17 Aug. News and Blogs you might have missed.

Fire Top Wizards 2-0 Sunday

Sunday Of Stats

Fire shut out conference rival WizardsLed by goals

Wizards fall to Chicago 2-0 in Vermes’ coaching debut

New coach not enough for Wizards in a 2-0 loss

Chicago 2, Kansas City 0

New Coach, Same ResultWizards pay for lack of intensity

Wizards Press

Kansas City Wizards Fall to Chicago Fire 2-0 Sunday

MLS Game #19
Sunday, August 16, 2009 – 2:00 p.m. (CT)
English TV: Metro Sports
Spanish TV: TeleFutura
English Radio: Sports Radio 810 WHB
Spanish Radio: La Gran D 1340 AM
CommunityAmerica Ballpark; Kansas City, Kansas
Weather: 81 and partly cloudy
Attendance: 9,974

Score:                                                                                   1              2              F
Kansas City Wizards (5-8-6, 21 pts)                                0              0              0
Chicago Fire (9-4-8, 35 pts)                                              1              1              2

Scoring Summary:
CHI – Chris Rolfe 5 (Marco Pappa 3) 13
CHI – Mike Banner 1 (Logan Pause 3) 89

(August 16, 2009) – The Kansas City Wizards (5-8-6, 21 pts) fell to the Chicago Fire (9-4-8, 35 pts) Sunday at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Peter Vermes’ first match as Technical Director/Interim Head Coach. Striker Chris Rolfe put Chicago up in the first half, and substitute midfielder Mike Banner scored a late goal to seal a 2-0 victory for the Fire. Striker Zoltan made his MLS debut for Kansas City, entering in the second half for striker Adam Cristman.

Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute when striker Chris Rolfe combined well up the right flank with midfielder Marco Pappa. Rolfe laid the ball off then cut behind Kansas City’s defense as Pappa hit a return pass on the first touch. Rolfe was in behind the defense and slotted the ball home inside the back post for a 1-0 lead and his 5th goal of the season.

Kansas City generated several dangerous scoring opportunities in the match, forcing Chicago goalkeeper Jon Busch to make five saves on the night. Busch made two of his solid saves back-to-back in minutes 36 and 39 of the first half. First, midfielder Kurt Morsink played a ball to the feet of striker Josh Wolff inside the penalty area. Wolff took a clean first touch, firing on goal with his second touch from a tough angle, but Busch did well to save the effort. Then in the 39th minute, Wolff got free up the left flank, cutting a pass to midfielder Roger Espinoza at the top of the area. Espinoza fired toward the back post with a hard shot, but Bush was again there to deny the shot.

The Wizards nearly leveled the score in the 48th minute after Espinoza took a free kick on the right side of the penalty area. Espinoza played a ball along the ground for striker Adam Cristman near the PK spot that Cristman redirected toward goal. The ball went straight to defender Aaron Hohlbein inside the six-yard area, but a Fire defender blocked his point-blank shot.

Wolff continued to trouble the Chicago defense, forcing saves from Busch in the 55th and 64th minutes. In the 55th, Morsink pressured a Fire midfielder into a giveaway, the ball finding Wolff in the center of the field. Wolff unleashed a right-footed shot from 20 yards out that Busch held. In the 64th minute, right back Lance Watson jumped forward into the play, sliding a pass into Wolff’s feat at the top of the area. Wolff cut between two defenders and fired a shot on goal, but Busch again was there to make a save.

New attacker Zoltan made his debut in the 63rd minute, entering for Adam Cristman. He immediately proved dangerous in the 69th minute when he was free in space behind the Chicago defense and fired a dangerous low cross in front of goal. Espinoza completed a long run out of midfield, sliding in an attempt to put the pass home, but the ball was just out of his reach and rolled out of play on the far side.

Zoltan was later shown a red card for a tackle from behind against Fire midfielder Mike Banner, who then added an insurance tally for Chicago. Banner took a feed from central midfielder Logan Pause up the left channel in the 89th minute, firing the ball home at the back post from a tough angle inside the penalty area. The score marked Banner’s first career goal.

Sunday, the Wizards showed their support for the United States’ bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022 with two new field boards at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. One field board featured the new website launched by the USA Bid Committee: http://www.GOUSABID.com. The Wizards encouraged all fans to log on to http://www.GOUSABID.com and sign a petition to show their support for bringing the greatest sporting event in the world back to the United States. The second field board featured the tag line for Kansas City’s bid to become a host city should the USA Bid to FIFA be successful. The phrase “The American City” was displayed on the second field board, representing the uniquely American characteristics of Kansas City.

Kansas City returns to action next Saturday, August 22 in a 9:30 p.m. CT kickoff at the San Jose Earthquakes. The game will be broadcast live on Metro Sports (English) and Time Warner Cable Channel 5 (Spanish). Kansas City defeated San Jose 2-0 in their only other meeting of the season, a game held in a winter storm.

Kansas City Wizards Line-Up: Kevin Hartman; Lance Watson, Jimmy Conrad ©, Aaron Hohlbein, Matt Besler (Michael Harrington 46); Santiago Hirsig (Herculez Gomez 69), Kurt Morsink, Jack Jewsbury, Roger Espinoza; Josh Wolff, Adam Cristman (Zoltan 63)

Substitutes not used: Boris Pardo (GK), Michael Kraus, Graham Zusi, Rauwshan McKenzie

Chicago Fire Line-Up: Jon Busch; Austin Washington, Dasan Robinson, C.J. Brown, Brandon Prideaux; Marco Pappa (Calen Carr 88), Logan Pause, Peter Lowry, Justin Mapp (Mike Banner 66); Chris Rolfe, Patrick Nyarko (Stefan Dimitrov 75)

Substitutes not used: Andrew Dykstra (GK), Baggio Husidic, Cuauhtemoc Blanco

CHI – Justin Mapp (caution; Delaying a Restart) 45
KC – Santiago Hirsig (caution; Delaying a Restart) 68
KC – Zoltan Hercegfalvi (ejection; Serious Foul Play) 85
CHI – Logan Pause (caution; Reckless Tackle) 91+

KC                          CHI
Total Shots:                                        15                           13
Shots on Goal:                                  5                              6
Saves:                                                   4                              5
Fouls Committed:                             13                           10
Offside:                                                1                              5
Corner Kicks:                                     5                              6

Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Assistants: Adam Wienckowski, Cyril Madukanya
4th official: Andrew Chapin


·         Kansas City is now 9-20-7 all-time against Chicago, including a 7-7-5 record at home.
·         The match marked the first as Interim Head Coach for Kansas City Technical Director Peter Vermes.
·         Striker Zoltan made his MLS debut, entering for Adam Cristman in the 63rd minute. Zoltan was ejected in the 85th minute.
·         Midfielder Kurt Morsink started his first game of the season Sunday and played in his third match of 2009.
·         Morsink has now started 24 games in his career and played in 45.
·         Jack Jewsbury started his 115th career game for Kansas City.
·         Wizards goalkeeper Kevin Hartman has now started 101 straight games and hasn’t missed any action in the last 9090 minutes his teams have played.
·         His minutes-played streak constitutes an MLS record.
·         Aug. 1, Hartman became just the 2nd player in MLS history to start 100 straight matches.
·         Hartman made four saves Sunday, increasing his career MLS records in saves to 1195.
·         With five more stops, Hartman will become the first goalkeeper in MLS history to surpass the 1200-save plateau.
·         Only Hartman and central defender Aaron Hohlbein have started all 19 games this season for the Wizards.
·         Hartman is the only Wizards player to play every minute of every game this year.
·         Striker Zoltan will miss the next match after picking up a red card Sunday.
·         Kansas City has committed five red cards in MLS play and six in all competitions.
·         Kansas City was without goalkeeper Eric Kronberg, defenders Chance Myers and midfielder Kevin Souter through injury.
·         Midfielder Davy Arnaud missed the match due to yellow-card accumulation.
·         Forward Claudio Lopez misses the game serving a red-card suspension.
·         Sunday, the Wizards showed their support for the United States’ bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022 with two new field boards at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
·         One field board featured the new website launched by the USA Bid Committee: http://www.GOUSABID.com.
·         After Sunday’s match, a pair of teams from local amateur Ligas played on the field at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
·         The Wizards return to action next Saturday, August 22 with a 9:30 p.m. CT match up at the San Jose Earthquakes on Metro Sports (English) and TWC Channel 5 (Spanish).

On the secret to getting a 6th road win
“I can’t tell you. I think when we go on the road, we have a sense of togetherness. Our guys enjoy each other’s company. The concentration level is pretty high. There are no distractions. So we think about the game from the moment we leave TOYOTA Park and we get on the bus to the airport. It’s a regular routine. I guess that would be the secret.”

On Chris Rolfe’s goal and season
“I told Chris many a time, he’s such a talented player. His ability around the goal is pretty special. If he’s playing up front, obviously we know that when he has half a look, he’s dangerous. I told him that he probably could have had a few more goals if he looked to try to pass instead of shooting. You’re going to have those moments, those decision that they make. He’s been a good pro because when he is out wide right, he’s learning that part of it and getting a better understanding of how to play out there. I always remind him to look around the world. When you’re a complete player, you can adapt to different positions. Adjust your game and learn it for those positions, and it makes you that much better of a player. I was happy for him today, not just because he scored the goal but because he was sharp from the get go.

On playing forward
“I was excited because I got to play forward. It’s always fun for me to play up there and play with Patrick [Nyarko]. I enjoy having Peter Lowry underneath. I think he’s a great player to combine with as well, so it was fun.”

On the secret to winning on the road
“Beats me. It’s a good secret to have though.”

On the game
“We have a lot to work on: fitness, when we have the ball what we want to do, and when we don’t have the ball what we want to do. It’s not all going to happen in ten days. I fully believe that going forward we just need to make incremental improvement. It’s not going to be easy, and it’s going to take some time.”

On the positives from Sunday’s match
“I thought that a couple of the guys that came on made an impact. I thought that Kurt Morsink played pretty well in the center of the midfield. Zoltan came on and was doing a lot. He was around the ball and really wanted it. I also thought Josh did a good job up front working and being dangerous and getting some shots off.”

On the performance in the first half:
“I thought we were a little tentative. We were giving them too much respect. We were dropping off too much and they were establishing their line very close to our goal. In the second half, we wanted to be a little higher up the field and take a little more risk both defensively and offensively. I thought in the second half we were starting to drive the game a little bit more, and I thought we were starting to get a little bit of flow before the red card.”

On Zoltan’s first game with the Wizards
“I think that he played very well when he came in. We’re trying to build him up to be able to be a mainstay with the team. I think he’s acclimating himself a little more quickly than we anticipated because he’s getting more fit.”

On his first game
“It was like a preseason game for me, so I thought it went pretty well. I felt like I fit into the team pretty well quickly. I feel ashamed that I got the red card. It was a tactical foul for me, but that’s the referee’s decision so I have to live with it.”

On the game
“The result’s disappointing. We would have liked to have done better, but we put in a good effort. It’s something to build off of. We’re not pleased, but it’s a starting point.”

On what Adam Cristman and Zoltan add to the team’s offensive attack:
“Adam’s a big guy in the middle that’s going to fight and hold up balls for us. We’ve got to do better running off him and give him options once the ball comes in. I thought Zoltan also did a good job today and gave us some energy when he came in. It’s good to have both those guys playing.”


On Chicago’s two goals
“Both goals came off of throw-ins, and I think that’s the most disappointing part. Anytime the ball goes out of bounds it’s a concentration thing, and we need to be tuned in for the whole game. If you want to be a team that’s consistently good, you need to be alert at all times.”


2 Responses to 17 Aug. News and Blogs you might have missed.

  1. Spoon says:

    So where was the fire and drive of the players? You would think that they would have come out buzzing around the pitch trying to impress the new coach . Well not so much thus the 2-0 scoreline The only player buzzing was Zoltan and he only lasted 10 minutes after his stupid tackle from behind.

  2. soccer says:

    Hey, great post, very well written. You should blog more about this. I’ll definitely be subscribing.

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