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2009 MLS Season Preview: Kansas City Wizards

The Recent Results: Kansas City, or “the Wiz” as I like to call them, threw away a good start last year to end up fourth in the East. Though they just barely made the playoffs, they were dominated by CMB in the first round. Their defense was awesome (4th in the league), but their Achilles’ Heel, their crappy offense (12th), kept them from the Cup.

The Man in Charge: I like Curt Onalfo, I really do, but when he was brought in to take over the Wiz many people said he would give the team a more “attacking style”. Well, I do respect the fact he would rather go for the win than the tie, but sometimes a manager has to tone it down and play for points. Plus, as you can tell, they aren’t scoring a ton.

On the Offensive: If there is one player in MLS (other than possibly Becks) who has something to prove this year, it’s Claudio “The Louse” Lopez. He was a huge disappointment last year and KCW will need him to regain his old form to compete. If Jimmy Conrad ends up almost leading the team in goals again, heads will start rolling in Kansas City.

For the Defense: Speaking of Jimmy, isn’t he dreamy? Um, sorry about that. The KC defense is pretty nightmarish for opponents actually. In addition to JC, they have Harrington and Myers returning and the legendary Kevin Hartman still in goal. With help from strong defensive mids like Mr. Jewsbury, KC will again be tough to score on.

Movie They Resemble: This was a really hard one, but I ended up picking (obviously) The Wiz as the film KC most resembles. They aren’t the real deal (i.e. The Wizard of Oz) yet, but their Wizard (Peter Vermes) is trying to get them there. Plus, they have an oft-injured Tin Man (Adam Cristman), an enigmatic Scarecrow (Herculez Gomez) and a not-so-cowardly Lion (Jimmy C). I hope they do well in 2009. Of course, to do so, they will have to “follow the yellow brick road”. Just go ahead and insert your favorite wiz/whiz joke here.

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