Friday, January 29, 2010

Players in Camp

Earlier today, Thad posted a list of players that are currently in camp for the Wizards, both rostered players and none roster trialists. Many players from last are in camp this season, with only 5 exceptions. Herculez Gomez and Matt Marquess are both gone from KC, Gomez is now playing in Mexico and Marquess has retired from professional soccer. The other 3 players are all out of contract and all 3 were starters for the Wizards down the stretch. Kevin Hartman, Kei Kamara, and Claudio Lopez are all out of contract. Four of the Wizards five drafted players, with Olukorede Aiyegbusi being the only drafted player not currently in camp. As for the Wizards new signings, Stephane Auvray, Pablo Escobar, and the left sided attacking player, Auvray is now in camp, Escobar is set to join the team in Arizona, while the left sided attacking player is likely still waiting on his P-1 Visa.

Thad also has a list of the Wizards trailists currently in camp or listed on the camp roster. Obviously still on the roster is Ian Walker, although he currently is not in camp. Also in camp is former Wizards player, Nelson Pizarro who played with Miami FC after leaving KC last year. Another former MLS player is Kyle Brown who spent last season with Austin in USL-1. There are also two Moldavian players in camp, although Thad was asked not to release their names. Another field player in camp is Eric Gehrig, who was at Loyola Chicago this past year and participated in the invite only tryout. Camp is currently full of goalkeepers at this point. It appears that the Wizards could be potentially looking for a replacement for Hartman should he not re-sign. Along with Walker, there is former DC United goalkeeper, Louis Crayton in camp, along with Matt Glaeser who went to Hartford and was last playing Pallo-Iirot in Finland, Alex Horwath who was at the invite only tryout and played with the KC Brass and trained with the Wizards last season, and finally another foreign player in camp is Szabolcs Kemenes, a former Hungarian youth international that is apparently currently with MTK Hungária FC in Hungary. It's a guess, but I would think the two Moldavian and Kemenes come on the recommendation of current assistant coach, Octavio Zambrano. Will be interesting to see who, if anyone makes the roster of these trialists.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wizards NOT Set to Sign Walker

For those that missed it earlier today, word out of the UK was that the Wizards were "set to sign" Ian Walker, who had been in town recently for the invite only tryouts that the Wizards held out at Swope Park. The funny thing is that the report states the source as, close friend of this blog, Thad from The Back Post. For reference, here is Thad's report about the invitee tryouts last Friday, you see a mention of the fact that Walker is there at the tryout, but nothing about the Wizards even considering signing the former England international. Thad told me he does not know where the article got the idea that he was "set to sign" from his post. According to Thad, Walker isn't even currently in camp with the team, while another keeper from the tryouts and Nelson Pizarro still are with the team.

After I read the article this morning I tweeted about the potential signing. I was quickly given a tweet response from the Wizards themselves on the signing, saying "Walker is on trial, but reports that he's signing are premature. He's trying to make the squad like others in camp." Given all this information, I'd that I've been given, including speaking with the article's source, I'd say it's a little far off the mark right now. Now whether it turns out to eventually be true, we'll have to wait and see, but he's certainly not "set to sign"

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Espinoza Wanted on Loan (and other Wizards News)

If Roger Espinoza is going to make the Honduran World Cup team, it appears he'll be doing it in a Wizards uniform. Apparently after their game against the United States, Honduran coach, Reinaldo Rueda that Espinoza was looking to secure a loan move to a team in the Honduran league to help improve his chances of being selected. According to the article, though, Peter Vermes has refused a loan move for Espinoza, with C.D. Platense being the club listed in the article. It's an interesting move that is going to have a big affect on whether or not Espinoza goes to South Africa this summer. From reading Espinoza's quote at the end, the coach obviously wants him playing and right now is not sure if Espinoza will be playing as much under Vermes. Of course with Claudio Lopez still out of contract, it could be Espinoza's opportunity to claim the starting left wing spot.

In other news, Thad posts an update from the second day of preseason, the first day with the ball. We find out that there are a couple players still in town from the tryouts, including former Wizard, Nelson Pizarro, who scored a rocket of a goal today according to Thad. With all the goalkeepers in camp you have to wonder whether or not the Wizards expect Kevin Hartman back this season.

In scheduling news, the Swope Park Rangers appear to have their first game of the season schedule, as the St. Louis Lions of the PDL tweeted today that the Lions will be in KC playing the Wizards on May 5th. Depending on the MLS schedule this seems likely to be a reserve game.

Former Wizards Update

Here's another week of former Wizards updates, more Wizards are getting back into action as Argentina is getting back into gear. For those that missed it, another former Wizard has retired as Andrew Gregor has retired from the professional game. Gregor played with the Wizards only in the 2001 season but earned a bit of a cult following among Wizards fans who wanted Bob Gansler to "Free Andrew Gregor". Here is this week's update.

Sean Bowers - San Diego - Don't play again until tomorrow.
Pat Healey - Baltimore - Played in Baltimore's 13-10 loss to Milwaukee.
Vicente Figueroa - California - Defeated Wenatchee Fire 16-5 Saturday. Defeated Tacoma Stars 4-3 Sunday.
Paul Wright - San Diego - Don't play again until tomorrow

Eloy Colombano - Ferrocarril Sud - Argentina - Ferrocarril wonn 2-1 over Alvarado Mar del Plata.
Herculez Gomez - Puebla FC - Mexico - Came off the bench and played 39 minutes in Puebla's 3-2 win over U.A. De G.
Jermaine Hue - Harbour View - Jamaica - Had an assist in Harbour View's 1-0 win over Sporting Central Academy.
Will John - NK Vinogradar - Croatia - Are on winter break until the end of February.
Eddie Johnson - Aris FC - Greece - Came off the bench and played 22 minutes in Aris' 0-0 draw with Panathinaikos.
Carlos Marinelli - CA Aldosivi - Argentina - Came off the bench and played 35 minutes in Aldosivi's 2-0 win over Talleres FC in the team's final preseason game, their season starts this Sunday.
Akeem Priestly - FK Mughan - Azerbaijan - On winter break until February 2nd.
Scott Sealy - Bnei Sakhnin FC - Israel - Dressed but did not play inn Bnei Sakhnin's 2-0 win over Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv
Matt Taylor - FSV Frankfurt - Germany - started and played 63 minutes in Frankfurt's 5-0 loss to SpVgg Greuther Fürth.
Diego Walsh - Wellington Phoenix - Australia - Came off the bench and played 2 minutes in Wellington's 2-0 loss to Perth. Started and played 90 minutes in Wellington's 4-0 loss to Melbourne.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Quick Good Bye to Matt Marquess

So for those that missed it, word out of the Wizards first preseason practice is that Matt Marquess has retired from professional soccer. Marquess was drafted by the Wizards in the 3rd round of the 2008 MLS Superdraft, the 39th pick. In his two years in the league, Marquess played in 6 league games, starting 5 of them and made one playoff appearance. Most of those appearances came in his rookie year when he appeared in 5 straight league games, starting 4 in the month of August. He was the Wizards last sub, coming on in the 77th minute of their 2-0 loss to Columbus that ended the Wizards run in the 2008 MLS playoffs. Marquess' lone league appearance this past year was the final game of the season, where he played 85 minutes. The game didn't go too well for Marquess as he gave up a PK for one of DC's goals and was out jumped by an injured Julius James on DC's second goal.

Counting those appearances with his 3 appearances in the US Open Cup over two seasons (all 3 of which went to extra time, two to PKs), Marquess appeared in 10 professional games for the Wizards for a total of 839 minutes. He had more success with the Swope Park Rangers, where in the 2008 season he started all 9 games he played in in the reserve league, scoring one goal and assisting on another. In the 2009 season, without a reserve league, Marquess appeared in all 12 of the Rangers games, scoring 3 goals over the course of the exhibition season the Rangers played. Good luck to Marquess in his future endevors away from KC and Major League Soccer.

Preseason Day 1

Today preseason started for the Kansas City Wizards out at the Arrowhead practice facility. Thad from The Back Post was there to provide updates to all us stuck at work. He gives us a lot of information on who and who is not in camp right now. We already knew that Kei Kamara, Claudio Lopez, and Kevin Hartman weren't in camp, but we also learned that Jimmy Conrad and Josh Wolff are not in camp, although there are rumors they are in New York for discussions on the collective bargaining agreement. The team's two newest signings, Stephane Auvray and Pablo Escobar are not in town yet, Auvray will join the team later in the week while Escobar will join the team in Arizona. Thad also mentions a couple other players that he did not see there today as well. Matt Marquess, Thad was told, retired from the game of soccer, Lance Watson is coming off an injury, and Olukorede Aiyegbusi has not reported yet to finish up some school stuff. The rest of last year's team, including the rest of the Wizards' draft picks. Also at camp today were plenty of trialists, including former DC United goalkeeper, Louis Crayton. After practice, Thad got interviews with two of the Wizards draft picks this year, Mauro Fuzetti and Ofori Sarkodie.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Preseason Starts Tomorrow

Tomorrow at the Chiefs indoor training facility, the Wizards preseason starts for the 2010 season. And while most of the team will be showing up, the team is reporting that 3 players from last years team will not be there. Kei Kamara, Claudio Lopez, and Kevin Hartman are all still without a contract and while they are still negotiating with the league, they are not in KC for camp. Word is that Kamara is in Germany for a trial with Greuther Fürth of the German 2nd division. Last we heard on Lopez was that he was still in Argentina, and Hartman was training with the US team out in California and it seems likely if he's not with KC he's still out in California.

As for the rest of preseason, the Wizards announcement today says that after training in KC, the team will head to Arizona for more training. Unlike last year, no trip to Florida, where the team has gone for quite a few years. The team will apparently spend most of the month training down in Arizona. Whether they make another trip abroad has not been announced yet.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Highs and Lows For Wizards in US-Honduras Game

Depending on how you want to look at tonight's USA-Honduras friendly out in LA, you could see it as a very bad night or a good night. From the aspect of a Wizards fan, it was a mixed bag. First on the bad side, Wizards goalkeeper, Kevin Hartman did not even make the bench as Troy Perkins started and Nick Rimando was on the bench. Things only got worse for the US contingent of US players, as only 18 minutes into the game Wizards and US captain, Jimmy Conrad picked up a second yellow and was shown the door. Conrad's first yellow was in the 6th minute for a tactical foul after a USA corner. The second was for a shirt pull. And while I think it was a bit harsh, in that situation, Conrad has to be smarter. The call also led to a penalty kick and Honduras grabbed a 1-0 lead.

On the other side of the ball, Wizards midfielder, Roger Espinoza had a himself a strong game. Espinoza caused issues down both wings at different times throughout the game. Espinoza set up the second goal after a long ball over the top to Carlos Pavon, who found Jerry Palacios. And while that goal could also be blamed on the US defense (particularly Chad Marshall), Honduras looked the more likely to get a second. Espinoza was rewarded for his work in the 53rd minute when he worked a give and go with Palacios and buried his shot to the far post. The US did pull a goal back in the 70th minute through Clarence Goodson off of a corner kick, but overall the US was outplayed and Honduras was really the only team deserving a win tonight.

From a Wizards fan perspective, Espinoza showed quite well as he came off just before second half stoppage time and certainly kept himself in the mind of the Honduran coach for the World Cup.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Invitee Tryouts

Yesterday I mentioned some of the trialists that were in or coming to KC. Today Thad at The Back Post went out to practice to see what was going on with the biggest of the names on that list, Vincenzo Bernardo, and found that there were about 30 players there for an invitee tryout. Along with some of the players I mentioned, there were some other players there that Wizards fans or soccer fans in general may recognize. Two former Wizards were out there at the tryouts, former open tryout participant, Nelson Pizarro, and a draft pick from last year, Doug DeMartin.

Probably the biggest name of all those there, was Ian Walker, who judging from Thad's photos is the same Ian Walker that player in the Premiership. Walker, who is 38 now, was last with Bolton in the 08-09 season, but has not played a professional game since the 06-07 season. Unfortunately from the photos I don't recognize any other players that are out there though. I'm sure those that impress will be hanging around and joining the team when they begin training this Tuesday. Will be interesting to see who impresses enough to be brought back, if any.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Preseason Begins Tuesday

The Wizards put out a press release this afternoon announcing that preseason will begin this coming Tuesday, January 26th. And according to reports, while the collective bargaining agreement is still being discussed, players have been advised to report to camp.

KC's camp will begin like it has the past few years with a week in Kansas City. The team will train from 11-12:30 Tuesday through Saturday. From there the team is likely to move on to a warmer location to continue their training. In years past this has been a trip down to Florida and then onto either Mexico or Argentina. The team hasn't announced yet where they are going after they start in KC, though so we'll have to wait and see where the team goes. And with preseason starting, the schedule isn't too far behind. Word is the schedule for the 2010 season should be out in early February.

Podcast Number 2

After a successful first attempt at podcasting, here is the second podcast by Thad at The Back Post and myself. It is a bit out of date now with the news that came out as the week went on with regards to the stadium and the new signings, but it's still relevant. Also, we are still looking for a good name for the podcast so post your ideas. We're working on getting it up on itunes as well.

part 1 - We talk about the draft

part 2 - we talk about the stadium renderings, jersey's and a couple other things

part 3 - former player updates

Trialists Coming In

During the draft last week, Robb Heineman mentioned that the Wizards were going to be bringing in a lot of players for trials this preseason, players that the team would have previously signed.

The first trialist was Dan Williams, a goalkeeper at the University of Kentucky who had posted on Facebook before the draft that he was going to have a trial with the Wizards.

The second trialist is another keeper, Alex Horwath, from the University of Wisconsin. Horwath played with the KC Brass last season and also trained with the Wizards for a period of time as well.

The third trialist that is known so far is probably the most high profile, and that is US Under 20 international, Vincenzo Bernardo. Bernardo has been playing with Napoli's primavera squad since he joined the club. He's now apparently too old for the primavera squad and turned down a loan move to Serie C2, Italy's 4th division. He's a favorite player to bring up among Yank's abroad followers, but is also viewed a little skeptically as no one has ever really seen the kid play. He's appeared for both the U-17 and U-20 national team, but did not make the U-20 World Cup team this past year. Bernardo arrived in town yesterday and had his first training session today.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Dirt is Moving

photo courtesy of Thad Bell

Following up on what he said yesterday, Robb Heineman got behind the "wheel" of one of those machines sitting out at the Legends stadium site and made the first breaking of ground. The photo above is from Heineman's first dig in the ground. After the ceremonial dig, Heineman made way for the professionals and they started moving dirt in the southeast corner of the complex, around the area where the entrance to the Cauldron Club will be. It's still a long ways off and I'll feel better once things are further along, but it's good to see the work start immediately after the approval unlike at Bannister where we waited a little before the mall started to get knocked down. Even with my reservations, this moment should still not be belittled, it's a big moment in the process of getting the stadium built.

Thad at The Back Post has some good information on the construction as well, saying that the site will have 2 web cams set up eventually. One of the web cams will be on a pole on the State Ave bridge over France Family Dr. on the south side of the development. The second one will be on the corner of State Ave and N. 106th St, on the west side of the development.

Here's video of the first dig.

Former Wizards Update

Quick update in between bigger news today. Nothing big of note this week for former Wizards, although two former Wizards are in a big relegation fight. Scott Sealy's Bnei Sakhnin FC is currently one point from safety in the Israeli league. Meanwhile, Matt Taylor and FSV Frankfurt are in a lot more trouble, they are 9 points from safety as the German league has just continued after their winter break.

Sean Bowers - San Diego - San Diego defeated the Texas Outlaws 14-7 last Saturday.
Pat Healey - Baltimore - Lost to Monterrey 7-6 on Sunday.
Vicente Figueroa - California - California defeated the Texas Outlaws 13-5 last Sunday.
Paul Wright - San Diego - San Diego defeated the Texas Outlaws 14-7 last Saturday.

Herculez Gomez - Puebla FC - Mexico - Came off the bench and played 38 minutes in Puebla's 1-0 loss to U.A.N.L.
Jermaine Hue - Harbour View - Jamaica - Harbour View is off until the 23rd of January.
Will John - NK Vinogradar - Croatia - Are on winter break until the end of February.
Eddie Johnson - Aris FC - Greece - Came off the bench and played 11 minutes in Aris' 1-0 win over Pas Ioannina.
Akeem Priestly - FK Mughan - Azerbaijan - On winter break until February 2nd.
Scott Sealy - Bnei Sakhnin FC - Israel - Started and played 65 minutes in Sakhnin's 0-0 draw with Hapoel Petah Tikva.
Matt Taylor - FSV Frankfurt - Germany - Came off the bench and played 34 minutes in Frankfurt's 5-0 loss to MSV Duisburg.
Diego Walsh - Wellington Phoenix - Australia - Did not play in Wellington's 3-0 win over North Queensland.

Our Central Defender Signing

Yesterday the name of the Wizards new midfielder, Stephane Auvray, was publicly released. Today we get the name of the Wizards central defender. Ives Galarcep posted today about the Auvray signing and said that he'd been hearing that the Wizards central defender from Colombia was Pablo Escobar. Escobar is the Colombian player from Deportivo Cali. Escobar's name was the name that I was hearing as well as the Wizards signing of the 3 Colombians. Escobar spent last year with Deportivo Cali, coming over from Deportes Quindio. He hasn't appeared as much for Cali as he did for Quindio, but he has gotten games in the Copa Sudamericana, and appeared in 19 games for them last season. I can't find much on Escobar the football player, plenty on the drug lord with the same name though. He did score his first professional goal with Cali, below is video of the goal.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wizards Sign Stephane Auvray

Remember Robb Heineman telling Wizards fans that the Wizards had signed 2 new players. Today thanks to Thad at The Back Post, we've publicly learned the name of one of those players, Stephane Auvray. I'd been hearing that we'd signed Auvray, but had been unable to find an official source for the signing. Auvray is the Wizards new defensive midfielder. He's been spending the most of his career in the French second division.

He's definitely not a goal scorer, having only scored 3 career goals, but from highlights I've seen of his online, his play in the midfield will be a big plus for the Wizards. He'll bring back a little bit of the destroyer to the position that the Wizards have been lacking in the middle of the field. And with the small field at CAB, having a guy that can dominate the middle of the field is a major plus. I need to see him in person to know for sure, but from what I've seen of him, I definitely like this pick up.

Check out the video of some of his play.

Stadium Deal Passed

For those that missed it, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County unanimously approved the plan to build a soccer specific stadium and Cerner complex out at the Legends area. The deal means the Wizards are officially on their way out to the Legends area permanently. The completion of the deal means that work can get started out at the site. With everything now signed, the dirt can now start moving at the site, and according to Robb Heineman, the dirt will start moving tomorrow at 1pm. I'll be out there around then tomorrow to see it happening.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wyandotte County Meeting Tomorrow

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County has called a special meeting for 5pm tomorrow night and the Wizards want you to be there in your Wizards gear. The special meeting is about the Wizards and Cerner project out at the Legends. According to the Wizards, should the Unified Government approve the deal tomorrow, construction would begin immediately. So if you can make it to Kansas City, Kansas city hall tomorrow, be there, and wear your blue. And if we hear good news then things will be proceeding in a hurry it sounds like.

The article from the Star says that the stadium will be opening by the 2012 season, with the first 1,000 Cerner jobs starting by the end of that year. The 2012 date is a little later than fans were told. Most fans will remember being told the stadium would open around the 2011 all star break, but I think most people were starting to doubt that a little bit. If pushed back to the 2012 season, that means two full seasons still at CAB, but it gives plenty of build up and it means no 2011 schedule with a road heavy first half of the season, which we've seen sink MLS teams in seasons past.

Honestly this sounds like this will be good news tomorrow. I wouldn't imagine that the Wizards would have fans come out and the announcement would be anything but positive. The Wizards have asked this previously for KCMO city council meetings and Overland Park city council meetings, and both of those were positive meetings. So here's hoping this one is as well. Maybe they'll hold official ground breaking Saturday and then host a US watch party.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Espinoza, Honduras take down Canadian U-23 Team

In it's preparations to take on the USA next Saturday at the Home Depot Center, the Honduran national team played a friendly against the Canadian U-23 team yesterday. The Bicolor fell behind early, came back to defeat the Canadian side 3-1. Roger Espinoza started for the Honduran team in the friendly. Honduras' goals were scored by Erick Norales and two from Georgie Welcome. Espinoza and Honduras will take on Jimmy Conrad, Kevin Hartman and the US team this coming Saturday at 8pm central time.

Starts for the Wizards

Continuing to update my stat information on this site, now I'm going to take a look at the Wizards players who have started 100 games for the club in both league and in all competitions.

In league starts, two new players hit the 100 start mark in the 2009 season, Jack Jewsbury hit the mark very early in the season, while Josh Wolff joined the list later in the season. Two more players could join the list this coming season. Kevin Hartman only needs 10 more games to hit the 100 start mark in league play for the Wizards. Michael Harrington needs to start 26 of the 30 games this coming season to hit the 100 start mark for the Wizards. Two more KC players could hit the 200 start mark in league play. Jimmy Conrad needs to start 23 games to hit the mark, while Davy Arnaud would have to start all 30 to reach the 200 mark this season. Here are all the players with over 100 starts (active bold) and the rest of the current Wizards.

Kerry Zavagnin - 228
Nick Garcia - 224
Preki - 199
Chris Klein - 183
Jimmy Conrad - 177
Davy Arnaud - 170
Mo Johnston - 142
Matt McKeon - 126
Jack Jewsbury - 125
Tony Meola - 125
Josh Wolff - 112
Jose Burciaga Jr. - 110
Diego Gutierrez - 108
Uche Okafor - 107
Sean Bowers - 104
Kevin Hartman - 90
Michael Harrington - 74
Claudio Lopez - 53
Aaron Hohlbein - 40
Matt Besler - 26
Kurt Morsink - 25
Santiago Hirsig - 24
Lance Watson - 24
Jonathan Leathers - 22
Roger Espinoza - 18
Chance Myers - 7
Graham Zusi - 5
Rauwshan McKenzie - 5
Kevin Souter - 5
Matt Marquess - 5
Kei Kamara - 4
Adam Cristman - 3
Zoltan Hercegfalvi - 2

On the list of starts in all competitions, two players joined the list this season. Wolff joined this list as well this past season, hitting the 100 starts mark early in the season, while Hartman hit the 100 start mark on the last game of the season against DC United. Only one player has the chance to join the list this next season, and that's Harrington who is only 6 games away from that mark currently. Arnaud is the only one that could be hitting the 200 start mark, as he's just 9 starts away from that mark. Here's the list of players with 100 starts in all competitions (active players bold) along with the rest of the current team.

Kerry Zavagnin - 281
Nick Garcia - 272
Preki - 229
Chris Klein - 215
Jimmy Conrad - 201
Davy Arnaud - 191
Matt McKeon - 159
Mo Johnston - 157
Tony Meola - 156
Jack Jewsbury - 145
Diego Gutierrez - 135
Josh Wolff - 127
Jose Burciaga Jr. - 123
Uche Okafor - 116
Sean Bowers - 113
Bo Oshoniyi - 105
Mark Chung - 103
Sasha Victorine - 102
Kevin Hartman - 100
Michael Harrington - 94
Claudio Lopez - 58
Aaron Hohlbein - 45
Matt Besler - 30
Jonathan Leathers - 30
Kurt Morsink - 30
Lance Watson - 29
Santiago Hirsig - 28
Roger Espinoza - 23
Rauwshan McKenzie - 9
Chance Myers - 9
Matt Marquess - 8
Kevin Souter - 7
Graham Zusi - 6
Kei Kamara - 4
Adam Cristman - 3
Eric Kronberg - 3
Zoltan Hercegfalvi - 2
Michael Kraus - 2
Boris Pardo - 1

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Most Appearances

Continuing with more of my stat stuff, here's a look at the players with the more appearances for the Wizards both in the league and in all competitions.

On the league list, only Josh Wolff hit the 100 appearance mark this season, becoming the 19th Wizards player to play 100 league games for the club. Next is likely to see two more players join the list, as Kevin Hartman and Michael Harrington are closing in on the mark. Hartman currently sites on 90 while Harrington is on 86. Also next year, we should see the 5th and probably 6th player hit the 200 appearance mark for KC as Davy Arnaud and Jimmy Conrad are both within striking distance. Arnaud is the closest at 191, while Conrad sits on 178. Conrad hitting the mark could depend on whether he's called up to the US squad for the World Cup or not. Here's the list of all the players over 100 (active bold) along with where the rest of the current Wizards sit.

Kerry Zavagnin - 237
Nick Garcia - 224
Preki - 218
Chris Klein - 200
Davy Arnaud - 191
Jimmy Conrad - 178
Jack Jewsbury - 166
Mo Johnston - 149
Matt McKeon - 144
Tony Meola - 125
Chris Brown - 123
Josh Wolff - 119
Jose Burciaga Jr. - 115
Francisco Gomez - 114
Sean Bowers - 111
Sasha Victorine - 106
Digital Takawira - 103
Kevin Hartman - 90
Michael Harrington - 86
Claudio Lopez - 57
Kurt Morsink - 47
Aaron Hohlbein - 41
Roger Espinoza - 38
Lance Watson - 36
Matt Besler - 28
Santiago Hirsig - 26
Jonathan Leathers - 26
Chance Myers - 16
Graham Zusi - 13
Michael Kraus - 11
Zoltan Hercegfalvi - 10
Kevin Souter - 8
Kei Kamara - 6
Matt Marquess - 6
Rauwshan McKenzie - 5
Adam Cristman - 5

As for the list of appearances in all competitions, two new players joined the list, as both Hartman and Harrington both hit 100 appearances in all competitions, Harrington in the second to last game of the season against Seattle, and Hartman the following week against DC. They became the 22nd and 23rd players to hit the mark for the Wizards. Here's the full list of those over 100 (active bold) and the rest of the active roster. Claudio Lopez has a chance to make this list next season if he is re-signed and plays the same number of games he did this season. Jack Jewsbury should become the 7th player in all competitions to appear in 200 games this season as well.

Kerry Zavagnin - 291
Nick Garcia - 273
Preki - 254
Chris Klein - 235
Davy Arnaud - 220
Jimmy Conrad - 203
Jack Jewsbury - 189
Matt McKeon - 183
Mo Johnston - 169
Tony Meola - 156
Chris Brown - 150
Diego Gutierrez - 147
Francisco Gomez - 141
Josh Wolff - 139
Jose Burciaga Jr. - 130
Uche Okafor - 130
Sean Bowers - 120
Sasha Victorine - 114
Digital Takawira - 111
Bo Oshoniyi - 110
Mark Chung - 104
Kevin Hartman - 100
Michael Harrington - 100
Claudio Lopez - 66
Kurt Morsink - 55
Aaron Hohlbein - 46
Roger Espinoza - 45
Lance Watson - 43
Jonathan Leathers - 35
Matt Besler - 32
Santiago Hirsig - 30
Chance Myers - 19
Michael Kraus - 16
Graham Zusi - 14
Zoltan Hercegfalvi - 10
Rauwshan McKenzie - 10
Matt Marquess - 10
Kevin Souter - 10
Kei Kamara - 6
Adam Cristman - 5
Eric Kronberg - 3
Boris Pardo - 1

Friday, January 15, 2010

New Stadium Renderings Picture

The above picture was posted on Bigsoccer last night by a member of the Wizards staff. It's the new rendering of the Wizards stadium out at the Legends. The overall design is fairly similar to previous renderings we've seen, but there is one big change between the old renderings and this one, and that's the roof. In the previous renderings the roof had been a continuously linked roof, looking almost like a flying saucer on the stadium. Now the roof looks to be on different levels, and ascending as it goes around, low over the Cauldron and raising up as it moves around the stadium.

Overall, while I appreciate the new renderings I'd much rather see pictures of machines working at the site, concrete being poured and the real stadium actually start to take shape instead of more renderings. Wizards fans have been seeing renderings for years now, ever since the first stadium site OnGoal had out at 158th and 69 highway. It's time to see the actual stadium start to take shape.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Draft Day Rewind

The MLS draft ended a couple hours ago, and there are 5 new Wizards draftees, only one of those players though is already signed to an MLS contract, the other 4 will be looking to earn contract this coming preseason.

Let's start with some really good news to most Wizards fans. When ESPN opened their broadcast today they mentioned that the Wizards were shopping Jimmy Conrad. Many Wizards fans were pissed off and frustrated with this announcement. Thankfully for those fans, the team has come out and denied those rumors. Peter Vermes spoke with Ives Galarcep after the draft and Vermes did not mix words saying "we were NEVER shopping around Jimmy Conrad" and "we are not looking to deal Jimmy Conrad." So breath easy Wizards fans, it appears Captain Conrad will be staying in KC.

As for the draft itself, the first four picks went as many people seemed to expect them to, Philadelphia grabbed Danny Mwanga, New York took Tony Tchani, and San Jose took Ike Opara. That left Teal Bunbury right there for the Wizards to grab. They didn't have second thoughts about taking Bunbury and he will not only become the first son of a former MLSer to play in the league, but he'll play for the same team his father did. I like this pick, he brings size, speed, and a touch to the Wizards forward line. With Kei Kamara still being an unknown as to whether he will return, Bunbury could step in almost immediately and fill a hole for KC. Thad over at The Back Post also has a quick phone interview with the Wizards first pick.

In the second round the Wizards went a different way than I think anyone really thought they would as they grabbed defendner Korede Aiyegbusi (co-REH-day eye-a-BOO-see) or Kay as Robb Heineman called him. From everything I've been able to find on Aiyegbusi and his performance during college and in the combine, the Wizards should have been able to grab the left back from NC State later in the draft. Later in the draft, Heineman said that Vermes sees Aiyegbusi as more of a left winger in the professional game. That means more competition with Claudio Lopez and Roger Espinoza for the left wing.

In the third round, the Wizards had two picks and they tried to take care of both ends of the field. First the Wizards grabbed Nick Cardenas from San Diego State with the 36th pick in the draft. Cardenas is a big center back, 6-5 the worry on him is that he is apparently a little slow with his feet. Of course the same thing was said by some people about last year's rookie of the year, Omar Gonzalez. Not saying Cardenas will be rookie of the year, but it's too early to tell. The Wizards other 3rd round pick was University of Michigan forward Mauro Fuzetti a multi-time All Big 10 forward I want to think he'll be different, but I have a feeling he'll be the second coming of Doug DeMartin.

With their final pick, the Wizards grabbed former US U-17 captain and U-20 international, Ofori Sarkodie. Sarkodie could be a good late round pick up for KC, although he had a poor combine, he'll provide some competition out on the wing positions. We'll see if the promise he showed back when he was a youth international shows up.

Overall I was a little underwhelmed with the draft, I thought there were better players out there are certain times in the draft, but I probably haven't seen the players as much as other people have and I'm willing to give a pass until I see these players more.

Preki to the Hall of Fame

The greatest Wizards player of all time is now going into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Today the announcement was made that Preki, and fellow 1998 World Cup veteran, Thomas Dooley. Preki earned 4 MVP awards and 16 all star appearances in indoor and outdoor soccer over his career. Before becoming "our hero" Preki spent years playing in England and in different indoor leagues befor joining the Wizards. When he retired he was MLS's all time leader in points (goals and assists). He's also the only American player to ever score a game winning goal against the Brazilian national team. After missing out previous years, Preki is going into the hall where he belongs. Congrats to Preki on this achievement.

With the 52nd Pick, KC Select

Ofori Sarkodie from Indiana. Another defender in a draft where we were going offensive. A bit surprising, but I do like this pick, Sarkodie was highly rated by a lot of people coming into the draft and with the rumors about Jimmy Conrad still out there, getting a few defenders wasn't a bad move. And as Robb Heineman said on Hillcrest Road today, the team is planning to bring in a lot of players this preseason, hopefully some of them will be offensive and catch on.

Sorry for the delay, internet issues.

With the 41st Pick, KC Selects

Mauro Fuzetti from Michigan. Another forward. Robb also mentioned an attacking left sided player they are looking to sign while he was speaking over at Hillcrest Road.

With the 36th Pick, the Wizards Select

Nick Cardenas from San Diego State. Big defender, 6-5.

With the 20th Pick KC Select

Korede Aiyegbusi out of NC State. He's a back who played much of the time on the left. I honestly don't know much about him. A surprising pick and one that didn't appear to be that highly thought of.

With the 4th Pick the Wizards Select

Teal Bunbury from Akron. That's according to Robb Heineman over on Hillcrest Road. Bunbury is the son of former KC Wizards forward, Alex Bunbury.

Aside from the draft pick Heineman also said that the Wizards have agreed to terms with a third international player. Which means along with the Colombian defender and the midfielder, the team has now signed 3 international players.

Jimmy Conrad on the Move?

For those that are not watching the draft on ESPN-2, they just announced that the Wizards have been fielding calls about teams looking to acquire KC's captain, Jimmy Conrad. A little surprising here, but with another new center back coming in and Conrad over 30 now the team could be looking to go full rebuilding mode under Peter Vermes.

Final Draft Day Thoughts

About 10 minutes until the MLS Draft starts and the deals are already being made. Philadelphia has grabbed a third pick inside the top 7 by grabbing the 6th pick from Dallas after acquiring the 7th pick from DC last night.

The Wizards have the 4th, 20th, 36th, 41st, and 52nd picks. The pick everyone is talking about right now is the number 4 pick. As I mentioned in the podcast the other night, I think the Wizards will be grabbing Teal Bunbury, the son of former Wizard, Alex Bunbury. As Peter Vermes mentions in the Star today, the Wizards are looking for attacking players, and with Danny Mwanga being the number 1 pick, Bunbury is the next best striker on the board. Of course offense doesn't mean just forward, Corben Bone from Wake Forest would be a good offensive midfield pick up, and there was the talk of KC trading up to try and get Tony Tchani. All would definitely provide a boost to the current team.

In the later rounds, a lot of mock drafts have the Wizards taking a keeper, which might not be a bad move. With 5 picks, the Wizards have the ability to continue their house cleaning they said they would do. I'll be here posting the players the Wizards grab, so stay tuned.

10,000 Minute Club

Continuing my update of some stat stuff, here is an update to the list of the 10,000 minute club for the Wizards.

On the league list of 10,000 minute players, one new player joined the list, as Jack Jewsbury hit the 10,000 minute mark early in the 2009 season. Forward Josh Wolff almost made his way onto the list, but is currently 82 minutes shy of the 10,000 mark. If Kevin Hartman plays the majority of the minutes in goal for the Wizards this season, he too will likely hit the 10,000 minute mark, as he's played 8,100 coming into the 2010 season. The league 10,000 minute club now contains 10 players.

1. Kerry Zavagnin - 20,516
2. Nick Garcia - 20,158
3. Preki - 17,818
4. Chris Klein - 16,381
5. Jimmy Conrad - 15,912
6. Davy Arnaud - 15,521
7. Mo Johnston - 12,600
8. Jack Jewsbury - 11,600
9. Matt McKeon - 11,584
10. Tony Meola - 11,331

On the list for 10,000 minutes in all competitions, Wolff did join that list around the midpoint of the season. Wolff was the 14th Wizards player to hit 10,000 minutes for the club. He's likely to be joined by at least 1, and potentially 2 new players next season. Hartman is only 970 minutes shy of the 10,000 minute mark currently. Meanwhile, Michael Harrington would make the list if he plays just over 2,200 minutes this coming season. Here is the current list for all competitions.

1. Kerry Zavagnin - 25,270
2. Nick Garcia - 24,650
3. Preki - 20,637
4. Chris Klein - 19,437
5. Jimmy Conrad - 18,179
6. Davy Arnaud - 17,618
7. Matt McKeon - 14,602
8. Tony Meola - 14,205
9. Mo Johnston - 14,171
10. Jack Jewsbury - 13,298
11. Diego Gutierrez - 12,245
12. Josh Wolff - 11,302
13. Jose Burciaga Jr. - 10,624
14. Uche Okafor - 10,281

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


For those that missed it, Thad from The Back Post and myself did a podcast and published it today. We'd talked about doing this last year and we're now going to try to do this regularly. Anyways, let us know what you think of it, like it, hate it, indifferent. Also if you have any ideas for names of the podcast, feel free to post them. Here again are the two parts of the podcast.

Part 1 - We discuss the upcoming draft, needs and potential picks...

There's more news to add to the comments I made regarding the draft. Today in his Q&A about the draft, Ives Galarcep mentioned that the trade talk right now is that the Wizards are looking to trade up with New York to get the number two pick and grab Tony Tchani from Virginia. While I still think grabbing Teal Bunbury would be one of the better picks, trading up to get a player like Tchani who appears to be the real deal could be big for the Wizards as well

Part 2 - Kansas City made the 18 for the US bid to host the World Cup...

In other news today, the Yellow Pages released their cover for the new phone books. The Wizards are on the cover with a picture of Jimmy Conrad's first goal against the Colorado Rapids in KC's 3-2 win during the second game of the 2008 season. Here is the photo.

Former Wizards Update

Another week of former Wizards updates. While there aren't many former Wizards playing right now, those that are playing are starting to play more. With Eddie Johnson's move to Greece, he now appears to be getting the chance to get playing time.

Sean Bowers - San Diego - San Diego lost 6-4 to Calgary on Saturday. Defeated Edmonton 5-4 on Sunday.
Pat Healey - Baltimore - Had an assist in Baltimore's 13-4 win over Monterrey on Friday. Played in Baltimore's 11-9 loss to Baltimore on Saturday.
Vicente Figueroa - California - Had 2 assists in California's 7-6 win over Denver. Defeated Texas 8-5 on Sunday.
Paul Wright - San Diego - Scored a goal in San Diego's 6-4 loss to Calgary on Saturday. Beat Edmonton 5-4 on Sunday.

Herculez Gomez - Puebla FC - Mexico - Started and played 71 minutes in Puebla's 2-1 loss to Monterrey on Sunday in Interliga. Came off the bench and played 24 minutes in Puebla's 3-2 loss to Estudiantes Tecos.
Jermaine Hue - Harbour View - Jamaica - Harbour View is off until the 23rd of January.
Will John - NK Vinogradar - Croatia - Are on winter break until the end of February.
Eddie Johnson - Aris FC - Greece - Was not able to dress for Aris' 4-2 win over Iraklis. Came off the bench and played 11 minutes in Aris' 2-0 cup win over Asteras Tripolis.
Akeem Priestly - FK Mughan - Azerbaijan - On winter break until February 2nd.
Scott Sealy - Bnei Sakhnin FC - Israel - Came off the bench and played 33 minutes in Sakhnin's 1-0 loss to Beitar Jerusalem.
Matt Taylor - FSV Frankfurt - Germany - On winter break.
Diego Walsh - Wellington Phoenix - Australia - Came off the bench and played 8 minutes in Wellington's 3-1 win over the Brisbane Roar.

All Competition Goal Scorers Through 2009

Continuing with the updates to some of my stat stuff, here's the Wizards top 20 goal scorers in all competitions through the 2009 season.

Previous years
1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008

1. Preki - 81 (71 league, 8 playoff, 1 open cup, 1 international) (-)

2. Davy Arnaud - 46 (37 league, 4 playoff, 5 open cup) (+1)

3. Josh Wolff - 44 (41 league, 1 playoff, 2 open cup) (+1)

4. Chris Klein - 43 (39 league, 3 playoff, 1 open cup) (-2)

5. Mo Johnston - 32 (31 league, 1 playoff) (-)

6. Vitalis "Digital" Takawira - 31 (28 league, 2 playoff, 1 open cup) (-)

7. Scott Sealy - 30 (28 league, 2 open cup) (-)

8. Mark Chung - 21 (20 league, 1 playoff) (-)

9T. Chris Brown - 20 (15 league, 1 playoff, 1 open cup, 3 international) (-)

9T. Igor Simutenkov - 20 (12 league, 3 playoff, 5 open cup) (-)

11. Matt McKeon - 18 (13 league, 3 playoff, 1 open cup, 1 international) (-)

12T. Miklos Molnar - 17 (12 league, 5 playoff) (-)

12T. Eddie Johnson - 17 (17 league) (-)

14T. Francisco Gomez - 16 (11 league, 2 playoff, 1 open cup, 2 international) (-)

14T. Jimmy Conrad - 16 (16 league) (+1)

16T. Jose Burciaga Jr. - 15 (13 league, 1 playoff, 1 international) (-1)

16T. Sasha Victorine - 15 (13 league, 2 open cup) (+1)

16T. Claudio Lopez - 15 (13 league, 1 open cup, 1 international) (N/A) - Lopez gets onto this list as well this year scoring 8 goals in all competitions this past season, including the Wizards only non-own goal during the SuperLiga this past year.

19T. Chris Henderson - 13 (12 league, 1 playoff) (-1)

19T. Jack Jewsbury - 13 (12 league, 1 playoff) (-1)

Not a lot of movement on the list this past year as no players currently on the list moved up more than one spot. Arnaud and Wolff both have good opportunities to become only the second and third Wizards player to score 50 goals in all competitions for KC.

Here are the rest of the current Wizards players that have scored.

Michael Harrington - 5
Aaron Hohlbein - 2
Zoltan Hercegfalvi - 2
Michael Kraus - 2
Roger Espinoza - 1
Kevin Souter - 1
Santiago Hirsig - 1
Kei Kamara - 1
Rauwshan McKenzie - 1

Top Scorers Through 2009

Time to start updating some of my stat stuff that I've gotten into posting in January. Starting it off is the Wizards top league scorers through the 2009 season.

For reference, here are the previous years of the list.
1996 - 1997 - 1998 - 1999 - 2000 - 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2006 - 2007 - 2008

2009 was not a kind year offensively to the Wizards, they finished with the second worst goals scored total, scoring only 33 goals. Even with that limited number of goals, there was movement on the list this year. The biggest mover of players already on the list, was Josh Wolff, who moved up 3 spots after scoring a career high 11 goals last season.

1. Preki - 71 (-)

2. Josh Wolff - 41 (+3)

3. Chris Klein - 39 (-1)

4. Davy Arnaud - 37 (-1)

5. Mo Johnston - 31 (-1)

6T. Digital Takawira - 28 (-)

6T. Scott Sealy - 28 (-)

8. Mark Chung - 20 (-)

9. Eddie Johnson - 17 (-)

10. Jimmy Conrad - 16 (-)

11. Chris Brown - 15 (-1)

12T. Matt McKeon - 13 (-)

12T. Jose Burciaga Jr. - 13 (-)

12T. Sasha Victorine - 13 (-)

12T. Claudio Lopez - 13 (N/A) - The Wizards first designated player joins the list in his second season with the team. He scored 6 his first season and another 7 this past season in league play to see him move onto this list. Still not under contract for the 2010 season, Lopez could stay in the log jam at 13 goals.

16T. Igor Simutenkov - 12 (-1)

16T. Miklos Molnar - 12 (-1)

16T. Chris Henderson - 12 (-1)

16T. Jack Jewsbury - 12 (-1)

20T. Francisco Gomez - 11 (-1)

20T. Paul Wright - 11 (-1)

As for who could be joining the list this next season, there aren't many for sure options. You have a guy like Zoltan Hercegfalvi who could make his way onto the list potentially with a good season, or Kei Kamara if the Wizards re-sign him. Still Hercegfalvi is going to have to score 9 just to make the list and Kamara is going to have to reach double digits to get on the list, so baring a huge offensive change, a new player joining next season won't happen. Here are the other current active Wizards.

Michael Harrington - 5
Aaron Hohlbein - 2
Zoltan Hercegfalvi - 2
Roger Espinoza - 1
Kevin Souter - 1
Michael Kraus - 1
Santiago Hirsig - 1
Kei Kamara - 1

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

KC Named to World Cup Bid 18

Today the US Bid Committee for the World Cup Bid for 2018 and 2022 announced the cities that had been named to the final 18, paring the number down from 27. Kansas City made the cut and is one of the final 18 cities left in consideration should the US win the bid for either World Cup. The surprise non-selection has to be the city of Chicago. Soldier Field hosted games during the 1994 World Cup, but lost out this time, which is a bit of a surprise considering it's one of the largest cities in the US. Still, the lack of Chicago and St. Louis on the bid list would appear to help the KC bid as the city helps fill a gap in the country that would be otherwise left with a long distance to travel to see potential games.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wizards Players Speak on CBA

The more news I read about the current collective bargaining agreement discussions between the league and players, the more I worry that we're going to see some sort of work stoppage whether it be a strike or a lock out. Earlier this past week, two Wizards players spoke about the negotiations, Jimmy Conrad, the Wizards player representative, and Kevin Hartman, who was in on some meetings during the all star break, both spoke with the San Jose Mercury News about the current CBA situation. Neither one's comments can fill you with optimism about the negotiations. Conrad talks about the league putting pressure on the players to "agree to some terms we don't want to agree to." The wording of his quote makes it sound like the two groups are still far apart in their negotiations and that there's plenty still left to discuss. Conrad mentions that if there is a work stoppage it seems more likely to be a lockout by the owners instead of a strike because it would apparently be in the owners best interest over a strike. As for Hartman, he puts out the regular line that the players don't want a work stoppage, but they want changes made that will continue to see growth.

As I said, not the most encouraging news coming from Conrad and Hartman about the current state of negotiations. While I understand why the players want the things they are fighting for, the distance apart the two sides seem to be is disturbing. I hope something can be worked out, as I think any work stoppage would be a killer for the sport in the US, especially in a World Cup year. The other day, I had this open letter from the Toronto Sun pointed out to me, and it does a good job I think of addressing some fans concerns.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Vermes Interview

In case you missed it, Thad over at The Back Post has another interview with Peter Vermes posted up over at his blog in 2 Parts. Part 1 of the interview is spent focusing mainly on the upcoming SuperDraft. Vermes talks about the teams college scouting techniques, how they do their background work before the combine via scouting, playing college teams, dvd, tv, and other means. They arrive at the combine with a few different lists that they work off of. As is to be expected, Vermes danced around a few of the draft questions so as not to potentially tip off other teams in the league. The new players the team has signed can affect who they pick, but they're more affected by how the teams in front of them pick. They look to draft for their needs, but if the players available at those positions aren't the talent level they want, they'll draft the best player available.

In part 2, Thad focuses more on questions about current Wizards players. Vermes mentions that the team offered Herculez Gomez a new contract, but Gomez was apparently looking to play elsewhere. Speaking about Kei Kamara, Vermes spoke well of him, saying their in consistent contact and that Vermes has a good relation ship with the Sierra Leone forward. He's trying his luck abroad, but the team is still hoping to re-sign him. In regards to Claudio Lopez, the team is still talking with him and trying to work something out, but they are not there yet and Lopez is currently down in Argentina. We find out that two of the Wizards three goalkeepers, Kevin Hartman and Eric Kronberg are both currently out of contract, which could change the upcoming draft strategy. Vermes also speaks well of Roger Espinoza, Chance Myers, and Kronberg's training time in Croatia with Dynamo Zagreb. He says that for Myers and Kronberg it's a chance to continue to recover from their injuries that affected them for long portions of the 2009 season. For all 3, it was an opportunity for them to get more training and learn from a different coach in a different system to help their development.

Like Robb Heineman on Bigsoccer earlier this week, Vermes puts the Andy Herron rumors to bed, saying his name had come up to them months ago, but the team didn't act on it. He did say they have quite a few players on their list, and they've put a lot of work into bringing in a few players, but reiterates the issues with bringing in international players. Finally Thad asks him about the game on opening day and the extra interest in the game now that Curt Onalfo is coaching DC United. Vermes brushes off that saying that it's more interest for "you" and that while the team is focusing on the game, they're not overly focused on that aspect of it.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Former Wizards Update

More teams go onto winter break while the indoor soccer season in the US continues to move along. Four former Wizards were named to the College Soccer News team of the decade. 2005 draft pick, Chris Sawyer was a first team selection. Will Hesmer and Diego Walsh were named to the second team, and Ryan Pore was named to the honorable mention team. Here is the rest of this week's former Wizards update.

Sean Bowers - San Diego - The San Diego Sockers defeated the California Cougars 8-7 Saturday. Defeated Estadio Azteca All Stars 11-5 in the US Arena Open Cup on Sunday.
Pat Healey - Baltimore - Healey had an assist in Baltimore's 12-10 loss to Milwaukee in overtime.
Vicente Figueroa - California - California lost 8-7 to the San Diego Sockers on Saturday. Lost 9-3 to Revolucion Tijuana on Sunday.
Paul Wright - San Diego - The San Diego Sockers defeated the California Cougars 8-7 Saturday. Defeated Estadio Azteca All Stars 11-5 in the US Arena Open Cup on Sunday.

Herculez Gomez - Puebla FC - Mexico - Not dressing tonight in Puebla's Interliga game against Jaguares.
Jermaine Hue - Harbour View - Jamaica - Lost 1-0 to Humble Lions on Jan. 3. Play Village United today.
Will John - NK Vinogradar - Croatia - Are on winter break until the end of February.
Eddie Johnson - Aris FC - Greece - Did not play in Aris' 3-0 win over Atromitos, just completed his loan move to the Greek club.
Akeem Priestly - FK Mughan - Azerbaijan - On winter break until February 2nd.
Scott Sealy - Bnei Sakhnin FC - Israel - Started and played 61 minutes in Bnei Sakhnin's 0-0 draw with Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Matt Taylor - FSV Frankfurt - Germany - On winter break.
Diego Walsh - Wellington Phoenix - Australia - Came off the bench and played 16 minutes in Wellington's 2-0 win over Central Coast.

2010 Wizards Kit Leaked

It would appear that the Wizards new kits for the 2010 season have been leaked out. The above picture was posted on bigsoccer this morning in the Wizards forum. No real big changes to the uniform from last year, there seems to be more yellow piping this year and maybe a little less of the dark blue in the uniform. I do like the white away this year again, it looks good. Overall I like the new uniforms for the team, they have a basic, classic look to them.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Stadium Design Information

The Sports Business Journal put out a story yesterday talking with the architecture firm, Populous, who is the firm that will be building the Wizards new stadium. Unfortunately you need a subscription to read the full article, but a poster on bigsoccer has given us that information. The article has lots of great insight into the new stadium. The main topic of discussion is the roof which according to the article will cover all 18,300 seats in the stadium, basing the design off of European stadiums, while at the same time making it unique to the Wizards. The article also touches on "the communal premium-dining concept" as the article calls it, talking about patios for the sky boxes as well as an exclusive Cauldron pub for members of the Cauldron that will be behind the section at the new stadium. The pub will be set up like a German beer hall and will be open on non-game days as well, giving people a place for watch parties for all sorts of events.

The article gives a much better picture of the stadium than what we had before, it still leaves a lot to the imagination, but what we have gives me great visions of what the stadium is going to be looking like once it is finished. Now let's starting getting the stadium up (once it's actually warm enough outside for any work at all to be done).

Waiting on the Two New Players

Last night, Wizards president, Robb Heineman mentioned that the team was going to be announcing two new signings today, unfortunately today that turned out not be true as Heineman posted today. As has been the case in the past the Wizards are waiting for P-1 Visas to be finalized before the signings are official. Unlike the past few years, when the signings of Ivan Trujillo and Santiago Hirsig were announced their P-1 Visas were finalized, the Wizards are not giving away the names of the players the team has signed. According to Ives Galarcep earlier this morning, though, he confirms my thought the Wizards had indeed gotten one of the three Colombian defenders that signed with MLS.

In his tweets today, Heineman says the Wizards also have "several more pending", which means it looks like the roster overhaul we were told was coming is finally starting to happen. The question is now when the "house cleaning" will occur and current players will start leaving. The Wizards were already over the 24 man roster limit due to players being onn IR to end last season, so the Wizards will have plenty of players that will not be making the team again this year, unless rosters are once again expanded.

Wizards Linked with Andy Herron

As I tweeted earlier today, it would appear that the Wizards are after former Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew forward, Andy Herron. Reports out of Costa Rica are linking the Wizards with a move for the forward last played with CS Herediano in Costa Rica. According to one of the reports Herron is hoping to have a deal finalized by Friday. Herron is hoping to finalize a deal that will allow him to continue to play in Costa Rica until the MLS season starts in March.

While Herron is right in his quote that the Wizards need a striker, I'm very underwhelmed with this rumor. Herron at the age of 31 is not the type of striker the Wizards should be bringing in to cure their scoring woes. In my mind he's not an upgrade over any of the current Wizards' strikers other than maybe Michael Kraus. This move be bringing in a player that really is no better than the team's current strikers who didn't score much last year. My mindset seems to be the same of many fans I've conversed with today, the words underwhelming and unimpressive were heard multiple times when discussing this potential move.

While many Wizards fans will remember him for his bicycle kick goal against the Wizards on July 4, 2006, the first thing that came to my mind when I heard this rumor was his elbow to the face of New England Revolution defender, Jay Heaps. Hopefully this is just one of many rumors involving the Wizards and potential strikers and not one that comes to pass. Because I personally don't see how this move would improve our team for next year.

UPDATE: Robb Heineman has come out tonight on bigsoccer and basically put this rumor to bed, saying there is nothing to the Herron stuff.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Herculez Gomez to Puebla FC

This rumor started early yesterday, I didn't find a link at the time, but have found one now. Anyways, it appears that the first movement of the offseason for the Wizards is to lose Herculez Gomez to Mexican first division side, Puebla FC. According to the article, Puebla has signed Gomez to be a boost to their offense, which was apparently one of Puebla's biggest struggles this past season. While Gomez was dangerous many times on the field for the Wizards, his boost to the offense was not that much. In his 34 league games with the Wizards, Gomez only scored one goal (although it's a memorable one for Wizards fans). He added 5 assists as well. Gomez did appear to fall out with the Peter Vermes and the team late in the season, as Gomez appeared in only 1 of the Wizards last 5 games of the 2009 season, which could be part of the reason for his departure from KC.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Soccer America MLS All-Decade Team

With the end of 2009 lots of people are putting together lists on the "best of the decade" stuff. Soccer America has put out their MLS All-Decade team. The Wizards are represented pretty well on the list, with 2 current and 2 former Wizards on the team.

The only representative on the Best XI team is the Wizards current captain, Jimmy Conrad. Conrad was selected to the Best XI team 3 times and earned one Defender of the Year award in the decade. Goalkeepers Tony Meola and Kevin Hartman were named to the reserve squad. Meola was MLS MVP in 2000 and was a consistent performer for both KC and New York. Hartman became the MLS all time leader in most goalkeeping categories during this decade. Also on the list is the best player in Wizards history (and I don't think anyone can argue that point), Preki. While Preki was an MVP in this decade his only playing in half the decade is why he's likely not on the first team. There is one former Wizard who did not make the list that I thought probably deserved a mention. That player is Nick Garcia who has been in the league since 2000 and while he hasn't brought in the awards has been a strong defender in the league.

UPDATE: Had this pointed out to me as I missed it originally, but Diego Gutierrez is on the list as well. While he's only listed as being on Chicago, Gutierrez played for the Wizards from 02-05. During that time he was the club captain in 04 and 05 and won the US Open Cup.