Thursday, November 18, 2010
The new name is a nod to the way European and South American clubs name their teams. Around the world, professional sports teams are known as Sporting Clubs and might have teams competing in several different sports.
Originally Kansas City's Soccer team was known as the Wiz - perhaps the worst EVER name for a sports team. They changed to the Wizards a season later - not much better. They definitely needed a new name and the timing is perfect with a real soccer stadium opening up. I think they went the wrong direction with the new name, however - a mistake many MLS teams have already made. Using Football Club (FC) or Real in the name alienates many Americans who are not used to sports teams being named in this way. In a time that is very important to growing soccer in the US, I think more traditional American name would serve better. Then again maybe no one cares about soccer anyway and never will. Maybe it will grow on me.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
The Kansas City Wizards stayed relevant to the MLS Playoff picture with a thrilling added time victory over the Houston Dynamo Wednesday Night. The final was 4-3. Josh Wolff -the once heralded, but lately nearly invisible forward - headed home the game winner for Kansas City almost 6 minutes into stoppage time. With six games remaining (3 home - 3 Away), the Wizards are still on the outside looking in for the MLS playoffs, but have won four of their last five and seem determined to make the postseason. They are a mere 3 points behind Seattle and San Jose for the last spot.
Suspect defense by the Wizards handed Houston a 2-0 lead at the 34 minute mark before Kei Kamara, the Wizards leading scorer, finally got Kansas City on the board a minute later. Kamara took a beautiful pass from Craig Rocastle and blasted it past Dynamo Keeper Pat Onstad. Kansas City thought they had the ship righted until another defensive lapse two minutes later lead to another Houston goal.
Down 3-1 at halftime, it looked bleak for the Wizards. No MLS team this season had come from 2 goals down to win. Coach Peter Vermes made two offensive minded changes at halftime - and it turned out to help the cause. It took until the 60th minute, but one of Vermes's subs came through on a bizarre play where Houston's Keeper fell down while attempting a goal kick giving Teal Bunbury a 1-on-1 opportunity that he did not miss. With renewed life the Wizards rallied with two more goals in the final thirty minutes culminating with Wolff's header in the box off a great cross from winger Michael Harrington.
There are 3 more home games this year with huge playoff implications. Kansas City needs to get behind this team. Tickets are affordable (under $20) and parking is FREE.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Wizards Rough Up New England Revolution
The Kansas City Wizards took the Revolution behind the woodshed on Saturday night. The final score was the 4-1. Birahim Diop had two goals in the first half and an assist in his first start in the MLS in eight years. Both goals were assisted by Wizards leading scorer Kai Kamara, the second one a dazzling header over a New England Defender in the 27th minute. Diop returned the favor with a beautiful pass that Kamara tapped in the near post in the 65th minute. Four minutes later, long time Wizard and Springfield, Mo native Jack Jewsbury knocked in the Wizards fourth goal to end any hopes of a New England comeback.
This was a huge win for the Wizards who have had their ups and down this season. The victory over New England catapults the Wizards back in the race for the playoffs in the Eastern Division of the MLS. Kamara's eighth goal of the season puts him among the league leaders.
The Wizards are next in action on Saturday the 28th when they travel to Los Angeles to take on Landon Donovan and the Galaxy. The Los Angeles Galaxy not only hold the best record in the MLS, but also have two stars from the United States recent World Cup run in Donovan and striker Edson Buddle. It will be a tough test for the Wizards, and a result will be critical to any future playoff plans they might have.