Friday, July 25, 2008

Kansas City Wizards practice 07/25/2008

Not much from practice today. No trades, no new players, nobody missing that shouldn't be...

Extra help for defending set pieces...

But even they got tired after awhile...

Spanish radio interviews Kurt and Roger...

Aaron Hohlbein was the player at the press conference today.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kansas City Wizards practice 07/24/2008

The team practiced at CAB today. After warmups the team ran through a few drills.

The team did some of the normal small keep away games then they ran what I will call a half court practice. The first team defended and the reserves attacked. Coach was instructing them on certain game situations to expect in the next game.

They then scrimmaged for awhile. Mostly what I would assume are starters vs reserves but some players were traded up a little bit. Coaches made some bogus calls to give restarts from various positions. They even gave a PK to Lopez (there was a handball in the box and Claudio did score). Arnaud scored on a laser to the top right corner and then there was this sequence for the 2nd team.

Lining up the wall.

Striking the ball...
Just deflects off of the wall...
Kevin quickly reacts to the deflection...

But can not quite keep it from crossing the line.

Nelson Pizarro focuses on the ball. I would like to see him make the bench someday soon.

The rest of the practice photos can be found Wizards practice 07-24-2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Kansas City Wizards 3 - 0 New York Red Bulls Reserve game

The Wizards Reserves beat the New York Red Bulls Reserves 3 – 0 on Tuesday morning. Kansas City controlled the ball through most of the first half but it remained scoreless until after the break.

Marinelli was one of the starters and played the first half. Some observers were very impressed with his play. I was a little less impressed but I did think he played well. He had a rocket that went off the post late in the first half. It solidly rung the pipe.

Josh opened the scoring in the 58th minute. Wolff was freed behind the defense by a well played pass from Ryan Pore. Josh had little trouble beating the keeper 1 on 1.

The second goal was an Own Goal scored by John Gilkerson. Nelson Pizarro and Kerry Zavagnin played the give and go to give Nelson space down the wing.
Nelson crosses the top of the box.

Gilkerson dove to beat Kraus to the ball...

and slid it past his keeper. Thank you.

The third goal was a hard shot into the upper corner that Patterson had little chance on.

The game did have a few moments of emotion. Some players gather to discuss a call?

Overall, a good showing by he KC reserves. My player of the game was Pizzaro, with runner-up to Wolff and Zavagnin.
You can get the rest of the detail at the Hillcrest Road reserve game recap.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Kansas City Wizards 3 - 3 Columbus Crew

I have been extremely busy since game time so this is the first chance I have had to give my take. Been to birthday parties, rehearsals, traveled to every corner of the city, took non-soccer related photos, dealt with WAY too many rude people and worked on expanding some horizons. Sorry this is so late…

The Wizards do not seem capable of playing an entire 90 minutes. I think it is approximately 75 minutes for most games. They just seem to fall apart for 15 minutes or so. Sometimes it is the beginning of the game like the 6/14 embarrassment or the very end of the game like July 4th in Dallas. To be fair that was a great goal by a desperate team.

On Thursday it was a 12 minute 3 goal span that took the Wizards from riding the 2 goal advantage to being down by 1.

The first goal scored by Scheletto just should not have happened that way. It was a nice shot and may have been a hard save for Kevin, but give him a chance and don’t let him shoot while Kevin is setting the wall. Who the heck was supposed to be that annoying stand over the ball and tick off the other team guy? If I was on the field it would be me because I annoy a lot of people. If Kerry Zavagnin had been there I am sure he would not have let them take that cheap shot. Kurt, if you are going to play in Kerry’s place, then you need to play as smart as he would.

The second yellow goal was another mental lapse. Scheletto throws in to Rogers who gives it back while Jack Jewsbury watches from several steps away. Jack can not close in fast enough to prevent the pass to Moreno who manages to get it past the scrambling Kevin Hartman. Michael Harrington try a slide tackle on Moreno and may have actually touched the ball into the net himself but I won’t point that out to the official scorers (I am probably wrong anyway). Conrad and Hohlbein were of no help either.

The Crew’s third goal, I will lay the guilt for that one square on Jimmy’s shoulders. He knows better, he is a better player than that. Marshall made a nice header that Kevin had little to no chance of saving.

3 goals and 12 minutes; that is all it took to go from the high to the low.

Now, on the bright side, the team did not give up after that. They settled down and while Hartman still need to make a few really good saves, overall they tended to get the better run of play.

The re-emergence of the Wolff.
Man it was good to see a forward that actually knew how to run to space. We haven’t really had that since, oh, I don’t know. Since Josh Wolff? I know if Eddie had that ability with his speed he could have scored twice as much. Sealy did not seem to have that ability on a regular basis.

The guys fans love to hate (at least on BigSoccer)
Kurt Morsink – Great game, well at least a very good game. Kurt played a good defensive mid and that allowed him to contribute to the attack. He had some part to play in each goal KC scored.

Roger “the Red” Espinoza – He didn’t hit anybody. Instead he hurt them with his play and scored a beautiful goal from his slashing run. Best game yet.

Ryan Pore – Sorry Ryan. I don’t think you played badly, but you didn’t help your case like Kurt and Roger

Fan Favorites
Jimmy Conrad - Could have been a little better this time out Jimmy. Still loved…

Kevin Hartman – A little unusual when you can tell a goalie good game after giving up 3 goals, but Kevin is not your usual keeper. I will not blame him for goals (maybe a little on the first one).

Claudio Lopez – Looked good most of the time, I think I still like you in midfield.

Davy Arnaud – Good showing by Davy, prefer him in right mid feeding Josh.

Kerry Zavagnin – Always plays smart, wish we could see more of you.

Jack Jewsbury – Good game offensively but not so great defensively. Should have 3 assists.

Everyone else
Michael Harrington – Not Michael’s best game. Needed a sub at end of game but did not get one.

Aaron Hohlbein – Nothing stands out which is good. Part of the defense so at least a little guilty by association.

Lance Watson – Lance was the surprise move by coach to catch the Crew off guard,

Sascha Victorine – Been so close to scoring the last couple of games and came so close but Frankie beat him to it.

Josh Wolff – Good showing, keeps up the tradition of scoring in the first appearance for Wizards forwards (Wizardscharter approved).