Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lopez Will Not be Back

The Kansas City Wizards have announced today what most of us have known for a while, and that's Claudio Lopez will NOT be back in KC this season. Like Kevin Hartman, the Wizards have decided not to re-sign the former designated player after spending two years with KC. Lopez will be leaving KC with a total of 13 goals and 15 assists in MLS play.

As I said, I think most people saw this coming. Lopez hadn't been with the team at all for preseason so far, and there had been no real talk about him coming back. He'll be missed for his leadership and for his free kicks, but I think more people won't really miss him and will be glad to see the Wizards getting younger in the left wing position. It gives Roger Espinoza and trialist Ryan Smith a chance to make the left wing position theirs.


Reepicheep said...

Mike, I think most will miss him. We now have exactly one person (Conrad) who has a reasonable soccer resume. Lopez basically averaged a goal or an assist every other game. There were numerous other services he delivered by the whole of the Wizards roster game after game. He was far more consistent than any recent Wizard I can think of.

Obviously I hope this overhaul Vermes is enacting works, sparks the team, and we actually start putting some balls in the net.

On the other hand, if it doesn't work, there's no way getting rid of Lopez will be viewed well, and it shouldn't be.

Lopez was a class professional who gave a touch of international flair to a pretty dull team last year. Every once in a while you'd see a flash of the old brilliance (half field goal was superb, another really nice free kick,etc).

Hopefully Zoltan can pick up the slack? Maybe Auvry? How about Escobar? Oh my.

Mike said...

I think you're understating the rest of the roster by saying Conrad's the only one with a reasonable soccer resume. Let me break down some of the guys on the roster who have good soccer resumes.

Auvray's played in the French first division, Hirsig has played for some of the better teams in Argentina, Wolff has played in the World Cup and in Germany, Arnaud has national team experience now, even Nielsen who I'm not a fan of has experience playing in the Danish first division. There are plenty of reasonable soccer resumes on this team.

Anonymous said...


This could potentially be Conrad's last year. If you've seen the way he's been playing his experience should have no bearing on the team at all.

As far as Lopez adding flair to games, if you call barely kicking the ball over the first row of defenders flair, then sure. There was plenty of flair. Your examples of his old brilliance are two minute examples from his two years of playing in Kansas City. That old brilliance could be recreated by any veteran on our team, Davy Arnaud especially. At least Davy can take a corner kick, or hell, cross the ball. Lopez had so much experience but couldn't cross a ball to save his life.

And your response to Zoltan? Are you kidding me? That guy has more talent in his right foot that Lopez had left in his whole body. His goal was brilliant. I cant wait to see what he's going to do this year.

And yeah, they're not veterans but a some of our players have been getting some national team action for their respective countries. That experience proves valuable at their young age when they come back to MLS.

Reepicheep said...

Sorry, by a resume I meant playing on national teams in World Cups and first division teams other places. Other than Conrad, I'll give you Wolff, the others aren't in the same category.

Anon, Lopez at half speed was basically the Wizards leading goals/assists person over the two years he was here. I attended all but 2 home games and counted MANY Lopez passes (many to Davy) that were not finished. Don't get me wrong,Davy is great- for half a season.

Zoltan has more talent? Wow. I hope you're right. That would be awesome. He definitely looks solid. So did Trujillo for his first 2-3 games.

MOUFWASH said...

mixed feelings for me, Lopez was still clearly one of if not the best offenisve players on our team; but on the other hand he was one of the worse defensive players (and his best attacking spot was on the left side), so while we might miss his crosses, free kicks, and half field goals; we will see a lot less of Harrington being left on an island with 2 players running at him. Between Espinoza and Harrington, not many players will get through the left side (foul or no foul). If we dont go the English guy whos name is slipping my mind we have 3 left sided midfielders/defenders that are athletically at the upper tier of the MLS and who can also go forward.

Anonymous said...

"This could potentially be Conrad's last year."

Really? Why do you say that--just because of his age? Our defense is still pretty young and inexperienced....I don't see how he doesn't come back unless contract issues come up at the end of the season.

J said...

I will miss Lopez for sure. Long been a fan of his going back to his days in Valencia.

And I too attended nearly every home game and saw many, many moments of magic and great play that went awry due to inferior teammates. And anon -- that definitely includes Zoltan -- my god, his first game was a total disaster. That red card within minutes of coming on was truly schoolboy-like and absurd.

Anyhow, Lopez added a lot of goals and assists, and as Mike's stat summary shows, for only playing here two years (and missing decent parts of each due to injury), he wound up pretty high on our all-time leader list in both categories. His contributions will definitely be missed.