Kansas City Wizards 2007
2007 Club by Club
The Wizards returned to the playoffs in 2007, after missing out the previos two seasons, led by new Technical Director Peter Vermes and head coach Curt Onalfo.
The organization's new commitment to attack showed itself immediately, as the Wizards led the league in shots by a wide margin. After going through the Western Conference's No. 1 seed, Chivas USA, in the first round, a showdown in Houston ended 2-0 in favor of the Dynamo, who went on to win MLS Cup.
A pre-season training trip to Argentina yielded scouting fruits in signees Carlos Marinelli and Eloy Colombano. Both added to a core of players that had barely missed the playoffs the season before. In terms of minutes played and production, though, both were eclipsed by rookie Michael Harrington, who started most of the season as the Wizards' left midfielder.
Harrington began with a splash, scoring just three minutes into the season opener in a 4-2 win over D.C. United, setting an MLS record for the fastest goal scored in a player's career.
After a torrid start, both the Wizards and star striker Eddie Johnson slowed a bit, and Kansas City again faced a battle for their playoff lives late in the season. The Wizards finished in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, but eighth overall in the league and were sent to the Western Conference bracket.
Chivas USA, coached by Wizards great Preki, had a strong regular season, winning the Western Conference crown. However, the Wizards went past Chivas USA 1-0 over two legs to face Houston in the conference final. A tough loss to the eventual champion Dynamo ended the season.
REGULAR SEASON REC0RD: 11-12-7
PLAYOFF FINISH: Lost in Western Conference Finals
KEY ACQUISITION: Kevin Hartman (trade), Michael Harrington (draft)
MVP, Golden Boot: Eddie Johnson. Defender of the Year: Jimmy Conrad. Rookie of the Year: Michael Harrington. Humanitarian of the Year: Jose Luis Burciaga, Jr. Wizards. Heart Award: Davy Arnaud. Reserve Team Player of the Year: Ryan Pore
MLS Comeback Player of the Year: Eddie Johnson. MLS All-Stars: Jimmy Conrad, Kevin Hartman, Eddie Johnson