The Kansas City Wizards are set to introduce Claudio Lopez as the team’s first designated player today and the high-profile acquisition is just the topping on what has been an excellent off-season for the Wizards, which should be considered a darkhorse title contender despite playing in a loaded Eastern Conference.
What’s so special about the Wizards? Well, KC did lose Eddie Johnson to Fulham during the winter transfer period but KC has added Lopez and Colombian striker Ivan Trujillo to the attack, while also reloading the defense with a draft full of quality back-line prospects. Now it will be up to head coach Curt Onalfo to make it all work, to incorporate Lopez to an attack that struggled at times last year and to turn Carlos Marinelli into the playmaker the team hoped it was getting when it signed him last season.
Are the additions at forward and in the back enough to boost a club that has either missed or barely made the playoffs the past three seasons? It will depend greatly on whether Jimmy Conrad can stay healthy, Lopez can deliver the goals lost when Eddie Johnson left and the rookie class can produce a couple of immediate contributors (with No. 1 overall pick Chance Myers looking like one of them).
What do you think of the Wizards’ moves this offseason? Think they are ready to challenge East powers D.C. and New England? Think they will struggle? Share your thoughts below.