Column on Coach (Updated)

Kansas City Wizards Coach Curt Onalfo

Tremendous read today from ESPN.com’s Kristian Dyer: Wizards’ Onalfo a true survivor.

“He is the same person that he was before all this, which is to say that he is a terrific person,” said Arena. “He’s a fighter, on and off the field. He always was, and he still is.”

UPDATED: Posted some video footage below of Curt following the season opening victory against his former team, DC United.  Curt shares the moment with fans, his family, and the local media.  

 

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KC ends road trip with draw (KC Star, Page C6)

By JASON FRANCHUK
The Kansas City Star
08 Jun 2008

Unable to score, the Wizards won’t bother to nitpick. At least Real Salt Lake also didn’t find the net, as the teams battled to a 90-minute 0-0 draw Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Finishing a six-game Major League Soccer road trip, the Wizards,…read more…

News and Notes

Not much to report on ahead of tomorrow’s fixture at RSL, but here’s what I can offer:

The Wizards are affiliated with the MLS’s Kansas City Wizards and serve as a farm system of sorts for the professional club. “Our older teams get the opportunity to scrimmage against the pro-club throughout the year,” Darling said. “It gives the kids the opportunity to show what they can do against professional competition which can open the door to a career in soccer.”

  • Wizards’ 2008 4th round supplemental draft pick Andrew Kartunen has been added to the team’s roster on kcwizards.com.  He was previously regarded as a league pool goalkeeper.
  • On the eve of Euro 2008, Scotland’s Glasgow Evening Times has a Where Are They Now for the 1992 squad, among which former Wizard Richard Gough is featured.
  • Former Wizard Edson Elcock, now with USL-1’s Puerto Rico Islanders, will be on FSC tonight at 7 pm as they take on the Atlanta Silverbacks.  Edson was selected in the third round of the 2007 MLS SuperDraft but was waived following his rookie season.
  • Despite being a rookie, the Wizards 2008 US Open Cup campaign won’t be Roger Espinoza’s first.  While playing at Yavapai Community College in Prescott, Arizona, he participated in the 2006 tourney with the Arizona Sahuaros who qualified again this year.

Finally, a couple non-Wizards but KC-centric soccer stories:

So, here’s what I’ve been thinking: I need a soccer team. A football club. Whatever you call it. You can teach me that stuff later. For a while I thought about becoming a fan of Arsenal because of Nick Hornby, but I never really followed up on that. I’m more committed now — thanks in large part to the upcoming soccer book Bloody Confused by my dear friend Chuck Culpepper.  Yes, I want a club. I want to buy soccer jerseys. I want to feel international (Sorry: American soccer teams are not eligible). I want to be able to use all those cool soccer words like … well, I don’t know, I’ll learn them. So, here’s the deal: My fan services are for hire. All you have to do is send along an email telling me why I should support your team. The best email wins my enduring soccer love and maybe even an occasional soccer post.

Wizards win in penalty kicks (The KC Star, Page D3)

Kansas City wins 5-3 on penalty kicks
By BOB LUDER 
The Kansas City Star
05 Jun 2008

The Wizards will play in this year’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Barely. The Wizards and Colorado Rapids played even after 90 minutes of regulation and 30 more of overtime, each team scoring two goals in their play-in game for the U.S. Open Cup Wednesday…read more…

Matchday: U.S. Open Cup Play-in

The boys in blue return to action in Kansas City for the first time since April 12th, playing the Colorado Rapids in a U.S. Open Cup qualifier at Shawnee Mission North H.S. at 7 tonight.  The winner will earn their spot in the tournament’s round of 16.  Last season the Wizards failed to qualify, losing 2-1 at Real Salt Lake in extra time. 

Taking a brief look at the opposition:

  • In first place in the Western Conference, albeit with a .500 record
  • Second best goal differential in the league, +4
  • League worst 2 goals scored in 1st half; league best 14 goals scored in 2nd half
  • 5-0 when scoring first; 0-5 when conceding first
  • Colorado did not travel several regular starters for the match, including Ugo Ihemelu, Nick Labrocca, Christian Gomez, Conor Casey, and Tom McManus. 
  • Additionally, goalkeeper Bouna Condoul is with the Senegal National Team and Pablo Mastroeni is with the US National Team. 
  • Colorado boasts three players from St. Louis University: Brian Grazier (2007), John DiRaimondo (2006), and Tim Ward (2004). 

HillcrestRoad and Andrew Wiebe at KC Futbol will be doing running commentaries.  And according to the Wizards’ press release when the deal was announced in February, the game should be broadcast on La Gran D 1340 AM (Espanol) and La Playa 1480 AM (English). 

Games not shown on Metro and/or TWC 5, including U.S. Open Cup matches and major friendlies, will still be broadcast via radio.

Finally, prior to tonight’s game, some Wizards fans will be gathering at The Blue Moose Bar and Grille (71st and Tomahawk in Prairie Village) to watch the USA – Spain match at 4:30 on ESPN2.  Former Wizards Josh Wolff and Eddie Johnson are in Bob Bradley’s squad as the nats take on the 4th-ranked Spainards in their Euro 2008 warmup.