Thursday, August 21, 2008

Kansas City Wizards practice 08-21-2008

The normal practice and press conference was held today. The Wizards ran throught some standard drills and scrimmages. Nothing really stood out. A couple players started to get testy with each other but quickly calmed down.

Afterwards I had a chance to talk to Jack for a couple minutes. I will try to post the audio a little later today.

At the press conference, coach said everyone was healthy enough to play. He said Harrington and Arnaud were a little dinged up and would be gametime decisions.

The player at the press conference today was Claudio Lopez. He tends to shy away from the press normally but when he does open up he is very engaging.

Claudio and his interpreter Arcelio (?)

Robert Whitman asked him about Argentina at the Olympics and Claudio visibly brightened. He became much more animated and spoke english on his own.

More shots can be seen at 8-21-2008 practice and press conference gallery

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Kerry Zavagnin Interview

Second installment of the interview series sponsored by Down The Byline and BackPost.Net.

The questions are a mix of fan suggestions and our own questions.

Best memory on a soccer field?
Greatest memory in Kansas City?
What is your best attribute as a player?

Biggest rivals?
Did you plan on announcing retirement at the press conference?
What would you do as the coach?

Photo of Kerry at the press conference when he admitted that this would be his last season.

Kansas City Wizards practice 08-20-2008

Went out to practice today. I did not see anyone that did not participate so it looks like everyone was healthy enough. They ran through some normal drills, goalie drills and then scrimmages. Orange, green and gray teams seemed pretty evenly split with players so no clues as to who will be in the next starting lineup. Decent play all around but special mention goes to Ryan Pore, he score several goals in the scrimmages. I know this is not a picture of Ryan but I did not get a good shot of him today.

One interesting moment involved Kevin Hartman. Davy Arnaud gets off a low hard shot that Kevin managed to block, but it was how he blocked it...

Click on the photo below for a larger view but I think you may be able to tell by his expression how he blocked that shot. There was a very loud exclamation that pretty well cracked up all the observers. I don't think I ever heard it phrased that way...

Kevin did leave goal at that point and took a little walk around to feel better. I think he will be okay.

After practice I had a chance to interview Kerry. I will have the audio up in little while...

One other note, I did not see any trialists. Peter had said that he was looking at them for next year so maybe they have went home. I wonder if they will be at the African combine next year as well.

Peter Vermes turns down LA job

Bob Luder of the Kansas City Star reports Vermes was offered LA job but turned it down.

When I interviewed Peter the other day, as soon as I wrapped up asking him questions, he told me I missed one. He would not give me a clue what I should have asked either. Perhaps I should have asked about LA...

Oh well, next time...

I think it was a smart move as well. In LA, he would be under pressure to make something happen fast. The ownership in Kansas City are going to give Peter much more time and leeway to build a team and not expect instant results.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Peter Vermes interview part 2

Peter on phone watching his reserve team play...

I asked Peter about the Argentina trip, what lessons he has learned. He had a very interesting answer and talked about some possible future scouting trips.

What about our relationship with Atlas?

A little excerpt in between questions he talked about how great our practice facility is...

I asked Peter about MLS expansion...

There is some more audio that I need to go through. I should post some if it in the next couple days....

Thanks again Peter!!!

Interview Poll #2

Mike of Down The Byline and I are continuing the weekly interview poll.

Here is how it works:

We will setup interviews with a player of your choice (if possible).

We have selected players that you may want to ask a question or two. The selection was based upon their performance in the last game, other newsworthiness and the probability that I can get them to stop for a few minutes to talk. We are including a write-in candidate slot in case you really want someone else. Cast your vote and leave a comment with who.

Go to the poll on the side of this blog and vote for who you want interviewed. You can also vote at Down The Byline and both votes count. One of the few times you can vote more than once.

Leave questions in the comments to this post and at the post on Down The Byline. Let us know if it is a player specific question or a general question to any player. Please be reasonably polite.

Peter Vermes interview part 1

I had a chance to have a conversation/interview with Peter last Friday. Peter was very willing to talk and let me take up 20 minutes of his time. Just before we talked, he had practiced with the team. The starters all did light workouts that morning. The rest of the players broke into teams and played some scrimmages. One team was a little old, Peter, Coaches Onalfo and Kelderman were on one team.

I just started this off with noting that the International Trade window for MLs closed that day.

I asked if there was anything he could tell me about the two trialists that are in camp. He talks a little about them and then some more about bringing in international players to the league.

This is the trialist who played in the reserve game with Rockhurst.

I then asked about the MLS trade window. That led to a couple more questions that I kept in this one clip.

I will post the rest of the interview later today or tonight when I have a chance.

I want to say thanks to Peter for taking time out to talk with me.