Peter Unplugged


Kansas City Wizards Technical Director Peter Vermes was a guest on Tuesday’s “From the Pitch with Marcelo Balboa.” He talks in-depth about the new stadium, replacing Eddie Johnson, and of course, the upcoming season — all quality stuff. The two-hour show is available as a podcast on iTunes, with Peter on air for roughly the last 15 minutes.  Below is a full transcript of the interview (questions abbreviated): Continue reading


Claudio Lopez: “Going to be signed”

On this most recent edition of MLS Extra Time, host Greg Lalas says the Argentine is “going to be signed by Kansas City.”  Lalas runs and also writes for, so he would certainly be privy to such information and should understand the journalistic weight of his words.  Lalas and co-host Shep Messing discuss Claudio and the overall value of designated players as the first topic in the show (0:30 mark): On a similar note, Soccer America reminds us that Monday is the MLS deadline for teams to be compliant with the salary cap, as well as with their 18-player and 28-player rosters, and what that means in KC’s pursuit of Claudio.  Full excerpt below:  

  • Teams must be compliant by Monday, meaning deals for strikers such as Claudio Lopez, negotiating with Kansas City, Reinaldo Navia (FC Dallas), and the other Reinaldo (Colorado), would ideally be completed in time to make adjustments to salaries and rosters.  
  • Teams can bargain for additional time to reach compliance, but by Monday’s deadline they must have informed MLS as to how they plan to get their numbers in order. 
  • In the case of the Argentine veteran Lopez, sources are estimating his probable salary as between $750,000 and $1.2 million. That’s quite a spread and at the lower end is a figure Kansas City might be able to manage without using the Designated Player option, since it has a lot of allocation money in hand as its share of the Eddie Johnson transfer. 
  • But Coach Curt Onalfo has been given the green light to use the DP option if he so wishes and thus, money may not be the determining factor. 
  • Still, since a DP counts $400,000 against the cap, it would be nice to know ASAP if that huge chunk is in the mix. Yet it’s not that much more than Johnson’s max-cap hit of last year ($325,000), and the Wizards have already unloaded the six-figure salaries of Nick Garcia ($131,250) and Jose Burciaga($100,000), so KC appears to be in good stead.”

Radio Deal Announced

Just received the following press release:

(February 27, 2008) – The Kansas City Wizards and Reyes Media Group have reached an agreement to broadcast each Kansas City Wizards match of 2008 live on the radio in both English and Spanish. La Playa 1480 AM will be the English-language radio home of the Wizards and La Gran D 1340 the Spanish-language radio home. For the first time in team history, every Kansas City Wizards match will be broadcast live on the radio in English and Spanish. Continue reading

Josh Wolff: 1860 Munich (UPDATED)

While today demarks the exact half-way point of Kansas City Wizards preseason — 4 1/2 weeks down, 4 1/2 to go — former Wizard Josh Wolff is in a mid-week ‘game of the year’ for TSV 1860 Munich today.  The Lions face rival and perennial powerhouse Bayern Munich at 1:30, shown live on Setanta Sports, in the quarterfinals of the German Cup.  Bayern sits in first place in the Bundesliga, while 1860 are four points off promotion in the Bundesliga 2.  Already, one second division side has reached the semifinals, as yesterday Carl Zeiss Jenna defeated Stuttgart on penalties.  Continue reading

Tryouts Wrap-Up

Better late than never, right?  Technical difficulties kept me from getting these up until now, but hopefully it’s worth the wait. 

  • A 4-minute collection of Day 2 participants and their makes and misses:  
  • A 2-minute interview with Wizards Technical Director Peter Vermes on both the tryouts and Claudio Lopez:   
  • A 2-minute video of Kevin Souter and his tryout team:  

Monday Practice Report (Updated)

  • After warming up with 5v5 with two small-sided goals on each end, the team broke into an intra-squad scrimmage for the remainder of the training session, starters versus reserves. The starters’ lineup, playing in a 3-5-2 formation:  Victorine and Pore up top, Marinelli at attacking mid, Harrington at left mid, Myers at right mid, Morsink and Zavagnin in the holding mid positions, Wahl at left back, Conrad in central defense, Jewsbury at right back, and Hartman in goal.  At halftime, Watson took Myers’ spot at right wing; Myers then played left wing for the reserves who were playing in a traditional 4-4-2.  The scrimmage ended scoreless, with Victorine hitting the post on a one-timer and Pore missing wide on a breakaway.  Scott Sealy and Davy Arnaud did not practice.  Myers, Leathers, Jeff Miles (practice player), Watson, and Victorine stuck around afterwards to practice finishing on the three keepers (Pardo, Kronberg, and Hartman).  
  • Afterwards I talked with Chance about the imminent release of the US U-23 Olympic qualifying roster.  He said he expected to hear last night about whether or not he made it, and that he was both excited and anxious about the prospect.

“When I made the first camp, I knew I had an opportunity to take the next step at a higher level…I thought I had a good camp.  I was very satisfied with my performance there.  All of the guys are incredibly good, so there’s a lot of depth all the way around.  The competition for spots is what you would expect for a team of that caliber.”

The U.S. plays their first game March 11th against Cuba in Tampa, Florida.  Chance will miss the Wizards’ trip to Argentina should he be selected for the squad.
UPDATEChance was not chosen to the 24-player roster for the U-23 camp.  Coach Peter Nowak has until 48 hours prior to the first game to declare his 20-player roster for the competition and is not limited to those players he has had in camp. 

Drum Roll Please…(UPDATED)


Here are the 60 players invited back for day 2 of open tryouts:

Gerardo Acosta Guzman
Vlad Baicu
Carlos Molina
Florian Oberrisser
Aderson Dias Martins Neto
Dorian Caballero
Ousmane Camara
Brendan Hanaphy
Daniel Jiregna
Arman Osooli
Samir Nuhanovic
Cody Reinberg
Carlos Loera
Daniel Bustos
Arturo Rodriguez
James Katajwa
Jason Pelletier
Jullian Ramirez
Armando Ruiz
Derek Appiah
Ebo Stephens
Rodolfo Lucas
Victor Valle
Jose Vargas
Ricardo Martinez
Gabriel Yankey Jr.
Paulo Walters
Joshua Wrolstad
Hakop Avesyan
Chris Duncan
Nelson Pizarro
Lee Pricer
Matthew Hoff
Jose Galant
Seth Hildebrant
Bradley Walsh
Abbas Said Sheikh Mohamed
Ousmane Sampil
Jason Belisle
Jose Esparza
Kalev Saarna
Brian Velasquez
Tarek Khalidi
Travis Ogogor
Youssouf Kante
Nnache Amah
Drame Elisabeth
John Marcus Rivera
Adam Al-Habashi
Donald Hickey
Andrew Kurtz
Chris Reusch
Matt Stufflebeam
Veljko Misic
Alan Solis
Mataho Huma
Jorge Flores
Kevin Souter
Wayne Francis
David Blaise

Good luck, gentlemen.  I’ll be out there tomorrow, hopefully filming some of the action and interviewing individuals of interest.  If there’s a player you’d like to see or hear more about, please comment below and I will do my best to oblige with footage.

UPDATE: Added profiles for a few of these guys.  Check out Kevin Souter (Graceland), Jason Belisle (Baker), Matthew Hoff (Harvard), Youssouf Kante (Abroad), and Veljko Misic (Juggling Artist) for more info.