronberg - I could name the crossbar, but that wouldn't be fair to Kronberg's performance, it was top notch for the Wizards. His play tonight was impressive and gives me hope for the future after Hartman retires.

Honorable Mention - Michael Harrington

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

U19 Juniors at Nationals

The schedule is out for the U19 Wizards Juniors at Nationals on July22nd through the 27th. The Juniors will open on the 23rd against Freestate United of Maryland. The team's second game on the 24th is against Sereno 89 White out of Arizona. The team's final game on the 25th is against Solar 89 out of North Texas.

It will be a strong field for the Juniors, I haven't heard much about the other two clubs, but Solar is always known for having some very good teams in their ranks. Should the Juniors finish in first or second, they will advance to the finals on the 27th. All the games will be played at Burns Park Soccer Complex in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Heading to Seattle

The Wizards will play tomorrow in the Quarterfinals of the US Open Cup against the Seattle Sounders of the USL-1. The match is going to be played at the future home of the Seattle Sounders FC MLS team, Qwest Field. The game is at 9pm Central time and will be on USL Live. According to Andrew Wiebe, the Wizards will be fielding a mostly reserve lineup. In Wiebe's write up, he talks about inquiring about player availability at practice this week and finding out that it looks like starters will be staying behind. With that decided, I'd expect a lineup fairly similar to the one that was put out against Carolina last week, minus Carlos Marinelli, who I doubt will play with his continued hamstring problem.

Leathers - Wahl - Hohlbein - Marquess
Myers - Zavagnin - McMahen - Espinoza
Pore - Trujillo

I'd expect guys like Kraus, Pizarro, McKenzie, Watson, Pardo, as well as one regular starter on the bench.

PREDICTION - Not often is the USL-1 team the favorite, but tomorrow night you have to favor the Sounders. Even though the Sounders are traveling across country, and have played a pretty full schedule lately, I'd expect the Wizards reserves to not be able to hold up tomorrow night.

KC - 1 (Pore)
Sea - 2 (Le Toux x2)

Random Monday News

Some random news on the Wizards to help fill your Monday evening.

Josh Wolff May Play Friday - Thad over at The Back Post has a write up on Wolff's first appearance at Wizards practice today. Along with that, at the end of the write up he mentions that Coach Onalfo said there is a chance that Wolff will play in the friendly on Friday against Atlas, much like Carlos Marinelli played against Evansville in the preseason friendly last courtesy of Thad Bell

Atlas in Town - Thad also was at Atlas' first practice here in Kansas City. After starting their time in America in Omaha, the Mexican First Division team is down in KC now preparing for their season. Their training schedule for this week is up on the Wizards' site including the game against the Wizards on Friday.

photo courtesy of Thad Bell

US Open Cup Semifinal Draw - Should the Wizards win tomorrow night against the Seattle Sounders, the Wizards will get to go on the road again for the semifinals on August 12th. Should the Wizards win and the Charleston Battery beat FC Dallas, the Wizards will travel to Charleston. Should FC Dallas win, the Wizards will play the Hoops on the SMU Campus at Westcott Field.

Juniors U-17 Team at SUM U-17 Cup - The Wizards Juniors U-17 team is 2-0 in their group play at the SUM U-17 Cup. They defeated New England's Juniors team 3-0 on the first day, and then defeated the Colorado Rapids Juniors team B 5-0 to leave them on top of Group B with 6 points and a +8 goal difference. Ahead of Toronto's team on goal difference. They played today but results haven't come in yet. UPDATE: According to a poster in Toronto's forum on bigsoccer, the Juniors lost 3-1 to Toronto, ending their run in the tournament.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Quick Stat

Just got back from Dallas and wanted to post a quick stat from the game last night. Last night's game was Davy Arnaud's 150th game for the Wizards in league play. With his start last night, he passes Wizards great, Mo Johnston on the league games played list. Arnaud is now in 5th place overall now, behind Nick Garcia, Kerry Zavagnin, Preki, and Chris Klein, all of whom have played over 200 games for the Wizards. So Arnaud has a way to go to catch those 4.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Points Dropped

The Wizards dropped two points tonight down in Dallas. Holding the lead as added time started, the Wizards allowed a goal by Abe Thompson to tie the game at one. And in the end, it is likely what Dallas deserved, the goal was coming. The Wizards opened the game as they have the first few, coming out and attacking. The play in the first half was pretty even, with Kurt Morsink going close for KC. Finally, Scott Sealy put the ball away for his second of the season to give the Wizards the 1-0 half time lead.

In the second half, the Wizards started to drop into a defensive shell, and Coach Onalfo started to pull off 1 forward after another, until substitute Ryan Pore was the only forward left on the field. As they dropped back, Dallas continued to attack, and pressure. They had a goal by Kenny Cooper waived off due to offsides, but it was only a matter of time before it came. Onalfo's tactics have to be called into question, as he left no forward out there that would keep the Dallas defense honest. With only Pore left out there, the Dallas defense could move high up the field, as Pore isn't that good of a striker. Without the ability to clear their end, Dallas eventually got the goal that they deserved late in the match.

Wizards Man of the Match - Claudio Lopez - Was dangerous the entire time he was out on the field. He helped set up Sealy's goal and was a force until he was removed late in the game.

Honorable Mention - Kurt Morsink, Scott Sealy

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Heading to Big D

Getting ready to leave to head on my second road trip of the year, this time down to Dallas for the Wizards 4th of July encounter with FC Dallas. Both teams are coming into the game on short rest, as they each played in the US Open Cup Tuesday night, where both teams won. Dallas should be the fresher team from that, though, as they were at home, and pulled off their win in regulation, while the Wizards had to travel to Carolina and went into extra time against the Railhawks.

Some good news for the Wizards, is the current injury report. While the Wizards only have reserve midfielder, Kevin Souter listed on it, Dallas has at least 3 players on there that would likely see time tomorrow. Midfielders, Pablo Ricchetti and Arturo Alvarez are both listed as out right now and midfielders Marcelo Saragosa and Dax McCarty are both listed as questionable. If none of those guys can go tomorrow, the Wizards chances definitely increase. The big match up tomorrow will be Wizards captain, Jimmy Conrad against FC Dallas forward, Kenny Cooper, should be a good one. With such a small injury list, I'd expect a lineup similar to the one that played against Salt Lake last week.

Jewsbury - Conrad - Hohlbein - Harrington
Arnaud - Victorine - Morsink - Lopez
Trujillo - Sealy

I could see Kerry Zavagnin brought in for either Victorine or Morsink, but I don't think there's room in the starting 11 for Carlos Marinelli.

PREDICTION - I'd love for the Wizards to go in and treat Dallas like Chicago did to us on July 4, 2001, but that's a wish I'd like for basically every game, so I don't really see that happening. With the injury report, KC may have the advantage, but with 5 players in my starting 11 getting a lot of time in Carolina the fatigue factor may come into play early in the second half.

KC - 2 (Lopez, Trujillo)
FCD - 1 (Cooper)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Mid-Year Wishes Update

Back in December I wrote my yearly wishes for this coming year. Now that we are over halfway through the year, it's time to look at my wishes and see how they're coming.

1. Save Bannister Mall Petition Fails - Well that failed in January/early February. So that looks to be taken care of. We haven't heard from Richard Tolbert in a while, so it looks like that may be out of the way. With the governor signing the budget, there is only 1 step left for the stadium construction to begin.

2. Public Ground Breaking for the Wizards SSS in Early 08 - This one hasn't happened. It looks like they won't begin construction until August at the earliest. From looking at the situation in retrospect, this idea was almost impossible with the needing for the budget to be signed for it to go through.

3. Eddie Johnson Stays in KC - Left in January, and signed with Fulham. Bought out his contract and has played fairly sparingly for Fulham last season.

4. More Consistent Goal Scoring - This one is a no as well. The Wizards don't really have a consistent goal scorer so far this season. We have both Claudio Lopez and Jimmy Conrad leading the team in league goals with 3. Ivan Trujillo and Lopez have 4 goals in all competitions. More consistent goal scoring is going to be needed to compete this season.

5. Good Start to US Qualifying for South Africa 2010 - Beating Barbados 9-0 on aggregate is a good start, although the away leg was only 1-0. Things kick off again in August.

6. Some Silverware - Well the way the league has gone so far this season, the team likely isn't going to be getting the MLS Cup or Supporters Shield. After the game last night, the Wizards are into the US Open Cup Quarterfinals. That right now has to be the team's best bet for silverware.

7. A Friendly Against a Foreign Team for the Wizards - I'm not excited about the timing of the game, the day after a league game, and right after a stretch of 5 games in 13 days, but we have a friendly, against sister club, Atlas. I don't like the timing, it's going to be basically all reserves, and the reserves bench players for the most part in the game. But still, I probably can't complain since the team did bring Atlas in.

Sell Outs at CAB - Three sellouts in the six home games so far this season. Not a terrible stat for the Wizards. This is especially true with the fact that the three non sellouts were: a moved game time (for KU's Final Four appearance), a Wednesday night game, and a chilly Saturday evening game. Hopefully the majority of the remaining games for the Wizards will be sellouts.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

OnGoal Sued for Sexual Harassment

The KC Star is reporting that a former employee of the Wizards and OnGoal is sueing the teams ownership group, executive vice president and general counsel, Greg Cotton, and Robert Thomson Jr, who is VP of marketing and communications.

Some of the claims brought against the ownership group by the former employee, Kathryn Carver, include:

•Cotton and Thomson would review the Facebook and MySpace sites of prospective female employees to determine whether they were “hot enough” to be hired.

•Cotton allegedly said of one employee, “She is the dumbest person I have ever met, but she is worth keeping around for the scenery.”

•Male employees held “drafts” of young female employees with whom they would want to have sex.

•During a team-sponsored trip to Las Vegas, Thomson told Carver she was “hot,” complimented her physical attributes and said he wanted to have sex with her, she alleged.

Some pretty big claims being made by the former Wizards employee, will be interesting to see what comes of this situation. Either way, this is not good news for the team. They say any publicity is good publicity, but this is definitely not the type of press that the team needs right now.

KC Get By Carolina

It took a late PK in regulation and two goals in extra time, but the Wizards made it by the Carolina Railhawks 4-2 after extra time tonight, in Cary, NC. KC started the game strong and looked to be bringing the game to Carolina, when Chance Myers went closer early in the match. KC, though, couldn't get the offense going, as Ryan Pore, and Carlos Marinelli both missed good chances. Carolina made the Wizards pay for those misses, as they came right back down the field and scored to give themselves the lead through Santiago Fusiller.

At halftime, Onalfo made two changes, bringing in Michael Harrington and Ivan Trujillo. It didn't pay off immediately, though, as Carolina took a 2-0 lead with Matthew Watson getting the goal. KC then started to come back, though. Trujillo hit the post, and then Harrington found Trujillo who headed past Chris McClellan, who had a very good game for the Railhawks.

KC continued to pressure as the second half continued, with Claudio Lopez introduced into the game, and late in the game, Roger Espinoza was obstructed in the box, and was given a pretty weak penalty kick. As weak as it was, Lopez put the PK away to tie the game and send it into extra time. In extra time, the advantage continued to go to KC, and a great through ball by Lopez found Trujillo, who finally beat McClellan in a 1v1 situation to make it 3-2 KC. In the second OT, Carolina went down to 10 men when Ryan Solle picked up his second yellow. The Wizards defended the 3-2 lead, and then sprung on the counter attack. On the counter, McClellan took down Pore in the box, setting up a second penalty kick for the Wizards. Pore put the PK away to give KC their fourth unanswered goal for a 4-2 win. Late in the game, things got very chippy, and Carolina picked up another red card.

Overall, it was a very exciting game, but the amount of time starters like Lopez, Harrington, and Hohlbein got tonight is troubling for Friday against FC Dallas. The Wizards now await the winner of the Chivas USA-Seattle Sounders game that is going on right now.

Wizards Man of the Match - Ivan Trujillo - 2 goals for the Colombian, he gets the winner early in extra time, after coming on as a sub at half time. A good performance for Trujillo, and he likely could have had 3 or 4 goals tonight if he hadn't been unlucky hitting the post.

Honorable Mention - Claudio Lopez, Michael Harrington

June Player of the Month

June is over, it's time to decide on June's Down the Byline Player of the Month. The Wizards were 1-1-2 in the month of June, scoring a total of 1 goal and getting 3 shutouts. There was also the draw in the US Open Cup qualifier that the Wizards won on PKs.

Really, I think the award comes down to two players, Kevin Hartman and Jimmy Conrad.

Hartman had 3 shutouts this month. In the 4 games, he had 19 saves and a goals against average of .75.

Conrad was the rock in the middle of the defense in front of Hartman. Conrad was also the man who challenged for the ball that ended up going in for the Wizards only league goal of the month.

And this month's Down the Byline Player of the Month is...

Captain Kansas City, Jimmy Conrad. While Hartman is just as responsible for the shutouts, Conrad has really helped to settle the Wizards' young back line. Congratulations to Conrad on the award.