Today is a big day for Kansas City Sports. I have heard there is an important basketball game this evening, but I don't care much about that.
More importantly is the Wizards game I am taking my oldest son to (oh yeah...Brian will be tagging along also..the dude is always tagging along). As a new Wizards season ticket holder, I'm stoked about attending almost all of the Wizards home games this year (I have to miss a Sunday contest, for obvious reasons, and I'll be on vacation for another game), it's a great atmosphere out at the small stadium they're playing in this year. Today's game is against the Colorado Rapids, a team with whom we had two rough clashes last year, tying both times but getting robbed by bad reffing in one of the games. Also, long-time Wizard turned Rapid this off season, Jose Burciaga, is making his first appearance in KC wearing another team's jersey, so he'll be primed and ready to go.
The off season saw several major acquisitions, but the two most impacting pick ups for the Wizards were forwards Claudio Lopez (world class player from Argentina) and Ivan Trujillo (up and coming scorer from Columbia). Lopez is the wily, yet smooth veteran and Trujillo is the rugged, score by doing whatever it takes, young player. Together they promise to do some damage in the MLS. Both scored in the season opener last Saturday night. My son is fast becoming a huge Claudio "El Piojo" Lopez fan, I hope he nets one tonight. The addition of Lopez has ignited Wizards midfielder Carlos Marinelli, he's a fun player to watch also, when he's on. Finally, Wizards staple and backfield anchor, Jimmy Conrad, seems to be having a blast directing a young but pretty ferocious defense. While I personally have always played offense, I love watching master defensemen work. As far as U.S. players go, I think Jimmy Conrad is one of the best. He runs the defense like a sargeant and makes opposing forwards pay for anything they get.
I know soccer remains the so-called forgotten fifth sport in the American sports hierarchy, that doesn't phase me too much. Americans generally love high scoring, back and forth, immediate satisfaction-type entertainment. The rest of the known world, however, rather appreciates soccer's epic battle feel. There are few athletes in better condition than soccer players, the skill level required to play excedes most other sports, and the vast number of people who are passionate about the game makes it truly a world-class game. I think soccer's apparent lack of primetime popularity in the U.S. is an indictment concerning our country's lack of good taste more than any kind of statement about the quality of the game.
Who cares about the final four...Go Wizards!
Postgame report: Wizards played a good game against a chippy Colorado team, winning 3-2. Jimmy Conrad is my player of the game, netting two head ball goals inside of 3 minutes!