Kansas City Wizards 2009
2009 Club by Club
Kansas City Wizards
New England Revolution
New York Red Bulls
Real Salt Lake
San Jose Earthquakes
The 2009 season was something of a disappointment for the club, punctuated by the dismissal of Curt Onalfo as manager in August which led Technical Director Peter Vermes to assume the additional title of head coach. In the draft, the Wizards went local, selecting Blue Valley West and Notre Dame defender Matt Besler in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft. Josh Wolff claimed top honors as the team's leading scorer, notching 11 goals.
The highlight for KC was at the beginning of the year, when they managed to put together a good run in April, going 3-1-1 in that month and leading the Eastern Conference for most of it. They also went on a similar run towards the end of the campaign, going 3-1-1 in September to add get back on track. However this could not cover over an awful mid-season stretch, where the Wizards went without a win for seven games from Jul. 4 to Sept. 5.
KC’s main problem in 2009 was their defensive record, as they leaked 47 goals - leaving them with the second worst defense in the league. August was a bad month which KC struggled to recover from, losing all four games without scoring and shipping 10 goals in the process. This included a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of FC Dallas. The Wizards also failed win any of their last five games, as they struggled defensively to hold onto leads at vital times in the game.
Despite that, Kevin Hartman won KC’s defensive player of the year award after his outstanding displays in goal kept the scores down and saved KC’s blushes. The year was an extremely transitional campaign, as Vermes tried to blood youngsters such as Besler and Kei Kamara in with the experience of Wolff, Davy Arnaud and Claudio Lopez.
KC racked up just 33 points and finished in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, nine points out of the playoff places. Argentine DP Lopez provided several goal scoring opportunities for his teammates on a plate, serving up 8 assists and adding seven goals to lead the team in points . Arnaud was included in the MLS All-Star game and Jimmy Conrad was given the MLS Humanitarian of the Year award for his work in the community in Kansas City and beyond.