Top Stories

My take on the Kansas City Wizards


For those of you who have yet to see it, My Friday story for this week was on the Kansas City Wizards and the turnaround they have enjoyed under new coach Curt Onalfo. As you may know from reading SBI, I have pegged the Wizards to be this season’s surprise team and after talking to Onalfo and Jimmy Conrad, and seeing them play, I’m even more confident about that call.

The story provides some insight into that period of time that saw the Wizards struggle (2005-2006), as well as the changes under Onalfo. There are also some very interesting quotes from Conrad that could be seen as pointed comments directed at certain former teammates. I won’t say who but I think it isn’t tough to figure it out.

There is plenty about the Wizards that I wasn’t able to get into the story. I will share the extra stuff on Monday on SBI.

Read the story and let me know what you think. Share your thoughts on the story and the Wizards below.


  1. Plato Hemlock:

    Thank you for at least partially getting it. I thought I was pretty clear. There is a reason I specifically said to compare “by way of the lineup” and then listed the specific lineup I was comparing. I could have said on paper which is more or less the same thing, but in this case I was comparing just the lineup that they used in their first game. I also went out of my to not say that San Jose was a better team and that when involving the rest of the roster K.C. had better depth. I also said K.C. had a better front line. I did not even take into consideration team chemistry. Of course K.C. has a big edge when S.J. is a new team.

    The whole point of the post was to look at the specific lineup that K.C. used in their first game and to question how strong it could be as far as finishing as the fifth best team in MLS if their goalkeeper, defense, and midfield did not look any better than S.J.’s on paper. Of course there are other things to consider and I did not say S.J. was better so why act like I did?


    Why are you even posting? You don’t want to address faceless people on the Internet? How stupid is that? Posting is nothing but addressing faceless people on the Internet!

    You didn’t address it because you can’t make a case for the players mentioned on K.C. being any better than those compared on S.J. By the way K.C. beat D.C. United last year to open the season as well. In that game they beat them in D.C. 4-2. How did that work out for them as far as the rest of the season was concerned?

  2. Aristotle,

    To be fair I think you meant to add “on paper”. To be truly good a team has to be more than the sum of its parts. The best way to do that is to train together and develop the intangibles, the team work and team spirit. KC has had time to do that and appears to have bought new players who fit right in.

    So even if you could make an argument that San Jose is ” better on paper”, they are expansion team and based on what I saw of them in the Galaxy game, are still figuring out what it means to be a team.

    Based on what I’ve seen so far, if things stay the same, KC are likely to hand the Quakes their collective rear ends when they meet.

  3. Or its because I could careless about correcting some faceless person on the internet. The Wizards are now 2-0 against 2 very good teams.

  4. Justin and Richard:

    Nice responses. I’ll take that to mean that you can’t. Try looking at the players and not just considering that San Jose is an expansion team.

  5. Ives:

    Explain to me how Kansas City is so good by way of their lineup. Here’s their lineup from the first game.

    Kevin Hartman

    Tyson Wahl

    Jimmy Conrad

    Michael Harrington

    Jack Jewsbury

    Jonathan Leathers

    Carlos Marinelli(Kurt Morsink 74)

    Kerry Zavagnin

    Ryan Pore

    Ivan Trujillo (Scott Sealy 69)

    Claudio Lopez (Eloy Colombano 89).

    I don’t get it. Defense looks like crap. San Jose has a better goalkeeper and defense combo. The midfield doesn’t look much better with superstars like Carlos Marinelli, Jack Jewsbury, Kerry Zavagnin, and Ryan Pore. You know what? I think San Jose has a better midfield.

    I know of Marinelli’s pedigree but does anyone think he is ever going to start playing the way he was supposed to play? Even if he does the midfield is still weak.

    Trujillo is nothing impressive.

    Sorry, but I just can’t see it. The only place this team is better than San Jose

    is in their front line and the bench. #5?

  6. DCM, I’m glad YOU got what I was saying. Because there are some people around who either don’t get it or think I’m dissing KC:

    The article about KC is real – Ives wrote it.

    FCKC is a name I made up riffing on the idea that KC might be rebranded, and that more clubs are going to “Euro” sounding names.

    FCKC – or FC KC – could be such a possible name.

    Except when you look at it… you can’t help but think of a certain obscenity that, like FCKC, begins with F, but ends with K.

    Personally, I think the Wizards is a poor name. How many other teams have multiple names out there – RBNY, Red Bull, Red Bulls, MetroStars, whatever… Make ’em all FC Wherever (NO! That is not an actual CITY!) and let Garber sort them out.

  7. Why are some people bashing our fans? I live in KC and I have to say, we may not have a lot of fans, but we are loud and proud. Ives, great piece on my boys in blue. As a fellow journalist, I thought your details and storytelling were great. Go Wiz!

  8. This team needs to be relocated 250 miles east to St. Louis. There were empty seats everywhere at their game last week and the place only seats 10k. Time for them to pack their bags. Its a waste having a francise in a small market that doesnt have any fans.

  9. Surely you’re kidding about the FCKC article question.

    If not, you might want to re-read Modibo’s posting again. Especially where he states that he is rebranding the team regardless of what OnGoal, the ownership group thinks, thinks about it.

    Not saying I like the idea of FCKC, its just what Modibo came up with for a name for the KC squad rather than the Wizards.

  10. Ives,

    I have to say, that was a great read (and I’m a RBNY fan.) The way you tell a story along with the details and the “behind the scenes” gossip you get is really what I’m sure a lot of fans like myself enjoy – the “peek behind the curtain” kind of stuff. Fantastic.

    Keep it up!

  11. Uhm Chris, the article in question is Ives’ article for ESPN.

    Posted by: DCM

    Okay then why did he call it the FCKC article? There’s not one mention of anything like that.

  12. Steve,

    You’re right it is odd comparing the Wizards to Liverpool! But just in looking at the early success Bob Gansler had at the Wizards and they faded off in the last two years of his reigns and badly needed fresh ideas and new blood I just think the same was for Liverpool at that time. Houllier did so well in his first four seasons finishing 7th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd by 2002 and not forgetting the treble in 2001 of League, FA and Uefa Cups and a CL quarter final appearence in ’02. 02-03 was going to be the year Liverpool pressed on and took that final step to win the league and it didn’t happen and by the end of the 03-04 season they barely finished 4th. I just saw some parallels between both situations.

  13. “As for the FCKC article (hey I’ll just rebrand them myself, who cares what OnGoal thinks),”

    Posted by: Modibo

    Whate FCKC article?

  14. Never thought I’d see an analogy comparing KC and Liverpool.

    But since you didn’t compare Anfield to ‘Former Minor League Ballpark that looks terrible on TV Park’ I’ll let you get away with it.

  15. Very good piece Ives. I personally think this mirrors the situation that Liverpool were in during the last two seasons of Houllier’s reign up to 2004 and when Benitez took over. Sure Benitez’s time so far has delivered no EPL titles, but if you look at the facts that he had to re-build everything: the playing squad, academy (which is crucial to why Arsenal have done so good and exactly why Benitez needs more time) and reserve team programs. Lets also not forget in three years the Spanish tactician has won one Champions League against all the odds, been to two of those finals in three years while in between won an FA Cup, European Super Cup and Community Shield (ok the last two trophies don’t mean much but still silverware).

  16. Yeah folks, the retro logo tribute was unintentional. I yanked the logo from my file, which was the 2007 file. Luckily my 2008 MLS logos just came in the mail today. Not sure if that was a product of me having the old LA Galaxy logo up last night or now.

    Apologies for anybody who was scared by the old logo.

  17. Ives you’re such an optimist in your predictions – lots of goals forecast. I like that. Like last night – 6 goals in the 3 halves I watched of MLS play. And of course Chicago pasted the Revs which makes my heart all warm and fuzzy.

    As for the FCKC article (hey I’ll just rebrand them myself, who cares what OnGoal thinks), it sounds like Conrad is digging at EJ. But is there anyone else he’s pointing fingers at? “Stars” and FCKC just don’t seem to belong in the same sentence in my memory (Lopez could change that).

  18. It took 4 comments until someone mentioned relocation. Not gonna happen.

    May they keep winning and may the “Relocate the Wizards!” contingent keep whining.

  19. “Thought maybe they were moving or re-branding”

    Moving – NEVER

    re-branding – hope so in 2010 (enough with the text art)

    Love the (now) retro logo tribute.

    C’Mon Wizards!

  20. Gahh!! Ives you can not put that huge logo up like that. Scared me. Not to mention, you got my hopes up. Thought maybe they were moving or re-branding. Never again Ives. Please.

  21. Great article Ives! I’m happy to hear things in KC are improving for the better. Of course, as a Rapids fan I hope you are wrong with Saturday’s Wizards vs. Rapids prediction. 🙂 Go Los Rapidos!!!

  22. Could one of those players that Conrad was vaguely referring to have the initials “Eddie Johnson”? EJ started good last season but faded. Then he became a little petulant. He ended up being one of those guys who always wanted the ball played to his feet, which goes against tactics when you consider his speed. I was one that wasn’t disappointed to see him go but was worried who’d replace him. So far I’d say it was a win for KC.


Leave a Comment