Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Beat Writer

Thad over at The Back Post is reporting that the Wizards have a new beat writer to replace Bob Luder whose name has come up in the Star's recent layoffs. According to Thad, the new writer is Randy Covitz, who is currently with the Star. From a quick search of the Star's website, it looks like recently, Covitz has been mainly covering NASCAR and racing for the Star. Covitz has also spent a lot of time covering the Chiefs and NFL, along with covering the recent NHL exhibition game that was played at the Sprint Center.

Will be interesting, if true, to see how Covitz converts to covering soccer. Which turns out I shouldn't really be worried about, as Covitz was apparently the beat writer for the Comets during their heyday.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Wizards Philanthropy News

The coming weeks are going to be very active for the Wizards and their supporters, the Cauldron, in regards to their work in the community. The first event will take place this coming Saturday, as the Cauldron will be participating in the Alzheimer's Memory Walk, in Corporate Woods in Overland Park. Put together by Community Outreach Chair, Kathie Thomas, the Cauldron has a team that will be doing the walk from 9-11am on Saturday. The team's website for the walk is here. If you are interested in donating to this cause, you can go to the website, on the left side of the page, click donate to a Walker, and write in the name of one of the Cauldron walkers.

Sunday at the game against Chicago, the Wizards will be working to help out the former coach of Davy Arnaud and Lance Watson, Brian Arendale, whose house was destroyed during the storm surge of Hurricane Ike. The Wizards will be holding a raffle on Sunday where half the proceeds will go to help Mr. Arendale, and the other half will go to the winner of the raffle. So look for the people selling tickets on Sunday in the stadium.

Finally, on October 11th against New England, the Wizards will be honoring Breast Cancer Awareness month. The team has a few different events set up for the game. The main beneficiary of the even will be the Young Survival Coalition (YSC). The first thing fans can do to get involved in is with the purchase of pink soccer balls and pins at the game on the 11th. For the game, Wizards keeper, Kevin Hartman, will be wearing a pink jersey for the match, which will be auctioned off after the game. The final sale price will be matched by American Family Insurance, with all proceeds benefitting YSC. There will also be a "Kicks for Cancer" contest at halftime with money donated to YSC for evey kick made.

American Family Insurance is also donating 50 tickets to YSC to attend the game. Other
Breast Cancer Awareness organizations can get involved in this game as well, by participating in a special ticket promotion. Through the deal, a portion of proceeds of tickets purchased through an organization will be donated by the Wizards to help fundraising efforts.

Wolff Bike Up for GOTW

Josh Wolff's nice bicycle kick goal against Chivas over the weekend is up for the Goal of the Week honor. He's currently sitting in first place ahead of Marvell Wynne's goal for Toronto FC. Get your votes here in for the bike.

Weekly Interview Poll

Back again with another interview poll between Thad at The Back Post and myself on who should be interviewed this week. Remember you can vote both on this page and on Thad's over at his blog. Don't forget to put in your questions as well for each of the players or questions in general for those specific players. Please be polite.

Here are this week's nominees.

Michael Harrington - The Wizards second year pro broke the half century mark in starts earlier this year in only his second season with the team.

Eric Kronberg - The Wizards back up keeper started all 3 of the Wizards US Open Cup games this year, getting 1 shutout. He's also one of the leaders on the reserve team that is second in the reserve league.

Roger Espinoza - "Roger the Red" has taken over the left midfield spot lately and has made it his own.

Chance Myers - Number 1 overall pick continues to recover from his bout with mono.

Reserves Top Jewell

The Wizards reserves took care of business in their friendly today, defeating William Jewell College 3-0 out at the training complex this morning. Goals by Ivan Trujillo, Michael Kraus, and Ryan Pore led the team to the win.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday After Stats

Josh Wolff's goal last night was his 30th goal in league play, which ties him with Davy Arnaud for 4th on the list.

Wolff's goal was also his 33rd goal in all competitions, breaking the tie with Mo Johnston for 4th on that list.

Last night was Jimmy Conrad's 150th game for the Wizards in MLS.

Conrad's appearance last night breaks a tie with Johnston for 7th on the MLS games played list.

Last night was Arnaud's 157th game started in all competitions for the Wizard, which ties him with Johnston for 7th on that list.

In the 27th minute, Arnaud passed Matt McKeon for 6th on the all time minutes played list. Davy finish the game with 14,666 minutes played.

Counting shootouts as draws, last night's loss was the Wizards 150th loss in league play.

We Don't Like the Road

First a little history, 23 weeks ago, I was still waiting on my son to arrive, Barrack Obama and Hilary Clinton were still fighting for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillcrest Road was still scheduled to begin building in the summer, and the Wizards won their last road game. Who would have thought that with only 1 road game left this season, that the Wizards only road win would come in Chicago, a place they've notoriously had trouble winning at.

Last night, the Wizards fell to Chivas USA thanks to the work of the newest former Wizard, Sasha Victorine. Victorine assisted on Chivas' opener, and then scored what proved to be the winner in first half stoppage time. In the first half last night, the Wizards looked lost on the bigger field at the Home Depot Center, compared to the field they'd played on the previous two weeks at Arrowhead and Community America Ballpark. The team was getting to strung out, and allowing Chivas to pick them apart when they moved forward. Their first goal was an example of this, as Chivas spread the field, and Ante Razov played a ball over the top to Victorine, who crossed for Alecko Eskandarian, who had beaten his marker, Tyson Wahl to the ball.

The Wizards made one change at the half bringing on designated player, Claudio Lopez. In the second half, the Wizards were the aggressor, but were unable to get many good chances out of all that possession. They finally got on the board in the 70th minute, in dramatic fashion. After a corner was only cleared to the top of the box, Lopez deflected the ball back into the box, where it was headed right to Josh Wolff, who with his back to goal pulled off a bicycle kick that went off the post and into the net. The Wizards continued to pressure and looked to have pulled level, when Wolff turned Francisco Mendoza on the end line and played a ball across that was put in. Unfortunately, Wizards favorite referee, Michael Kennedy felt that even though, Mendoza was going down after Wolff beat him, that Wolff fouled the Chivas defender and called the goal back.

Wizards Man of the Match - Herculez Gomez - Gomez has been very good for the Wizards since he was acquired. He reminds Wizards fans of Davy Arnaud, which is never a bad thing to get that sort of comparison. In a lackluster first half, Gomez was the Wizards best player, testing Dan Kennedy in goal with a long range effort. He continued in the second half, causing many problems for the Chivas back line. Of the two acquisitions the Wizards made late, he's certainly turning into the better deal.

Honorable Mention - Josh Wolff

Friday, September 26, 2008

Bannister Mall has been Sold

While discussing today's developments on the Bannister Mall redevelopment on bigsoccer. This google cached article was linked. The article talks about how Lane4, the developers in charge of the Three Trails redevelopment, have purchased Bannister Mall from the former owners for $12 million, or $70 per square foot. It's something positive out of what has turned out to be a pretty crappy day with the news that the funding will not be approved on Tuesday. The fact that the mall has been purchased by the developers is at least one good sign towards this project still on the way to completion instead of being on it's way to it's death bed like some people seem to think. The article also mentions other properties that will close in the fourth quarter of this year. All news that certainly helps to brighten what had been a bleak day.

Weekly Player Interview, this week, Jonathan Leathers

Wizards rookie defender, Jonathan Leathers was the winner of the poll here and at The Back Post for this week's player interview. Thad over at The Back Post has posted the interview, including the fan question that was posted in the comments section of this blog.

Personally I'm a fan of Leathers, I think he's going to do very well here. I was very happy when we picked him up in the second round of this years draft. Will be interesting next year, as I expect him and Chance Myers to be fighting it out for the starting right back position next year.

Wizards to Take on Ex-Wizards

Well, not quite, but with 4 players on Chivas, and their coach being former Kansas City Wizards, it certainly seems like it. There will be plenty of old faces on the opposite side of the ball tomorrow, as Chivas has former Wizards Carey Talley, Shavar Thomas, Alex Zotinca, and recently acquired Sasha Victorine, along with the greatest Wizard of all time, Preki on the Chivas USA bench. The Wizards will also see a Chivas team that is actually starting to get healthier. Earlier this season when they played, KC ran into what was a make shift squad for Chivas, now they've got guys like Ante Razov and Alecko Eskandarian back.

As for the Wizards, Chance Myers is recovering from mono, and Jack Jewsbury is out due to yellow card accumulation. Other than that, the Wizards should have the same lineup as the last two weeks. It looks like Kurt Morsink will take up the central midfield spot next to Davy Arnaud with Jewsbury missing this game.

Leathers - Conrad - Wahl - Harrington
Gomez - Arnaud - Espinoza
Wolff - Thompson

PREDICTION - Getting at least a point in LA would do wonders for the Wizards' playoff chances. Stealing all three would be even better. Sadly the Wizards haven't exactly been a stellar road team this season, only winning once on road, in their first road game of the season. Maybe I'm looking on the negative side of that, though, and the fact that we've only won once on the road means we'll finally break through... We'll see, but I have my doubts.

KC - 1 (Wolff)
Chivas - 1 (Razov)

More Stadium Delays

Those of you hoping to head to the Downtown Marriott in KC for the Missouri Developmental Finance Board hoping to see the Bannister Mall funding finally be approved, can cancel your plans and go ahead and go to work. The state tax credit for the development has been delayed again. According to an executive assistant to the board, the plan is not ready for a second presentation to the board. This is becoming laughable, and incredibly frustrating, not just for fans or people in favor of this development, but it has to be getting frustrating for the Wizards front office as well. Particularly because I was told the Wizards had planned to break ground very soon at the site, meaning that this latest set back is a big surprise to the team.

As Robb Heineman says in the article, continued delay puts the stadium construction in doubt. And if the stadium construction falls through I have a feeling that this entire redevelopment will fall through as they won't have the anchor of the stadium there.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Former Wizards Weekly Update

Here's your weekly recap of former Wizards. I've removed former Wizards whose season is over (Pat Healy, AJ Godbolt, etc) as well as players who are not playing with the first team (Will John).

Nick Garcia - San Jose - Game against Houston was postponed due to Hurricane Ike
Scott Sealy - San Jose - Game against Houston was postponed due to Hurricane Ike
Jose Burciaga Jr. - Colorado - Dressed but did not play against New England
Chris Klein - LA - Started and played 90 minutes recording 2 assists in LA's 5-2 win over DC.
Dave van den Bergh - New York - Out for a few weeks after having groin surgery.
Carey Talley - Chivas USA - Started and played 90 minutes against Real Salt Lake.
Shavar Thomas - Chivas USA - Started and played 90 minutes helping the back line shut out RSL.
Alex Zotinca - Chivas USA - Out for the season with a torn ACL.
Sasha Victorine - Chivas USA - Dressed and played 45 minutes for Chivas in his debut against RSL
Diego Gutierrez - Chicago - Started and played 90 minutes for Chicago in their 4-1 loss to Dallas.
Brandon Prideaux - Chicago - Started and played 90 minutes in Chicago's loss.
Will Hesmer - Columbus - Started and played 90 minutes in goal for Columbus in their 3-1 win over New York.
Yura Movsisyan - RSL - Started, played all 90 minutes for Salt Lake in their 1-0 loss to Chivas.

Other US leagues (USL-1 unless noted)
Stephen Armstrong - Charleston - Started and played the full 90 mintues Friday against Carolina, recording an assist.
John Wilson - Charleston - Started and played all 90 minutes in Charleston's 2-1 loss to Carolina.
Chris Brown - Portland - Played the full 90 minutes in Portland's 1-0 loss to Carolina Saturday.
Andrew Gregor - Rochester - Started and played all 90 minutes in Rochester's 1-0 loss to Miami FC last Wednesday.
Taylor Graham - Seattle - Did not dress for Seattle's 3-2 loss to Vancouver
Vicente Arze - Vancouver - Dressed but did not play in Vancouver's 3-2 win over Seattle.
Edson Elcock - Puerto Rico - Did not dress in either of Puerto Rico's two games this past weekend. Did not play against Santos Laguna in the CCL Tuesday night.
Yomby William - Puerto Rico - Dressed but did not play in 1-1 draw with Atlanta Friday, and did not dress in their 0-0 draw against Montreal Sunday. Did not play against Santos Laguna in the CCL Tuesday night.
Kevin Friedland - Minnesota - Played 7 minutes as a sub in the Thunder's 3-1 win that put them into the playoffs.

Rest of the World
Antti Sumiala - Porin Palloilijat - Finland - Started and played 90 minutes in 1-0 loss to SalPa.
Khari Stephenson - Aalesunds FK - Norway - Started and played 80 minutes for Aalesunds FK in their 0-0 draw with Valarenga
Chris Konopka - Bohemian FC - Ireland - Dressed but did not play in Bohs 3-0 win over Finn Harps.
Eddie Johnson - Cardiff City (Fulham) - England - Came off the bench over the weekend and played 12 minutes in Cardiff's 1-1 draw with Derby. Started and played 45 minutes in Cardiff's 1-0 loss to Swansea's Carling Cup loss Tuesday.
Ryan Raybould - Gefle IF - Sweden - Dressed but did not play in Gefle's 0-0 draw with GAIS Wednesday.
Matt Taylor - TUS Koblenz - Germany - Came off the bench playing 2 minutes for TUS Koblenz.
Gary Glasgow - Joe Public FC - Trinidad - Did not play against Olímpia of Honduras in the Champion's League. I'm trying to find a better site for keeping stats on him, Joe Public's site is fairly outdated, if anyone has a site they know of, I'd appreciate it.
Diego Walsh - Adelaide United FC - Australia - Did not dress in United's 3-0 loss to Sydney. Started and played 90 minutes in United's 1-0 win over Kashima Antlers FC in the Asian Champions League.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Myers has Mono

"Mono, isn't that the kissing disease?"

Showing up at the reserve game on Sunday, I noticed that Wizards number 1 draft pick, Chance Myers was wearing street clothes. Which is something I found weird, considering he hadn't played the night before, I'd expected him to play a full 90 minutes against Toronto's reserves. Come to find out, Myers has been diagnosed with Mononucleosis. Not exactly the type of virus you want to get, especially if you are as active as soccer players are. We'll see how long it holds the defender out of play.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Player Interview Poll

Time for this week's poll for who should be interviewed by Thad from The Back Post. After the result against TFC this weekend that renews hopes of the playoffs, you have three players to choose from.

Kevin Souter - Open tryout participant scores his first career goal in MLS.
Jonathan Leathers - Rookie has started the last two games at right back for the Wizards.
Jack Jewsbury - Scores the winner from the penalty spot.

Remember to post any questions that you might have for the players in general, or for a specific player. But be considerate with the questions.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Reserves Destroy Toronto

The KC Wizards reserves had no problem taking down the Toronto FC reserves this morning out at the Wizards Swope Park training complex. Ivan Trujillo had a hattrick as the reserves beat Toronto 6-0 today. The first half for the game was fairly quiet, as the Wizards and Toronto didn't have many great chances. Toronto's best chance of the game came when a cross came into the box to the back post where Danny Dichio was unmarked. Dichio hit a hard shot, but Eric Kronberg made the big save. Later inthe first half, the Wizards got on the board, as Lance Watson crossed along the ground to Trujillo whose shot went back across the goal into the net to give the Wizards the 1-0 lead. Trujillo almost doubled the lead, but had his shot knocked away.

In the second half, the Wizards really piled it on. Claudio Lopez got the ball out wide and crossed the ball to Ryan Pore who easily tucked the ball in the corner of the net to double the Wizards lead. Trujillo got his second goal of the game shortly after that to make the score 3-0. As the second half continued, Michael Kraus and Nelson Pizarro came in for Lopez and Kerry Zavagnin.

The Wizards 4th and 5th goals were more due to mistakes by the Toronto defense. On the 4th goal, a cross by Pizarro was poorly cleared and then mistouched by another defender right to Trujillo, who made no mistake to finish out his hattrick. The 5th goal was even more of a blunder, as a free kick by Carlos Marinelli was sent right to the keeper, who didn't hold the ball and dropped it almost over the line. Before he could get back to grab it, Kevin Souter pounced on it to make it 5-0.

By this point, Toronto had seemed to have completely given up, and Pore had his way on the final goal of the game. Pore started with the ball on the right wing, started to dribble in, beat one defender, dribbled parrallel to the goal before firing a low shot from the top of the 18 inside the corner of the net. The scoreline could have been a whole lot worse, but as the game wore on, the Wizards forwards got anxious and were caught offside multiple times, including 3 times that resulted into goals being called back. Overall, a dominating performance by the Wizards. In the second half, TFC looked poor. Even with guys like Dichio, and Marco Velez, both guys that get first team minutes, TFC looked completely overmatched against the Wizards reserves.

Here's the lineup that the Wizards started the game with.
Souter - Hohlbein - McKenzie - Watson
Pore - Zavagnin - Morsink - Marinelli
Trujillo - Lopez

UPDATE: The official report from the game is giving the Souter goal to Carlos Marinelli instead. From my angle it didn't look like the ball crossed the line until Souter's touch, but a goal is a goal.

Sunday After, Stats

Wizards stats after last night's game against Toronto.

Jimmy Conrad made his 170th appearance for the Wizards in all competitions, moving him past Mo Johnston for sole possession of 7th place on that list.

Last night was Conrad's 149th league appearance for KC, Conrad ties Johnston on that list.

In the 72nd minute last night, Conrad hit the 20,000 minute mark in his MLS career.

Davy Arnaud made his 184th apperance for the Wizards in all competitions, breaking the tie with Matt McKeon for 5th on that list.

Last night Arnaud started his 156th game in all competitions for the Wizards, tying him with Tony Meola for 8th on that list.

Jack Jewsbury made his 151st apperance in all competitions for the Wizards, breakng his tie with Chris Brown for 10th.

Josh Wolff made his 100th appearance in all competitions for the Wizards last night.

Back in the Playoff Race

With some help, the Wizards pushed themselves back into the playoff race with a 2-0 win over Toronto FC last night. Their result along with DC United's loss to LA put KC 1 point back of the final playoff spot. As for the Wizards result, we saw the same lineup that the Wizards put out in their 2-0 win over LA last week. The Wizards controled the run of play in both halves, and had the better of chances. Overall, the first half, though, was a very slow half, that had few clear chances for either team to break through. The best chances came from Josh Wolff, who had two good changes beaten away by Toronto keeper, Greg Sutton.

The second half, though, was different. The Wizards were pressuring much more, and around the 50th minute, you realized that the Wizards were going to get a goal. Early in the second half, the Wizards had a goal called back, when Josh Wolff was ruled to have been offside. Still, though, the Wizards continued to bring the game to Toronto, and in the 61st minute, Wolff was brought down by Tyrone Marshall and Sutton, sending the Wizards to the penalty spot. Even though Sutton guessed right on the penalty, Jack Jewsbury had put too much pace on it and it went by Sutton and into the net. Toronto tried to come back, but over the course of the game, they didn't test Kevin Hartman with a single shot on goal. The first time since the first Wizards game ever, in 1996, when the Wizards held Colorado without a shot on goal.

Overall, the Wizards continued to play well and were rewarded with a second goal in the 79th minute, by open tryout participant, Kevin Souter. Roger Espinoza sent the ball wide to Wolff, who crossed the ball into the box. Souter stepped in front of his defender and got his foot on the ball. The ball lofted up towards the corner of the net and fell into the goal right inside the elbow of the post. All news was not good, though, as in second half stoppage time, Jewsbury picked up his 5th yellow of the season and will now miss next week's game at Chivas USA.

Wizards Man of the Match - Josh Wolff - Set up the PK, had a goal called back, and got an assist. A decent night for the Wizards forward. He'll need to put a few more back into the net, though, if the Wizards want to make the playoffs this year.

Honorable Mention - Herculez Gomez, Jimmy Conrad

Friday, September 19, 2008

Weekly Interview

Last night, Thad at The Back Post posted this weeks player interviews with Herculez Gomez and Davy Arnaud. Have a listen. Continued great work by Thad to bring you these great interviews.

Taking on Toronto

Sorry for getting this out a little later today, went to the Kevin Hartman book signing in Lee's Summit tonight. Had a good time there. Anyways, the Wizards are back home at Community America Ballpark to take on the Canadians, Toronto FC. The Wizards come in off the 2-0 win over LA, while Toronto comes in off of a home draw with top of the table Columbus. Both teams need the win tomorrow to keep their playoff hopes alive. Each team will also likely have their eyes on the game on FSC tomorrow night when DC takes on LA, as they'll battle for the playoffs.

The lineup for this coming weekend looks to be the same as it was against LA last week. Even though Aaron Hohlbein is healthy, Tyson Wahl will again partner Jimmy Conrad in the center of defense.
Leathers - Conrad - Wahl - Harrington
Gomez - Jewsbury - Arnaud - Espinoza
Wolff - Thompson

PREDICTION - If the Wizards want to make the playoffs, they need to get another 3 points at home against the team at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Toronto is getting healthier, and could have Carlos Ruiz and Chad Barrett available to start, along with Danny Dichio coming off the bench. Conrad and Wahl will have their hands full with the TFC forwards, while Jewsbury will have to deal with Amado Guevara. Being at home, this is a game KC has to have.

KC - 2 (Arnaud, Gomez)
TFC - 1 (Ruiz)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wizards Losing a Beat Writer?

While over reading Tony's Kansas City this morning, I came across a link to Bottom Line Communications, a blog that proclaims to be "examining all things media...". He has a post on the recent layoffs the KC Star is doing. One of those names should stand out to Wizards fans, and that's Bob Luder. Luder, along with Pete Grathoff have been covering the Wizards for the past few years. What does this mean for the Wizards coverage in the Star? It could mean a couple things. It could mean that Wizards coverage will now all fall directly on Grathoff to cover, which could mean a drop in coverage for the team in KC's paper of record. It could also mean the Wizards get a low level sports department person that knows very little about soccer covering the team.

As if my complaints earlier about the Star weren't enough, if this is true, I have a feeling we're going to see a dip in coverage at the Star.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Former Wizards Review

New feature I'm going to try to do on Wednesdays now. I'm going to go through former Wizards and give an update on what each player in season has actually done with their new club.

Nick Garcia - San Jose - Played 81 minutes in San Jose's 1-1 draw wtih Houston
Scott Sealy - San Jose - Played the full 90 against Houston.
Jose Burciaga Jr. - Colorado - Did not dress for Colorado's 2-0 win over Chicago.
Chris Klein - LA - went the full 90 in LA's 2-0 loss to KC.
Dave van den Bergh - New York - Played 90 minutes and scored the game winner in the 64th minute against Real Salt Lake.
Carey Talley - Chivas USA - Started and played 90 minutes for Chivas in their 4-0 loss to New England on Thursday.
Shavar Thomas - Chivas USA - Did not dress for the Chivas game on Thursday.
Alex Zotinca - Chivas USA - Did not dress, out for the season with a torn ACL.
Sasha Victorine - Chivas USA - Did not dress for KC in the last game they played with him being on the team.
Diego Gutierrez - Chicago - Started and played 90 minutes for Chicago in their 2-0 loss to Colorado.
Brandon Prideaux - Chicago - Started and played 61 minutes in Chicago's 2-0 loss.
Will Hesmer - Columbus - Started and played 90 minutes in goal for Columbus in their 1-1 draw in Toronto.
Yura Movsisyan - RSL - Started, played all 90 minutes for Salt Lake, and scored their lone goal in the 2-1 loss to New York.

Other US leagues (USL-1 unless noted)
Stephen Armstrong - Charleston - Started and played the full 90 mintues, regestering an assist on Charleston's opening goal in their 2-1 win over Portland on the 11th. Played 30 mintues as a sub in the Battery's 4-0 loss to Minnesota on the 13th.
John Wilson - Charleston - Started and played all 90 minutes in Charleston's 2-1 win over Portland on the 11th. Dressed but did not play against Minnesota.
Chris Brown - Portland - Played the full 90 minutes in Portland's 2-1 loss to Charleston.
Andrew Gregor - Rochester - Came on as a sub in Rochester's 2-0 loss to Puerto Rico on Sept. 12th. Started and played 55 minuts against Carolina in Rochester's 1-1 draw.
Taylor Graham - Seattle - Started and played 90 minutes in Seattle's 2-1 loss to Montreal last Wednesday. Started and played 58 minutes in Seattle's 1-1 draw with Atlanta on Saturday.
Vicente Arze - Vancouver - Came off the bench and played 17 minutes in Vancouver's 1-0 win over Montreal on the 13th.
Edson Elcock - Puerto Rico - Dressed but did not play in the Islanders 2-0 win over Rochester.
Yomby William - Puerto Rico - Started and played 90 minutes in the Islanders 2-0 win over Rochester. Started and played 90 minutes against Tauro FC of Panama in the CONCACAF Champion's League.
Kevin Friedland - Minnesota - Played 22 minutes in the Thunder's 4-0 win over the Charleston Battery.
Pat Healey - Crystal Palace - USL-2 - Season is over.
Willy Guadarrama - Austin Aztex - PDL - Season is over.
AJ Godbolt - Austin Aztex - PDL - Season is over.
Byron Carmichael - Ocean City Barons - PDL - Season is over.
Pete Marino - Treasure Coast - FESL - Season is over.

Rest of the World
Antti Sumiala - Porin Palloilijat - Finland - Started and played 90 minutes against ÅIFK. I believe he scored a goal too, but I don't read Finnish.
Khari Stephenson - Aalesunds FK - Norway - Started and played 90 minutes for Aalesunds FK in their 2-1 loss to Ham-Kam
Chris Konopka - Bohemian FC - Ireland - Did not play in Bohemian's 6-1 FAI Cup Quarterfinal win over Wayside Athletic
Eddie Johnson - Cardiff City (Fulham) - England - Dressed but did not play in either of Cardiff's 2 games, either Saturday against Bristol City or Tuesday against Barnsley.
Will John - Randers FC - Denmark - Has been relegated to Randers youth team.
Ryan Raybould - Gefle IF - Sweden - Does not play against until September 24th.
Matt Taylor - TUS Koblenz - Germany - Did not dress.
Jermaine Hue - Harbour View FC - Jamaica - New season hasn't started yet.
Onandi Lowe - Arnett Gardens - Jamaica - New season hasn't started yet.
Gary Glasgow - Joe Public FC - Trinidad - Did not play against Montreal in the Champion's League
Diego Walsh - Adelaide United FC - Australia - Came on as a 69th minute sub against Melbourne on Friday. Started and played 70 minutes in United's 1-1 draw with Kashima in the Asian Champion's League.

Wizards Cruise in Friendly

The Wizards played a friendly today at their Swope Park training complex against the U-23 Arkansas Wizards. Hillcrest Road has a more indepth write up on the game. The Wizards, though, had no problem taking out their Arkansas counterparts, as they beat them 13-0. All healthy Wizards players got into the game and most played a half. The starting lineup for the friendly was the same as that for the game on Saturday against LA. The Wizards got goals from Davy Arnaud, Abe Thompson x2, Roger Espinoza, Jimmy Conrad, Claudio Lopez x2, Ivan Trujillo x2, Ryan Pore, Carlos Marinelli, Kurt Morsink, and Aaron Hohlbein. So everyone really got into the game.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wizards Trade Victorine

The Wizards have made a roster move before the MLS roster freeze today. The Wizards have traded midfielder Sasha Victorine to Chivas USA for allocation money. Victorine, in his 9th year in the league was in his fourth season with the Wizards. He'd appeared in 16 games, 12 of them starts, scoring 1 goal. Victorine had missed much of the preseason due to the birth of his daughter, and now returns to California, where he started his career with the Galaxy. He finished his Wizards career with 106 league games played, 96 starts, and 13 goals. In all competitions, he'd played in 114 games, 102 of them starts, scoring 15 times.

Ives is reporting that the allocation money is worth $125,000.

Good luck to you Sasha. Sweep the Leg.


Davy Arnaud's golazo against LA Saturday night is up for Goal of the Week this week. There are some good goals this week, but I don't think you can top the laser into the upper 90 that Arnaud hit.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Player Interview Poll

The interview is back this week. This week Thad at The Back Post and myself are giving you more options to choose from this week.

Kevin Hartman - Gets his 8th shutout of the season against his old team.
Davy Arnaud - GOTY on the weekend.
Josh Wolff - cheeky back heal for the opening goal.
Herculez Gomez - Assist and good play against his former team.
Kevin Souter - Makes his Wizards debut.

Remember to vote both here and at The Back Post as well as post your questions in the comments section. Please be considerate with the questions.

Sunday After, Stats

Davy Arnaud's goal last night was his 30th goal in MLS play. One behind Mo Johnston for 3rd on the Wizards' list.

Arnaud's assist last night, his 3rd assist for the season, gives him 28 career assists tying him with Johnston for third on that list.

Arnaud ties Matt McKeon for 5th on the competitive games played list with 183.

Josh Wolff's goal last night was his 29th goal with the Wizards in league play, which moves him into sole possession of 5th place, passing Scott Sealy and Digital Takawira.

Wolff's goal last night was also his 32nd in all competitions for the Wizards, which breaks his tie with Takawira for 5th and ties him with Johnston for 4th on that list.

Jimmy Conrad ties Johnston for 7th most competitive games played with 169.

Jack Jewsbury played in his 150th game in all competitions tying him with Chris Brown for 10th on that list.

When Kevin Souter came on in the 79th minute, he became the 26th Wizard to play in a league game this year, a team record.

Reserve Game Canceled

Earlier this week, the Wizards reserves game with DC United's reserves was canceled. This game was originally supposed to take place on the opening weekend of the season, but was canceled then due to United's play in the CONCACAF Champion's Cup. While the Hillcrest write up linked above says that no make up date has been announced, DC is saying that the game will in fact not be madeup at all this year. What this means is that any chance the Wizards reserves had at taking the reserve league title are gone now. They're trailing Houston now by 4 points, and even though Houston has played 1 more game, KC will have trouble catching the Dynamo since they won't play the full reserve season.

Wizards Return to Arrowhead with Win

The Wizards returned to Arrowhead for the only time this season and came away with a big 2-0 win over the LA Galaxy. While last week seemed hopeless, this game, gives hope to the idea that the Wizards actually could make the playoffs this year. With 4 of the last 6 games at home, the Wizards can certainly put up a fight for a playoff spot, but will need help to get in.

As for last night, the Wizards made some lineup changes, the most notable was Claudio Lopez being moved to the bench for the first time in league play this season. The first half was a dull affair with neither team getting a whole lot of chances to really get on the board. The best chance for KC came when Josh Wolff played a 1-2 and then played a ball through to Abe Thompson, but Thompson's shot was scuffed and went right to Josh Wicks. LA's best chance came right before half, when Landon Donovan chested down a cross to Edson Buddle, who's side volley went off his shin instead of his foot and went over the goal. Before the whistle blew, the Wizards had another chance to take the lead, when Jack Jewsbury hit a shot from 25 yards out that Wicks couldn't handle. Thompson, though, couldn't get to the rebound in time and the rebound was cleared away.

The second half, the game started to pick up, first David Beckham just went wide with a shot. Then it was Herculez Gomez's turn. From about 25 yards out off a free kick, Gomez forced Wicks to push the ball wide. The break through came in the 67th minute. After a shot by Jewsbury was blocked, the Wizards remained patient, Davy Arnaud played the ball wide to Gomez, who crossed into the box where Wolff let the ball run through his legs before hittting the ball with the inside of his foot sending the ball by Wicks with the cheeky finish. A little over a minute after the first goal, the Wizards had doubled their lead. Arnaud collected the ball about 35 yards from goal, too a touch forward and let loose a screamer from 33 yards out that went into the upper 90 leaving Wicks with no chance. Arnaud was helped by the fact that Beckham laid back from going into a challenge on Arnaud. Still you can't take away from Arnaud's goal, which should easily be a goal of the year candidate. The Wizards held off the Galaxy fairly easily the rest of the way and sent the Galaxy to their 13th game without a win.

WIZARDS Man of the Match - Davy Arnaud - An absolute golazo for Arnaud last night and an assist as well, Arnaud is back to full fitness after surgery last offseason and has really started to show well, with goals in his last 3 matches to tie him with Jimmy Conrad for the team lead in goals in league play this season.

Honorable Mention - Jimmy Conrad, Tyson Wahl

Friday, September 12, 2008

KC Welcomes Beckham and the Galaxy

Tomorrow afternoon, the Wizards return to Arrowhead Stadium to take on David Beckham and the Galaxy at 4 pm. Both team's are struggling right now, as since the all star break, the two are a combined 1-7-5. LA hasn't won since June. KC's only win since the all star break was a game against Chivas USA that they probably should have only gotten a point out of. So tomorrow's game could turn out to be really ugly as neither team is playing great soccer right now.

Sasha Victorine and Matt Marquess look to be missing another game for the Wizards due to injury and illness, and Aaron Hohlbein looks like he could join them on the injury list. It looks like besides those 3, there are other changes that look like they'll be made to the team's lineup according to The Back Post. In fact there could be a big change if another write up from The Back Post turns out to be true. Me? I'm not sure I can see Onalfo not starting Claudio Lopez tomorrow, I think the lineup in the first link to The Back Post will be close to what we go with.
Leathers - Conrad - Wahl - Harrington
Gomez - Arnaud - Jewsbury - Lopez
Thompson - Wolff

PREDICTION - Both teams desperately need a win if they have any hope of making the playoffs this year, so it could get very very interesting tomorrow. LA will have their big stars Beckham and Donovan in the house, so no international absences to deal with for them. Can the Wizards pull it off? Sure, but I have my doubts that they will, the team is just not playing that well right now. The good news, though, is that LA has been averaging 2 goals allowed a game, so the Wizards certainly have a shot.

KC - 2 (Lopez, Thompson)
LA - 2 (Donovan, Buddle)

Weekly Player Interview

Thad at The Back Post has put up this week's interview with Davy Arnaud and with Kevin Hartman. You can listen to the interviews here.

You get to know whether Davy used his hand for his goal last week or not. And Hartman talks about Beckham being on his former team and the game this weekend.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Get to Know the New Wizards

Thad over at The Back Post has two interviews up, with the two newest Wizards, Abe Thompson and Herculez Gomez. Good listen so check it out. The weekly interview with Davy Arnaud and Kevin Hartman should be up later.

Vermes Turns Down Seattle

Ives Galarcep is reporting that Wizards Technical Director, Peter Vermes has turned down Seattle Sounders FC for the chance to become their head coach. According to the report, Vermes is one of 3 candidates that the Sounders have reached out to about becoming the team's first head coach next season. Chris Henderson, the Sounders Technical Director played with Vermes in Colorado and here in KC, before being an assist coach here in KC last season.

Ives, also reports that Vermes is a strong candidate to take over a position with the new Philadelphia franchise before they start play in 2010. Vermes, a very vocal leader on the field, became the team's technical director before last season, and has also trained the reserve team's on Sundays when the first team is out of town for a game.

Overall, there are plenty of fans that currently want Vermes gone and wish he would take the position with Seattle, but he wasn't going to move, he's started a rebuilding process, and he's likely going to work with it for a little while and see how it turns out before leaving.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Player Interview this Week

Due to it being a little late in the week, there will be no poll this week to pick who Thad from The Back Post should interview this week. There will still be an interview, though. Thad will be interviewing Davy Arnaud, or Kevin Hartman, or both of them. So this post is for you guys to post your questions to either Arnaud, Hartman, or the both of them. Place your questions in the comments section.

Thompson to Start Saturday

In Bob Luder's article today about the newest Wizard, Abe Thompson, we get mention that Thompson will be starting up top on Saturday against LA. Onalfo says that Thompson brings a calming influence to the team, and are incorporating him into the offense to get him ready for this Saturday. With that said, we'll likely see Claudio Lopez drop back into the midfield, as Thompson will go up top with Josh Wolff. The early injury report for this weekend, could see more changes to the Wizards lineup, as both Aaron Hohlbein and Matt Marquess are listed as questionable (along with Sasha Victorine) for the game against the Galaxy. If they can't go, I'd expect a lineup like this for Saturday.

Jewsbury - Wahl - Conrad - Harrington
Arnaud - Morsink - Zavagnin - Lopez
Wolff - Thompson

How Much are the Wizards Worth?

How much do you think the Wizards are worth? $10 million? $20 million? The answer is $22 million, at least according to a new Forbes magazine article about MLS’ most valuable franchises. The numbers, which are taken from last year, have the Wizards as the least valuable franchise, $1 million behind the Crew. Much of this is due to the lack of their own stadium, and currently playing in a minor league baseball park. The team also ranks last in revenue, with only $5 million a year in revenue. While the team’s not making a lot of revenue, they are making more revenue, then they are losing in operating income, where they’re only losing $2.9 million a year, less then DC United, Chicago Fire, New York Red Bulls, and Columbus Crew.

Much of the reason for these low numbers has to do with the lack of their own facility, where they control the revenue. Looking at the list, franchise value and revenue for team’s goes up when they are in their own stadium, compared to when they rent (as the Wizards are doing now), where they have to split or get very little revenue, from things like concessions. The other thing that will eventually add more value and revenue to the team is a shirt sponsor deal that gives the Wizards more value as well.

As you’d expect, LA is the most valuable franchise in MLS ($100 million), over double the price of the second most valuable franchise, Toronto ($44 million).

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sunday of, Stats

Some stats from today's game against the Dynamo.

Davy Arnaud's goal, his 4th of the season, was his 29th goal in MLS. Breaking a 4 way tie he was in with Scott Sealy, Josh Wolff, and Digital Takawira for 4th on the Wizards list.

In the 14th minute, Arnaud passed Mo Johnston to move into 6th on the Wizards MLS minutes played list. Arnaud finished the game with 12,677 minutes.

Today was Michael Harrington's 50th start in MLS.

Today was Kerry Zavagnin's 300th competitive start with an MLS team (he spent time with the Metrostars before being drafted by the Wizards.).

The Wizards this season have used 29 players in all competitions, which is a team record, topping the 27 the team used in 2006.

When Herculez Gomez came on in the 70th minute, he became the 25th player to appear in a Wizards game this season. This ties a team record set in 1999.

In the 16th minute, Jimmy Conrad went over 15,000 minute mark in competitive games with the Wizards. He is the 5th player in Wizards history to hit that mark.

Roger Espinoza is the first rookie of this year's class to hit 1000 minutes in competitive games.

Let's Face It

This team is not good. Today in Houston, it was abundantly clear, as the Wizards fell to Houston 3-1. In hot an humid conditions down in Houston, the Wizards lost Matt Marquess to cramps before the game had even started. When the game started the team came out a little sluggish, Houston did at the same time though, and it was a rather dull start to the game. As the game went on, it was Houston who asserted themselves, forcing Kevin Hartman to make a few good saves to preserve the shutout. It wouldn't last forever, though, as in the 28th minute, Kei Kamara beat the offside trap the Wizards were running and found Brad Davis who powered his shot past Hartman leaving him with no chance. The Wizards were able to get out of the heat and into half time without allowing any more goals, mainly thanks to Hartman's play. Two half time changes, including the introduction of newly acquired Abe Thompson, hoped to add some punch to the lineup. It was the Dynamo, though, that grabbed the second goal. In the 54th minute, a play down the right by Stuart Holden and Kamara pulled the defense over, leaving Nate Jaqua pretty much alone in the middle of the box, and when Holden's ball found him, he easily beat Hartman for the second goal.

Houston continued to push the game, and got their third in the 67th minute, when Jaqua was played in over the top. Jaqua was easily able to hold off Chance Myers and beat Hartman to end all drama in the game. As the Dynamo sat back after the goal, the Wizards were able to get more possession but were unable to get many chances. The best came in the 80th minute, when Claudio Lopez was played in over the top, but his shot hit the near post and bounced out. In the 87th minute, though, the Wizards were able to avoid the shutout when Davy Arnaud pushed through the Dynamo defense, and past Wade Barrett before slotting past Tony Caig to give the Wizards something out of the game.

Overall, the game was a massive disappointment, the playoffs seem like a complete pipe dream now, even with 5 of the last 7 games at home, the Wizards are going to need something like 17 points from those 7 games to even have a shot at the playoffs. With this team, that just doesn't seem likely. The offense can't score goals, the midfield play has been poor enough that the Wizards have had to rely mainly on lofted balls from the defense over the top and hope that our fast forwards can get to the balls. The defense is prone to inexperienced mistakes, Myers was at fault for two of the goals, keeping Kamara onside on Houston's first and not being stronger on Jaqua on the second. These young defenders may be good eventually, but right now they're too young and inexperienced. I feel sorry for Hartman, who would be considered a league MVP for the way he's saved the Wizards over and over this season.

Wizards Man of the Match - Kevin Hartman - If not for Hartman, this game would have been a lot worse. Today Hartman made 7 saves, pushing him even closer the league saves record, currently held by Tony Meola. Hartman's got to be frustrated with some of the play that he's seen from his back line this season.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Sunday Afternoon

The Wizards are back on the field on Sunday when they travel down to Houston to take on the Houston Dynamo. KC has been busy the past couple days, adding two forwards to their roster by way of trades. Both Herculez Gomez and Abe Thompson are going to be available for selection for the game on Sunday. Will either or both start? I don't think so, but depending on how the game is going, I expect one or both to play in the game tomorrow. Houston will be undermanned for the game tomorrow, as 4 of their players have been called up for the World Cup Qualifiers this weekend. Pat Onstad and Dwayne DeRosario will both be with the Canadian national team to take on Honduras, while Brian Ching and Ricardo Clark are in Cuba where the US will take on Cuba.

The one big worry for the Wizards is a post by Thad over on The Back Post earlier this week where Thad posted that Wizards captain, Jimmy Conrad is injured and may not be able to go on Sunday. If so, that could mean big trouble for the Wizards, who have a fairly inexperienced back line as it is. also suspended for this game, is midfielder, Kurt Morsink, due to yellow card accumulation. I think we may see a few shake ups just in positioning for tomorrow.
Harrington - Conrad - Hohlbein - Marquess
Arnaud - Jewsbury - Zavagnin - Espinoza
Wolff - Lopez

If Conrad can't go, expect Tyson Wahl to play. As for seeing our two new signings, I'd look for Espinoza to be subbed out for one of the two to come on with Lopez dropping back.

PREDICTION - While Houston is undermanned, the Wizards have not done well this season when playing undermanned sides. Hopefully the Wizards can take advantage of it and Gomez and Thompson have immediate impacts. Unfortunately I'm just not seeing a result tomorrow down in Houston.

KC - 1 (Wolff)
Hou - 2 (Kamara, Jaqua)

Goodbye Ryan McMahen, We Hardly Knew Ye

With the trade yesterday for Abe Thompson, the Wizards had to make room on their senior roster for him. To make room, the Wizards waived 3rd year midfielder, Ryan McMahen. Most of you are probably saying "Who?", well I'm going to give you some information on what McMahen's been doing with us the past almost 3 years.

The Wizards drafted McMahen in the second round of the 2006 Supplemental Draft, the 16th pick overall. McMahen was a regular on the All Big Ten at Michigan State, and finished his career there with 23 career assists.

His first season with the Wizards, McMahen played in only 2 competitive games, both the Wizards Open Cup games. He played the full 90 minutes in the Wizards 2-1 win over the Des Moines Menace and played 74 minutes in the Wizards 0-2 loss to Chicago. McMahen missed the entire 2007 season due to a torn ACL.

This season, McMahen had only appeared in 2 games for the Wizards, again, both in the Open Cup. He started and played 65 minutes against the Carolina Railhawks before making way for Claudio Lopez. Against Seattle, he came on as an 83rd minute sub for Jonathan Leathers. McMahen was one of the first 5 penalty takers in that game, scoring on his opportunity. So his competitive career with the Wizards finished with 4 games played (3 starts) and 266 minutes played, all in the Open Cup.

Most of his time with the Wizards was spent playing with the reserves. In reserve competitions, McMahen played in 20 games, starting 17 getting 3 goals and 2 assists while racking up 1452 minutes.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Player Interviews

Thad at The Back Post has this week's player interview with Kevin Souter up for you to listen to. He talks with Souter about the open tryout mainly.

Thad also has an interview with Kurt Morsink, where he talks with him about a story I posted on earlier, and his potential call up to the Costa Rican national team. Morsink says that it's a dream of his to play with the Ticos. Good luck to him in that endvor, unless he's playing the US team.

Wizards Make Another Trade

A few days after acquiring Herculez Gomez from Colorado, the Wizards have made another trade. This time, the Wizards acquired FC Dallas forward, Abe Thompson for allocation money. Thompson gives the Wizards another option up front along with Gomez. Is it too late for the Wizards this season? Possibly. Still, at least the Wizards are trying to address their scoring woes in some form.

To make room on the senior roster, the Wizards waived midfielder, Ryan McMahen.

Buzz at the great FC Dallas site, 3rd Degree is reporting that Thompson is already in KC training with the team. Which is a good sign for his possible inclusion in the 18 man roster for this weekend in Houston.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

August Player of the Month

The month of August is over, and it's time to decide who the Wizards' Player of the Month. The Wizards went 1-3-1 in the month of August, winning against Chivas USA, losing all 3 road games at DC, Colorado, and San Jose, and tying Dallas. They scored 6 goals while allowing 9. In the end, the award this month came down to 3 players, Davy Arnaud, Michael Harrington, and Sasha Victorine.

Arnaud was the leading scorer this month, scoring 2 goals and getting an assist. He had the Wizards lone game winning goal in the 3-2 win over Chivas USA.

Harrington had a goal and an assist in the month of August, and has become much more of an influence on the offensive side of the ball since moving into the midfield.

Victorine had 1 goal this month, but was strong in the midfield throughout the month and was the main offensive force in the loss to Colorado.

And the winner this month...

Arnaud's work ethic and none stop engine is what wins him the award this month.

Gomez Introduced

At the Wizards press conference today, the Wizards officially introduced Herculez Gomez to the Wizards media. Thad from The Back Post was there and got the picture below. As you can see, Gomez will be wearing number 21.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Something to Laugh About

The Wizards gave you something to laugh about today on their team blog, Hillcrest Road. They have posted 3 videos of the team spoofing 80's movies with members of the Starting XI Girls. They spoof Say Anything, 16 Candles, and Top Gun. Enjoy a laugh to end your day.

Wizards Junior Makes US U-17 Residency

Wizards Juniors goalkeeper, Jonathan Kempin, has been named to the new US U-17 national team residency class for this fall. The team, coached by Wilmer Cabrera, is made up of 40 players. The majority of the team for the 2009 U-17 World Cup will come from this residency. Congratulations to Kempin on this great achievement.

Wizards Trade for Herculez Gomez

Reports out of Denver today are saying that the Wizards have traded for Colorado forward, Herculez Gomez. The Denver Post is reporting that the Wizards have traded a fourth-round pick in the 2009 SuperDraft and first-round pick in the '09 supplimental draft and allocation money to the Rapids for the forward. After having a breakout season with the Galaxy in 2005, he's been unable to duplicate that success in LA or after being traded to Colorado before the 2007 season. He has 2 goals and an assist in 16 games this season.

Overall, not a bad move in my opinion, we had an abundance of draft picks (12) in the upcoming draft this year. So trading away 2 that will likely not make a big impact is a good move. The deal depends on how much allocation money the Wizards gave up to get Gomez.

Morsink on Costa Rica Radar

Wizards midfielder, Kurt Morsink, appears to be on the radar of the Costa Rican national team. Morsink, who is a dual citizen of the US and Costa Rica was on the radar of the US national team back in October of last year, but was not called up. Now the coach of the Costa Rican team appears to be looking at potentially calling up the midfielder. While the article is a few days late, it basically talks about how national team coach, Rodrigo Kenton, is looking at other players as well during the qualifying cycle. With Costa Rica in a relitively easy qualifying group, it certainly gives Morsink a chance at a call up if he's interested in playing for the Ticos. Morsink, though, was not called up for this set of qualifiers over the next week. While he wasn't call up, it shows the intention of the coach, and his interest in Morsink.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Interview Poll 4

Thad at The Back Post and myself are continuing our weekly interview with a player (if available) voted on by you. This week, we've selected a few players that we thought you might like to hear from after the game in San Jose. Feel free to post questions in the comments section here or over on The Back Post. Please keepquestions responsible and polite. Also please let us know if they are player specific or a general question.

This week's choices are, Kevin Souter, Kurt Morsink, and Davy Arnaud.

Souter made the 18 man game day roster for the first time Saturday night.

Morsink was back into the starting 11 after being on the bench the last few games.

Arnaud gets his third goal of the season, 5 holing Joe Cannon.

Remember you can vote both here and over on The Back Post.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Player Interview

The Back Post has last week's player interview up. Unfortunately the player that won the poll, Josh Wolff, was not at practice the day that Thad was out for the interviews. So instead, last week's runner up, Jimmy Conrad was interviewed. Enjoy the interview.