Pack a poncho, KC may have a little help from Mother Nature in putting out the Fire.
UPDATE: The Juniors fell 1-0 in the final, conceding the match winner in the 90th minute. Heartbreaking for sure, but to be runners-up in the National Championship is a great achievement and great representation of the Wizards and their youth system. Congratulations to Solar 89 for their first National Championship and best of luck to all of these young men in their college careers.
Having been training together for less than a month as a team, the KC Wizards U19 Juniors won the Kansas State Cup in convincing fashion. They played one game, the championship, and they won 9-0, qualifying for the Region II Championships in Rockford, Illinois. There they went 4-0-1, defeating the Chicago Fire Juniors in the semifinal and perennial power Scott Gallagher from St. Louis in the Championship. Now at the US Youth Soccer National Championships in Little Rock, Arkansas, the Juniors are poised to play in Sunday’s championship match with a chance to become the 2nd ever Kansas team crowned national champions (shout out to the KC Dynamos who accomplished the feat in the 2001 U14 Girls division).
Their opponent will be Solar 89 from Dallas who return to the National Championship game for the third time in four years. The teams are ranked #1 and #2 respectively in the U19 Boys National Soccer Rankings. Solar boast several top freshman in college programs, none moreso than Corben Bone who was named ACC Freshman of the Year after helping Wake Forest win the National Championship last season with 5 goals and 8 assists. The award adds to a long list of recognitions for Bone, including 2006 NSCAA National Player of the Year. Notably, Bone missed Solar’s first two games of the tournament attending classes at Wake Forest.
While Bone was the #3 high school recruit in 2007, U20 teammate Cameron Brown was #2 on the list and chose North Carolina. At the time of this Rise Magazine article (May 2007) Bone had scored 127 goals and 241 assists in his Solar career to Brown’s 154 goals and 276 assists. Teammate Alex Chi, sophomore at Harvard, leads the U19 boys division with three goals scored. Other notables include Xavier’s Ryan Engelmann, St. Louis University’s Scott Wisniewski, Kentucky’s Miles McDougal, Tulsa’s Zach Nulisch and Chris Taylor, and Navy’s Chris Schneider.
The Juniors will certainly have their hands full, but the boys in blue have proved quite capable thus far. Kickoff is at 10:45 am and the Plano Star provides a great preview of the match. Check the KC Wizards Juniors blog for more info, video highlights, photos and match recaps. Good luck, Juniors!
UPDATE 2: Conrad captained the MLS All-Stars to a 3-2 victory, playing a full 90. As is all too often the case for defenders, his two most notable moments were negative ones: his header deflection on West Ham’s second goal and a caution for a reckless foul in the 82nd minute.
UPDATE: Listen to The Jimmy Conrad Show live from Toronto last night.
Wizards’ captain Jimmy Conrad is Kansas City’s lone representative in tonight’s MLS All-Star Game. This is the groin’s (or is he going by the ant now?) fifth consecutive All-Star appearance*, and if the previous four were any indication, he will be in the starting lineup against West Ham tonight in Toronto (to the displeasure of this Toronto Star columnist):
*Conrad was also selected to the MLS Select XI that played Real Madrid in 2005. He played the full 90 in that match as well.
UPDATE: Juniors win 3-1! Combined with Solar 89’s 4-0 win in the other group game, the Juniors have qualified for the National Championship on sunday. Regardless of the result in tomorrow’s game against Solar 89, the Wizards will meet Solar 89 again on Sunday in the final. Nice job Juniors!
My place looks about like RFK did last night. Off and on power courtesy of a mid-morning monsoon means an abbreviated post. First up are highlights of yesterday’s Juniors dramatic 3-2 comeback victory over Maryland’s Freestate United at the National Championships in Little Rock, Arkansas:
The Juniors now play the second of three group games at 11:30 am today, with a win potentially sending them through to the final (Solar 89 would have to tie or win in the group’s other game). The team faces Colorado Rush Nike who fell 4-3 in their opener. Despite winning their state cup the last 9 years and reaching the Regional final six times, it is the U19 Rush’s first trip to Nationals. Always the bridesmaid never the bride, it looked that way again this year after they fell to Sereno 89 White in the Region IV championship in Hawaii. However, an appeal that Sereno illegally dropped players and forged signatures was upheld by the Arizona Youth Soccer Organization thereby disqualifying them from competition. The scandal resulted in a resignation by the Sereno’s director of coaching. The Rush boast UCSB’s Joe Eubanks, San Diego State University’s Kellen Frye, Raymundo Reza, and Morgan Maestas, Old Dominion’s Ben Medina, Notre Dame’s Jeb Brovsky, and Harvard’s Jarren LaGreca. The Rush also have two familiar faces for Wizards Junior Matt Perry – his University of Denver teammates Marc Kokel and Ryan Aweida. I’ll update this post with the game result, but check Hillcrest Road, KCW Juniors and Down the Byline for match details. Good luck, Juniors!
The KC Wizards U19 Juniors opened their National Championships successfully with a 3-2 victory early this morning. The 7:30 am kickoff against Freestate United was probably a blessing for both sides, as humidity is expected to push the heat index into the 100’s in Little Rock today. Check out Hillcrest Road and Down the Byline for match details or a KCW Juniors blog has been created to provide information on the team and will be available after noon. In the group’s other game, Solar 89 (Texas) defeated Colorado Rush Nike 4-3.
Let’s take a look at some of our junior boys in blue: Continue reading
For those of you who missed the ESPN.com chat today – it only lasted about 20 minutes — here is the transcript of Jimmy’s Q&A. He touches on a bit of everything, music to food, cards to video games, even which superhero he would be. Rest assured, there’s some soccer stuff in there too ahead of his All Star appearance. Enjoy.