Friday, October 3, 2008

Kansas City Wizards practice 10-03-2008 and press conference


Lots of little news bits today.

Not sure what the starting lineup will be. Today had Souter at left mid. Yeterday Espinoza was there but Wolff was out and Souter in another starter spot. When I asked if he was starting he said he hoped so but was not sure yet.

Wolff was out because he is sick. He had some intestinal issue and was in a hospital 48hrs ago with an IV in him. He is still on a fluid only diet as of this afternoon.

In the press conference, Coach Onalfo said Josh will still play if he continues to improve through Sunday.

Lopez is out, he hurt an ankle in the last game and has not practiced much if at all.

He did not mention Davy but he was practicing today with the "starter" team. He looked ot me like he was limping when not running, but running okay.

The first press conference for the new beat reporter. He was not quite current on the Wizards but he did ask some professional reporter questions.

Jack Jewsbury was the player at the press conference.

Jimmy Conrad was hanging out watching.

The big news and I do not know the right way to report it. The short version is that Coach and Carlos Marinelli got into a disagreement in practice and Carlos left early. I do not think he even stayed around long enough for the team meeting but I could be wrong. He hung around in the parking lot talking animatedly on his phone for awhile.

None of us saw what started it but we all looked over when we heard the yelling. It went on for a minute or so. A couple players tried to hold back/guide away Carlos but he got in a few "words". I am really bummed my Spanish is not very good anymore.

And no, I did not take any photos of it. I decided at that time not to. Not sure if that was the right choice.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Doubleheader and double good cause...

This Sunday, the Kansas City Wizards take on the Chicago Fire out at Community America Ballpark at 2 PM. The Wizards are fighting for a playoff spot so this is basically a playoff game for them. Hopefully Blanco sleeps through this game as well...

As if that was not a good enough reason to go, there is another game afterwards that will likely be just as entertaining. The Wizards and Fire will play a reserve match as well. This game is critical for the Wizards reserve team since they are right at the top their standings and have a chance to compete for overall first. They will leave open some food stands and let people watch the second game for free. I have been at most of the reserve matches this year and they have been entertaining and hard fought matches.

Possible more important, at least on the people side of the world. Davy Arnaud and Lance Watson both come from Nederland Texas. They were both coached by a man named Brian Arendale. It is my understanding that this man has not only been a good coach, but he has given of himself to the soccer community throughout his life.

Recently Hurricane Ike slammed into Texas. The storm surge flattened Arendale's house. He lost everything.

This weekend, the Wizards will have a 50/50 raffle to raise money to help out Coach Arendale. Please help out of you can. Not only will you be helping out a hurricane victim, but you will be helping out the soccer community and the man helped forge Davy and Lance into great players for the Wizards.

I talked to both Davy and Lance about Coach Arendale. Here is some quick clips of what they had to say:


And the crowd goes wild!!!

Josh Wolff gets goal of the week and Down The Byline is the Best Sports Blog in Kansas City as awarded by The Pitch.
Congrats Josh, it was a great goal.

Congrats Mike, I am glad The Pitch caught on to what we all knew already. It looks like you might know how to play soccer as well as write about it...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Peter Vermes interview 09 29 2008

I managed to pin down Peter Vermes on Monday. Okay, Peter allowed me to pin him down.
When I last talked to him August interview with Peter Vermes part 1 and August interview with Peter Vermes part 2, he had just been offered "THE LA JOB" and was in the process of saying no thanks. I did not realize until this interview that "THE LA JOB" was not really just a LA job. It was to run soccer operations for Anschutz Entertainment and that would include overseas soccer as well. That would be a hard job to turn down.

According to some published reports he was also offered the Head Coach job for the Sounders but turned it down as well. Now some people in Seattle seem think the job was not offered. Listen to what Peter has to say, he declines to answer directly but you can listen and judge for yourself.

In the first part we mostly talk about the jobs and why he turned them down.

In this part of the interview, we talk about the plans for the team, the draft and the juniors.

Peter Vermes watching his reserve team...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

KC Wizards Reserves 3 -0 William Jewell 09/29/08

William Jewell came down to the practice facility to scrimmage with the reserve team on Monday. An early goal by Ivan Trujillo (not pictured) had the Wizards up 1-0 at the half. While Jewell did not generate much offense, they defended very well.

Jewell keeper deflects ball over the goal...

Another Wizard's opportunity defended by Jewell...

In the second half, Michael Kraus came on. As usual he played hard and was rewarded with a nice goal of a well played header.

Kraus heading over Jewell goalie...

Keeper could only watch it go by...

Ryan Pore scored the third goal. He controlled the ball at the corner of the box and launched a beautiful shot...

...just out of reach of the Jewell goalie.

The Wizards attack did sputter a bit late in the game. That could be because they played Andrew Kartunen at forward. In case you do not know, he is the 4th goalie in camp but has not been able to play much because he injured his wrist. To be fair, Andrew did get on the end of a couple of good chances.
The rest of the photos can be seen at KC Wizards reserves 3 - 0 William Jewell gallery.

Vote Wolff

Go vote for the goal of the week. Josh Wolff has a narrow lead over Toronto FC's Marvell Wynn. While Wynn's goal is good, it is not in the same league as Wolff's.

Kevin "Soapy" Souter interview

Kevin Souter continues the soccer version of Cinderella. He comes from Scotland to play for a small college in Iowa. Finds his way to the open tryouts and impresses the coaches. Gets signed to a contract, does well on the reserve team but get hurt. Works his way back from injury, again shows well in reserve team matches. Eventually makes his way into the 18 man roster on game day in San Jose and Houston. He is again on the roster when LA comes into town. Kevin comes in late in the game and becomes famous for stealing the ball from his idol (some guy named Beckham).

After that game I talked to him and told I would have to do another interview when he got his first goal in the next week or so. As promised, I stopped him last Friday after practice to talk again. He is begining to become a regular feature.

Kevin talks about his goal...

Kevin trying to talk Beckham out of his shirt...


Souter playing in the reserve game against William Jewell...

I had never heard about Soapy Soutar or the Oor Wullie cartoon so I had to go look it up. I could not find an image of Soapy so please leave a comment with a link if you know where I can find it.

New Wizards beat writer

If I understand corectly, Randy Covitz will be the new Wizards beat writer for the Kansas City Star. He was out at the Reserve game yesterday.

Coach Onalfo and Wizards PR Guru Dave Borchardt talking with Randy after the game.

Nelson Pizzaro interview

I have a backlog of stuff to get posted, so I am starting with this interview with Pizzaro. Sorry it took so long Nelson.

When they first brought him in from the open tryouts I was not very impressed. He has worked and worked on his skills. After practices there is normally a "game" of some sort. They play crossing, one-touch and passing type games. I know it is fun for them but it also helps them improve skills. Nelson is always one of those players. He has improved many of his weaknesses and solidified some of his strengths. I now think he has been a good addition to the team.

In the interview we start by talking about some of those after practice games and we move on to talk about the adjustmant to MLS, not getting too down by not playing and his nickname.

Nelson Pizzaro staying after practice to take shots out at CAB. He had just finished crossing a couple dozen balls into Kevin Souter.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Interview Poll #8

Mike of Down The Byline and I are continuing the weekly interview poll. We will setup interviews with a player of your choice (if possible). This week we have selected players that we have not interviewed yet.

Cast your vote and leave a comment with a question you would like to ask the player. We will of course ask additional questions as time permits. 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. Be reasonably polite.

Michael Harrington - Second year player is a constant in the lineup

Eric Kronberg - Backup goalie has performed well when called upon

Roger Espinoza - Has had some rough spots but finding a home in starting lineup

Chance Myers - Number 1 draft pick has shown some promise