Saturday, March 27, 2010

Kansas City Wizards vs DC (Handball) United

Tonight is the home and season opener for the Kansas City Wizards at 7:30 at CAB.

LOTS of changes since last year.

This guy (Coach Onalfo) is no longer here. He used to be a player and coach with the bad guys in black from DC (Handball United) before he coached in Kansas City for the good guys. After some improvement, some motivation, some classic quotes ("punk", "league parity" and "exciting,attacking soccer") and weeks without scoring he was let go. He ends up back in DC with the bad guys coaching them.


Replacing him is former Wizards player, former interim coach and current Technical Director Peter Vermes. The interim label was removed in the off season. Now he gets to shop, cook and serve the whole meal. No whine will be served though...


"EL Gato", the league leader in a bunch of MLS goalie records, former LA Galaxy and now former Wizards keeper Kevin Hartman was not re-signed due to being unable to reach an agreement with the Wizards. He is now in Dallas "pushing" a keeper to be better. Would be surprised if he does not start a few games...


He has been replaced by the "White Puma" Jimmy Nielsen. Fast reactions, now standard blonde hair and some of the fans will not notice the difference


A bunch of other new guys from all over the world. Some of them will play tonight, some will not...


Check out The Full 90 , Downthebyline or our podcast for slightly more serious preview of the game...

Podcast 3/26/2010

Mike and I did another podcast last night. We discuss the CBA, the new Wizards Captain, new players and the DC game.

Still having issues with the host but if you download it from there it should work fine.

Wizards practice photos - 3/26/2010

Watch the slideshow to see all the new guys and Kei...

Peter Vermes interview - 3/26/2010

Talked with Coach Vermes after practice about making Arnaud the captain, leaders on the team, international slots and the upcoming game with DC...

Davy Arnaud interview - 3/26/2010

We talked with Davy Arnaud after practice. He discusses being named Captain, the upcoming game with DC and a few other things...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sunil Chhetri interview - 3/26/2010

Talked briefly with Sunil after practice...


Sunil Chhetri at practice...

Wizards practice photos - 3/25/2010

Just wanted to post a few extra shots from practice.

Zoltan freezes the ball with his stare?


While it may look like Nielsen missed the save, it actually has already been deflected down...


I do not know this keepers name yet but I liked the shot...


Alex Horwath making a save...


Kronberg pouncing on a loose ball during a scrimmage (if a guy this tall can pounce?)


Pable Escobar celebrating a goal...

Chhetri, Kamara and Kostrov playing after practice

After practice on Thursday, Sunil Chhetri, Kei Kamara and Igor Kostrov played around juggling and doing tricks. Graham Zusi and Mauro Fuzetti were doing some as well but I did not get any real good video of them. Sorry guys.

A short video compiled from a few clips...


Sunil Chhetri up close with the MLS ball...


Chhetri trapping and holding the ball...


Kei Kamara watching Igor Kostrov balance the ball...


Kostrov lost the ball but looks like he is having fun...


Kei balancing and...


Kissing the ball...


Mauro Fuzetti got in on the balancing act as well...


A few more shots here...

Jimmy Nielsen interview - 3/25/2010

A quick chat with Jimmy Nielsen...


Jimmy at practice on Thursday...

Wizards Stadium webcam

Go check out the web cam for the Wizards stadium construction.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sunil Chhetri at practice

Sunil Chhetri was at the Kansas City Wizards practice this morning. It is my understanding that Chhetri and the Wizards have agreed to terms pending medical and P1 Visa approvals. I think it may be announced tonight via teleconference in his homeland. I will try to interview him at tomorrow's practice.

Sunil as a Wizard...


Chhetri taking a shot in practice...


Sunil and a few other Wizards were juggling and doing some fantastic tricks after practice. I will post some more photos and video clips later...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wizards practice photos - 3/23/2010

I just wanted to share a few shots from practice on Tuesday. During a scrimmage, Coach Vermes took the opportunity to coach the team about a set piece situation. Kei took the opportunity to dance to his own music. I hope the Wizards video guy caught that...


Hirsig blocked a shot by falling/sitting on it...


Watch out for flying Conradicals...


Nielsen blocking a shot...


Stretch Jimmy, Stretch...


Another Nielsen block...


Nielsen diving for the shot...


Horwath in the position goalies do not like, looking back at the ball...


Nielsen pushing Zoltan out of the way...

Indy Car driver Raphael Matos visits Wizards practice

Indy Car driver Raphael "Rafa" Matos was at the Wizards practice yesterday. The Indy car race at Kansas Speedway is still a few weeks away but the Brazilian driver was brought out by Time Warner for some promo work.

Time Warner is sponsoring the Wizards first home game and the Indy car race is "The Road Runner Turbo Indy 300" (obviously sponsored by Time Warner). So a little cross promotion opportunity.

Matos in his new Wizards jersey and his HP primary sponsor hat...


Matos talking to the ever personable Jimmy Conrad...


Matos and Wizards keeper Jimmy Nielsen traded a few words about Brazil facing Denmark in the World Cup and it coming down to this penalty kick. Rafa Matos made a good shot to the post but Nielsen was able to get a hand on it...


Round two found Matos going down the middle with Nielsen guessing to the side but the shot was still blocked by the Wizards keeper's trailing foot. Brazil did not win this round...


Indy Car driver Raphael Matos and Wizards equipment manager Mike Flaherty...

Wizards media day - 3/23/2010

2010 media day for the Wizards was yesterday. That is why I psoted so many interviews earlier today. Not a lot of news, just a nice sunny day...

Jimmy Conrad, handsome as ever and sporting shades...


Sasha Victorine is now a suit, and wearing shades as well...


Andrew Steinberg, shades as well...


Teal Bunbury and Chance Myers. Think Chance is telling the rookie to bring his shades next time?

Sunil Chhetri in Kansas City (official)

As reported last night, Sunil Chhetri is officially on the ground in Kansas City today. Wizards President and twitter informer Robb Heineman let the fans know this afternoon. It remains to be seen how quickly he will be officially signed and what roster move the Wizards will make to create room. Will they waive a player outright or is there a trade in the works?

Chance Myers interview - 3/23/2010

Teal and Chance waiting to be interviewed..


Chance interview...

Coach Zambrano interview - 3/23/2010

Coach Zambrano...


Zambrano interview during media day...

Eric Kronberg interview - 2/23/2010

Kronberg making save while tangled with Auvray and Leathers...


Kronberg interview...

Craig Rocastle interview - 3/23/2010

Chatted with Craig Rocastle at media day...

Zoltan interview - 3/23/2010

Talked with Zoltan at media day yesterday...


Zoltan fighting through the defense at practice...

Stephane Auvray interview - 3/23/2010

Auvray at practice yesterday...


Quick interview with Auvray...

Sasha Victorine interview - 2/23/2010

Talked briefly with former Wizard and new color analyst for the Wizards broadcast Sasha Victorine yesterday.

Sasha with the shades...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sunil Chhetri in Kansas City

With all the rumors and speculation that Sunil Chhetri had signed with Kansas City I followed up with some sources today. Sunil is either already in Kansas City or will be soon. He is here to formally try out again but I suspect that they have already agreed to terms and his trial is a formality as long as he is still in shape.

Roster update - 3/23/2010

With the new roster compliance deadline approaching the Wizards have released Michael Kraus. I am told that brings Kansas City's roster into compliance for now.

Good luck Michael...