Kansas City Wizards 2001
2001 Club by Club
The Wizards entered the 2001 season riding the success of winning the 2000 MLS Cup. The team changed quite a bit in the offseason, with Preki and Chris Henderson being traded to the Miami Fusion, and Roy Lassiter coming in. Miklos Molnar retired immediately following MLS Cup 2000, as did Mo Johnston. Johnston, though, elected to return for the 2001 season. Jamaican Onandi Lowe also joined the team during the season.
KC made the playoffs after posting a 11-13-3 record and finishing third in the Western conference, but lost in the first round to Miami 2-1 in the deciding game in South Florida.
They had a decent start to the season, even after the team lost its first game against D.C. United, they won the next three, including a 3-0 road win over the Columbus Crew. Lassiter led the team in scoring with seven goals. Goalkeeper Tony Meola posted a strong record of 80 saves and four shutouts, while Bo Oshoniyi recorded 48 saves and three shutouts.
In postseason play, the Wizards lost in the quarterfinals to the Fusion, and also bowed out early in the U.S. Open Cup. The 2000 MLS Cup victory also earned the Wizards a spot in the 2001 Copa Merconorte tournament, where trips to Mexico, Ecuador and Costa Rica ended with the Wizards advancing past the group phase.
KC added many players to the roster Jose Burciaga, Jr. (SuperDraft), Onandi Lowe (Allocation) who both made immediate impacts. Team MVP awards went to Chris Klein, while Lassiter picked up the golden boot after scoring 7 goals and adding 1 assist.
Defender of the Year honors went to Kerry Zavagnin, but generally KC’s defense struggled, letting in 53 goal sin just 27 games. In terms of league honors, KC had a lone representative in the MLS All-Stars team, midfielder Matt McKeon.