Saturday, July 12, 2008

Media game at Wizards halftime

The media played at half time of the Wizards-Red Bulls game. While most of them did not display a lot of skill, there were a few exceptions.
KC Futbol (Andrew) bringing the ball up the field

Jake Gutierrez (Sports Radio 810) played well in goal. Smothering the ball and taking down Holly Starr (38 the Spot) at the same time takes skill.

Gutierrez did get screwed when the guest ref accidently kicked the ball to Bob Rusert ( who managed to score the only goal despite the incredible efforts of the white team keeper. He made the initial save.

But was unable to keep the rebound from being put away.
Somehow he was not thrown out of the game when he took retribution on the ref who just turtled under the assault.
The rest of the photos can be seen at Media Game gallery

Kansas City Wizards 2 - 1 New York Red Bulls

I got a chance to shoot from the field for the game with the Red Bulls. It was a lot of fun and I learned a bit about shooting from down there. I took a ton of shots (used 2 lenses and 2 bodies), over 1400 total I think, really not sure of that count. I even took a couple hundred of the Media Game at half time.

Just a few from the game…

Celebration of Conrad’s goal.

Cauldron celebrating.

Hey Conway.... It's all your fault!!!

Goldthwaite trying to make sure Jimmy does not get a second goal

I do not have too many from the second half. Once the sun set I was not able to get any good shots, the lighting is just not good at CAB and I do not have good enough equipment (not that many really do). I will upload what I have soon. Here is the Wizards vs Red Bulls Gallery.

I will do another post with shots of the media game soon.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Notes and observations from practice today

Atlas had more agility drills today. (Kinda looks like practice for Riverdance)

Lots of colored hurdles and hoops.

Interesting, New York Red Bulls coaches show up to "observe". They asked for a tour of the practice facility but had to wait since Coach was hosting a meeting at that time.

I actually talked to a couple of them. They were carefully watching the exercises that Atlas did, exactly how far, how high, everything.

They did get their tour and they looked impressed.

Atlas went on to scrimmage but I could only watch a little while before going to the press conference.

Josh Wolff introduced as the newest Kansas City Wizard

Josh Wolff was officially introduced at the Wizards press conference today. He received the obligatory jersey with his name on it from coach and then answered a few questions.

Josh poses with is new jersey.

They were asked about the plan to get Josh into the lineup. Coach replied that they have a 30 day plan to have Josh ready for a 90 minute game. Sounds to me like he may get some coming off the bench time in the next league game. Earlier in the week Coach had said they were hopeful they could get him into the match with Atlas on Friday but they have been informed that they are not allowed to use him until the 15th.

Coach also said he would play forward for the Wizards. Said he was a player that they had targeted to keep before he even got the job, Josh gets time with National Team because he works well with others, etc...

It was also announced that Jimmy Conrad was selected to the All Star game.

FC Atlas practice 07/09/2008

On Wednesday morning they ran drills with defenders. Very good ball control and some nice creativity.

The gentleman in the blue Wizards shirt worked for Atlas in Mexico and now works with their academy in Kansas City. The man in the yellow shirt is Gustavo, a local Atlas fan.

I may try to post more photos tomorrow or you can go to Atlas practice 07/09/2008.

FC Atlas practice 07/08/2008

I have watched the morning practice session of FC Atlas this week. On Tuesday they ran some fitness/agility drills. They hopped over hurdles, into hoops, sometimes on one leg and then receive a pass and had to shoot on a small goal.

One of their better players jumping over the hurdles.

They ran through some crossing heading drills that were impressive, header after header on goal.

At one point, I counted nine out of ten crosses connected with an onrushing attacker and were directed into the goal. While I am sure they did not head that well throughout the entire practice, it was pretty good finishing. I almost felt sorry for the goalie.

This is Diego Colotto, he is their captain, a defender and one of the more talented players I have ever seen in person. He is from Argintina, think we could trade for him?

For the rest of the photos, check out Atlas practice 07/08/2008.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Open Cup results

I know many fans are unhappy that the Wizards were unable to beat a lowly USL team. Hmmm..., let's look at the scoreboard tonight.

New England 1 - 1 Crystal Palace Baltimore: The Revolution squeak by on PKs (5-3)
DC United 2 - 1 Chicago Fire
FC Dallas 1 - 3 Charleston Battery
Seatle Sounders 0 - 0 Kansas City Wizards: Sounders win on PKs (6-5)

New England (at home) barely gets by a USL Second division team and it looks like they had more starters than the Wizards.

DC United rallies back to beat Chicago at home. The only game where an MLS team was a clear winner and that is because they played another MLS team.

FC Dallas loses to a USL team at home. Dallas had more starters than the Wizards in the lineup as well.

Wizards reserve team holds off a pretty good USL team in the Sounders and then lose the crap shoot known as Penalty Kicks. There were a number of good chances created for both teams.

Yes it could have been better but it also could have been worse. The Wizards played the reserve team in this game and will play the senior team on Thursday. Too many games, not enough depth means the Coach had to make a choice which game to concentrate on.

On Monday, Coach was asked about the schedule congestion. I can not quote precisely but he definately conveyed the feeling that he was unhappy with the way this schedule turned out. True to his policy of not making excuses, he did not whine about it.

He said he was taking a team to Seattle that was capable of winning. He did that. The team could have won tonight. If they were a little more lucky, they could have won in the PK's. There were also several goal scoring opportunities missed, flubbed, hesitated or just weak, but any of those could have won the game. Yes Seattle had too many good chances as well. Fortunately Kronberg (who played really well), the defense and the goal itself managed to stop them.

The team chose which games are most important to them. In MLS, the salary cap and rosters are too small to have reserve teams that are only slightly less than the senior team. With Souter out, Marinelli hurt and Wolff unable to play yet, they had to make a choice. Maybe it was the right choice and maybe it wasn't.

We also played on the road. Interestingly the only team to win on the road was Charleston. I think the new coach in Dallas is a wee bit unhappy right now. In the future, when we have an actual stadium, these games will be played here more often.
Yes I wanted to win. Yes, I was swearing at the USLLIVE feed when we missed our chances. Yes I was hoping that Kronberg would somehow block that last PK. But in the end, we lost. Now we can focus on Thursday and move on.
I will exit the soapbox now...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Wizards practice 07/08/2008 and misc notes

Yesterday when I watched the Wizards practice, Josh Wolff looked good but not really in the flow of the scrimmage he was in. Today was a whole different story. It was a small side (5v5 plus goalies) and Josh was very involved. He was really working well with Davy and Claudio on his team. He defended well and attacked very well.

Josh and Davy

Josh shooting and scoring

I must confess that I was trying to watch both Atlas and the Wizards practice at the same time so I know I missed a lot on both sides. If Josh can play and work with his team like he did today, we are in for some better times as Wizards fans.
Yesterday I speculated that Andrew Kartunen might get to travel to Seattle, I was wrong. You can go to this gallery to see who did not go to Seattle today. Reports were that Conrad and Harrington were the only starters that traveled and that sounds correct based upon who was at practice today.
No Carlos at practice again today.
I will post some impressions of Atlas later today.

Monday, July 7, 2008

US Open Cup KC Wizards VS Seattle

Both and have previews of the Kansas City Wizards at Seattle Sounders US Open Cup game on Tuesday.

DTB predicts this lineup:

Leathers - Wahl - Hohlbein - Marquess
Myers - Zavagnin - McMahen - EspinozaPore - Trujillo

Reserves: Kraus, Pizarro, McKenzie, Watson, Pardo

That sounds pretty accurate. The one change I predict is that I think Kartunen may travel to Seattle as the reserve keeper. In practice today he seemed to get a little extra work with Kevin Hartman coaching and training him well after the rest of the team was done.

Coach Onalfo mentioned the roster for the Open Cup will probably be the same for the friendly with Atlas. My guess is that it will be close, some probable first team players will probably start and then leave the game quickly. Hopefully Wolff will be allowed to play.

FC Atlas AC practice

Atlas was practicing at the Kansas City Wizards training facility today. It was of great interest to me to watch another team besides the Wizards practice so I could compare what they did. They are running two a days right now practicing in the morning and the evening so I will miss most of their evening practices.
It appeared to me (I could be completly wrong) that they broke into first and second teams for running drills. I thought the one group of players were a little more talented based upon their crosses and shots. That concept was reinforced when I asked an Atlas staffer (through a translator) who the best players were. Everyone he pointed out was on one end shooting/running crossing drills. Everyone else was on the other end running crossing drills as well. The coach(s) on the second team end did seem to be more vocal and encouraging than the first team side (or the Wizards coaches).

I believe this is their number one keeper. (Please let me know if I am wrong)

And this is their backup goalie (again, let me know if I am wrong).

After awhile the goalies switched ends but the field players stayed where they were and shot on the new goalie. Both goalies looked to be pretty good. They were especially good on anyhing close to them and anything in the air near the goal mouth. They both looked a little vulnerable to the low shots. At one point both Atlas goalies watched Hartman and Kartunen practicing and gave a very approving look. I thought this was interesting as after the Wizards keepers finished, they sat and watched Atlas practice for awhile as well.

Josh Wolff in camp

Josh was at practice today and scrimmaged with the first team players.

He jogged some more after the team was done.

I could never see what (if any) number he had on. I will try again tomorrow.

Coach said there is a chance he will be allowed to play on Friday in the friendly with Atlas.