Brass home; Wizards in New Mexico

May 31, 2008

KC Brass

First off, let me say that KC actually led St. Louis 2-1 last week, before allowing an 88th minute goal and giving St. Louis a bid to the USOC.  KC’s goals were from Austin Williams in the 16th to go up 1-0 and then from Jordan Raybould (Ryan’s younger brother) in the 49th to go up 2-1.  Joshua White was also ejected in the 20th minute, same minute that STL scored their goal – a PK?  Not sure, match report doesn’t indicate.

KC takes on the Springfield Demize tonight at 8pm at William Jewell College.  Springfield have scored just 1 goal on the season while giving up 13.  That one goal was against KC.  A Brass win coupled with a Des Moines win over St. Louis will have 4 teams on 10 points (and 2 on zero, Thunder Bay has yet to start season).

Weather for tonight’s game: 77F, partly cloudy and just a touch of wind.  So go out and see a local team in action if you can.

KC Wizards/New Mexico Cup

The game against CSD Municipal will be played in almost 90F weather, 7 mph winds and about 5% humidity.

I am gonna guess that we’ll see some starters at first, or mostly starters.  And at halftime there will be a wholesale lineup change.  Should get to hear about KC playing their flat midfield.  Neither starting striker will be in New Mexico so I am expecting we will see Trujillo and Colombano up top to kick the game off.  Midfield could be Kerry and Jack with Davy and, if not Carlos, then maybe Morsink, Souter, or possibly Kraus out wide and the backline will be the usual.  Also possible that Harrington plays wide left with Leathers on the back.

Good luck to the guys.  Let’s hope for no injuries and lots of improvement on the team play.  Some goals too would be nice.

OG

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30 May. News and Blogs you might have Missed.

May 30, 2008

U.S. forwards continue to disappoint

Hurdles confront Brian McBride’s desire to join Fire

No one vends it quite like Beckham

MLS coaches sleep uneasily after season’s first sacking

Swoon Has Wizards ‘Tinkering’

Wizards to Host Rapids in U.S. Open Cup Match Wed. June 4

The Kansas City Wizards will host a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play-in game Wednesday, June 4 at 7 p.m. CT at Shawnee Mission North High School in Overland Park, Kan. Kansas City will face the Colorado Rapids, who defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy 1-0 Tuesday night at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. The winner of next Wednesday’s match will advance to the round of 16.
 
Season ticket holders will use their ticket for “Special Game A.” All other individual tickets will be $20 general-admission seats, and group tickets will be available for $15. Season ticket holders will also be able to use their “Special Game A” parking passes for reserved parking adjacent to the field at the intersection of Johnson Drive and Metcalf Lane on a first-come, first-served basis. High school students, faculty and staff in the Shawnee Mission School District will receive one free ticket with their student and/or district I.D. and will be able to purchase additional tickets at the group rate. For tickets, visit Ticketmaster.com here. Gates will open at 6 p.m. for the event.
 
Six MLS teams qualified automatically to the 2008 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup based on their 2007 regular-season finish. The remaining seven U.S.-based MLS teams square off in a play-in tournament for the chance to be one of the final two teams to represent MLS in the Open Cup. Beginning this year, the Open Cup winner advances automatically to the inaugural CONCACAF Champions League (formerly the CONCACAF Champions Cup) that takes place from August 2008 to April 2009.
 
Kansas City won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2004, defeating the Chicago Fire 1-0 on a late goal from forward Igor Simutenkov. The Wizards did not qualify for the Open Cup last year, falling to Real Salt Lake 2-1 in extra time of a play-in match.
 
For more information on the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, visit www.usopencup.com.

 

AG


Wizards Press Conference/Brad Porter Blog

May 29, 2008

Wizards held their weekly press conference today.  As alway Coach Onalfo speaks to the press and is then asked questions, then a player, this week Davy Arnaud, gets a question-answer time.

I am going to write up a summary of the News Conference, the highlights, but probably won’t put stuff in direct quotes.  Just wanted to state that up front.

Coach Onalfo started off by telling us that David Beckham told him after the game that KC was the best team he’d played against in MLS and that KC was probably the best team in MLS.  Now that doesn’t change the fact that our boys are 3-4-2 but it is a good compliment nonetheless.

In the first half of the game Coach Onalfo, like the rest of us, felt pretty darn good about the first half.  He stated that our team had them (LA) penned in.  As for the offensive side, the final pass was not that great and that KC should have had 2, 3 goals.

In regards to losing the game on poor referreeing … well he has told the team to not complain or leave the blame to the officials and that more goals scored can overcome being on the short-end of calls.  Basically do not leave the game in the hands of the officials.

One of the reporters asked about Hartman coming out in 94th minute and Coach defended it.  He likes the team to take risks.  He (Onalfo) takes risks.  There was no second guessing Kevin coming up the pitch.  When the team has chance to get a draw on the road, they will go for it.

This week the team has a new motto:  We don’t make excuses; we find solutions.

That said the team will be modifying the formation.  Currently the Wizards use a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield.  Instead of a diamond the team will go to a flat midfield, bringing the wing players more into the attack.  Coach said that the diamond caused some over-compensation to the middle of the field.   The midfield shape change is for the longevity of the team.  To be better able to defend a lead yet also attack more.  States that the wide players will be like adding playmakers to get the ball to the forwards.

Mentioned that Carlos Marinelli will most likely play on the left side of the midfield ( being left footed this makes sense of course).    Also very likely that Kerry Zavagnin will return the starting lineup and that without him on the field the teams lacks some leadership and organization, especially when it comes to tactical decisions.  Coach also said that this flat midfield will allow the team to keep 3 across the midfield by shifting whenever a wide player pushes up. 

I guess we’ll have to see how this works out.  And we’ll find out some this weekend against CSD Municipal.  According to Davy Arnaud the team is taking only 22 players.  We’ll probably see a lot of substitutions but also the formation change.  Coach called this game good because it allows the team to experiment.  Davy said it was good for two reasons. 1- good routine, a game every weekend and 2-playing against a good team and a chance to “right the ship”.

There are some injuries, they aren’t bad but will keep some players out this weekend’s game.  Espinoza is out 7-10 days with an ankle issue.  Sasha has a groin problem.  Lopez has a knee issue, not bad, but better safe than sorry.  There was some question about Marinelli too but I couldn’t make out the problem on the broadcast.  Also Scott Sealy is not going as his wife is about to have a baby.  (Would it be innappropriate to mention something about Scotty scoring?  Too late.  Just joking anyway.  Scott-Congratulations to you and the wife!)

On the US Open Cup.  Coach takes this game “very, very seriously”.  This is good!  We’ll see as much of the first team as possible.   There’s money on the line.  But also that it would be great to have fans cheering for them.  I can’t wait for this game.

Brad Porter also wrote up in his blog about the formation tweaking.

I guess we’ll see about this formation change.  Maybe it will help.  Carlos being on the left is good I think.  Assume that Davy will be on the right.  Sounds like Kerry will come back to the starting lineup.  The other middle midfielder I guess will be Jack Jewsbury.  But there are also the likes of Kurt Morsink and Sasha Victorine.  I’ll be interested to see the outcome of the CSD Municpal game.

OG


29 May. News and Blogs you might have Missed.

May 29, 2008

McBride leaves Fulham to return to the MLS

Kansas City Wizards to Face CSD Municipal of Guatemala in Inaugural New Mexico Cup

McBride on Fire’s radar

Brian McBride is returning to MLS

Mediocrity in one more sport: It’s always entertaining watching Kansas City lose!!!

Microsoft to sponsor Seattle Sounders – WSJ  First I had to give up purchasing Red Bull, next was Glidden, and then Volkswagen. Now I have to change my operating system because of Seattle.  Currently I strongly support Samsung…ask my flat screen and cell phone, oh and my wife…she can tell you about my lean toward Samsung as she finishes off her Carlsburg.  I look forward to the day that I can add another sponsor to our short list of companies to support.

Donovan must wait for 100th US game This saddens me how?

US Open Cup First Round set

 AG


Rapids over LA; to KC next

May 28, 2008

Kansas City’s US Open Cup opponent is now known.  Last night a largely reserve side for Colorado beat an LA team that had most of it’s starters.  Little used bench player Conor Casey scored in the 82nd minute to give Colorado the 1-0 win and a date with KC.

The play-in game will be June 4th at Shawnee Mission North High School. The winner of this game will join the winner of the Chicago-Columbus game on June 10th and the top 6 MLS teams from last year in the Third Round of the USOC.

KC has an international friendly this weekend in New Mexico.  I wonder if Coach Onalfo will use that game to help decide who will play in the game against Colorado.  It’s a good bet though that KC will use a mix of reserves and starters.   Real question is will too many reserves be used …

Wizards Reserves: Speaking of the reserves, they played the PDL Springfield Demize on Monday and won 7-0 with three players grabbing 2 goals each.

OG


28 May. News and Blogs you might have Missed.

May 28, 2008

Beckham 70 Yard Goal – LA Galaxy Vs. Kansas City Wizards -HQ

David Beckham – 60-yarder and naive MLS

Wizards vs Colorado in US Open Cup

Funkhouser releases his Missouri-side transit plan

chaotic kansas city game

Wizards Tap Into Springdale Talent

Monday….Err Tuesday Roundup

Wizards leave the pitch but still hit wedges

AG


Wizards dropped; Brass draw gives St.Louis USOC berth; Hartman Birthday

May 25, 2008

Kansas City Wizards

Ugh.   A lot of breakdowns for KC.  Very disheartening to be up 1-0 and drop the game 1-3.  Never really want to blame the referees, and KC shouldn’t, but goals scored by players that are offsides really do hurt.

What is so damn hard about closing in on players with the ball?  Not that the 3rd goal by LA changed the outcome much(it came in the 94th minute), but Harrington just let Beckham have all kinds of space, size up the goal and then let it rip.  But well before that KC was allowing yet again attackers with space heading toward the goal.  Now, for some unkown reason, teams aren’t taking advantage of this as often as they should.  LA should have had a goal in the first half, maybe two.  KC was lucky to not be down at the half.  The other glaring and frustrating thing that KC does is to not move off the ball.  We see them do it at practice, why can it not be done during games?  It happened time and again Saturday, someone would get the ball, dribble, make a little space, ready to pass and…. everyone they can pass to are standing still with a defender on them.  UGH.  It’s no wonder Marinelli doesn’t pass.  It’s no wonder Lopez took the ball all himself in the 40th and ripped home probably the best KC goal all season.

Players for KC disappeared on Saturday.  Did you really know Carlos was in the game for a while? or Jack?  Scott Sealy made appearances and then flubbed.  Sasha was on again-off again.  Myers and Harrington did show some and made a lot of runs up the field.  Pretty much the offense went through Claudio Lopez who dropped back to midfield time and again to get something going.  Davy Arnaud was bland and Tyson Wahl wasn’t that great.  Jimmy was solid and so was Hartman.  Three goals look bad but when you look at each that was scored you can’t hold it against Hartman: a PK(rightly called too, though Donovan did some acting, it was a foul), a goal scored from offside position and an open net goal when KC was going for the draw in the dieing moments.

You can probably guess who my Players of the Game are.  Lopez(5), then Hartman(3) and then Jimmy(1).  Totals are: Lopez 25, Hartman 17, Conrad and Marinelli 11, Jewsbury 6, Victorine 4, Trujillo3, Sealy 2, Colombano and Wahl 1.

KC have next week off from MLS play but will be in New Mexico to take on CSD Municipal.  Currently KC are still 6th in the East at 11 points and remain 8 points out of first since Columbus lost.  Chicago and Columbus now lead the East at 19 points.  But by the time KC takes the field again on June 7th against Real Salt Lake they could be in last in the East.  DC United, currently on 9 points, have two games before KC’s next(one West team), Toronto plays a West team and RBNY have two games.  In the worst case scenario, KC could be in last place and be 4 points behind a 6th place DC team.  Now that can’t be good for team morale.

Kevin Hartman

Kevin Hartman turned 34 on Sunday.  He is the oldest player on the Wizards.  He is in his second year as KC’s net minder.  Hartman is in his 12th year in MLS and will most likely see several more.  Too bad his birthday couldn’t have been celebrated with a win.  He did get 6 saves in against LA though.

Kansas City Brass

St. Louis Lions clinched one of the two USOC PDL Central berths with a 2-2 draw in Kansas City.   In Leauge play the draw puts KC at 7 points on the season while St. Louis and Colorado top the table at 10 points.  USL does not yet have the stats up for the KC-STL game.  I’ll post an update when they are.

OG