Season Recaps: Kansas City Wizards

Season Recaps: Kansas City Wizards

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On October 29, 2009
  • 4 Comments
  • 2009 Season Recaps, Claudio Lopez, Curt Onalfo, Jimmy Conrad, Josh Wolff
Jimmy Conrad and Josh Wolff lead the way in 2009 for Kansas City. (WVH Photo Correspondent Brian Stevens)

Jimmy Conrad and Josh Wolff lead the way in 2009 for Kansas City. (WVH Photo Correspondent Brian Stevens)

The bandwagon was getting bigger for this club going into 2009. Many folks had hoped this was the year the Kansas City Wizards would get over the hump and make a big splash in the eastern conference.

But 2009 didn’t go as planned like some in Kansas City had hoped. The team stumbled out of the gate losing their first two games and some already had questions on the offense that was lacking. Then a funny thing happened in April things looked like they were headed in the right direction when former coach Curt Onalfo started using Josh Wolff at striker instead of on the wings. The club won three games out of the five in the month and looked good.

Then May and June rolled around and the Wizards won only two of their next seven league games while losing one and drawing two in SuperLiga play. From there on things turned sour for good on the season. The Wizards went through July and August winless and saw Onalfo get canned after a 6-0 beating in Dallas. Peter Vermes stepped in after that but he never was able to get the team back over the hump as the club failed to reach the post season.

What Went Right In 2009?
The club did have some success in tough stadiums like in Seattle and in Salt Lake. When guys like Josh Wolff and Claudio Lopez were healthy and playing in the right spots on the field things would click offensively. Defensively things went well when Jimmy Conrad was leading the way in the back. It seemed that when they won games it was by a shutout too. There are a few decent pieces in defense with this club that they can build on for sure.

What Went Wrong In 2009?
A lot went wrong as the writing was on the wall for Onalfo’s head for a long while. Most people didn’t want to admit to it in KC but it certainly was there for all to see. Secondly they had one of the worst home records in the league which usually means you don’t go very far. Lastly I just never felt Vermes and the owners put enough into this team this season. Their lack of movement with their roster was rather pathetic. Now I know the economy could have had something to do with that but they were one of the few teams that rarely made a move this year. Things were broke and they just failed to fix it.

What’s Next?
First of all they have to figure out their coaching issue, is Vermes going to stay or is he going to move back into the technical director/general manager role. Finding a coach that can get the most out of this group will be key. I think next in line for this bunch is really fixing a midfield that is so damaged. I know injuries played a part in their issues but for the most part it was a lack of consistency with this group that caused a lot of things in 2009. Secondly they need a go-to scorer with Wolff. I know Claudio Lopez is a good setup man but even he needs more help. Lastly it may be time to move on from Kevin Hartman in goal. This club has a good fan base and they definitely deserve some attention to their roster by this ownership.

  • @BlacknBlueKC

    Nice overview. Couple things to add from my perspective inside CAB (Community America Ballpark): Most KC supporters were happy when Onalfo left, and some had been calling for it for a while. The FCD match was the last straw for everyone. For me, Vermes is to blame just as much for the on-field product. I agree with your assessment on the lack of movement, and the few guys we did bring in for this season never became the players we hoped for (Hirsig for example) or never played at all (Adam Cristman, rememeber that guy?) Throw in inconsistent play from veterans leaders and players unable to live up to their billing and you have our season. The big thing I will disagree on is Kevin Hartman must stay. He is getting older, but he's actually more match fit now then he ever was in LA. He gives the young defense veteran leadership, kept us in (some) matches, and lastly, we don't have anyone else. Man, we need to draft a keeper. We just need help everywhere on the pitch. Great, now I'm getting depressed. My 2010 KCW Coach: PREKI. Help us Preki, you are our only hope.

  • Nice overview. Couple things to add from my perspective inside CAB (Community America Ballpark):

    Most KC supporters were happy when Onalfo left, and some had been calling for it for a while. The FCD match was the last straw for everyone. For me, Vermes is to blame just as much for the on-field product. I agree with your assessment on the lack of movement, and the few guys we did bring in for this season never became the players we hoped for (Hirsig for example) or never played at all (Adam Cristman, rememeber that guy?) Throw in inconsistent play from veterans leaders and players unable to live up to their billing and you have our season.

    The big thing I will disagree on is Kevin Hartman must stay. He is getting older, but he's actually more match fit now then he ever was in LA. He gives the young defense veteran leadership, kept us in (some) matches, and lastly, we don't have anyone else. Man, we need to draft a keeper. We just need help everywhere on the pitch. Great, now I'm getting depressed.

    My 2010 KCW Coach: PREKI. Help us Preki, you are our only hope.

    • I've been saying it for weeks now…Preki will be the coach there in 2010. It just makes sense. And yeah I totally forgot about Cristman, pretty sad for him if you ask me.

  • wvhooligan

    I've been saying it for weeks now…Preki will be the coach there in 2010. It just makes sense. And yeah I totally forgot about Cristman, pretty sad for him if you ask me.