Q&A with Kansas City's Chris Klein
both on and off the field.
MLSnet.com: Your recovery from your left ACL tear seems to be going well. How do you feel?
CK: "My leg feels great."
MLSnet.com: You got to see first-round draft pick Scott Sealy for a few days while in Costa Rica, we know about forwards Josh Wolff and Davy Arnaud, do you think the Wizards are going to have some depth up front and in the attack this year?
CK: "I think we'll have to. Josh and Davy are obviously our go-to guys up top, but I think we need somebody else to step up and give us some depth. Is that going to be Scott? I don't know. We just saw him for a couple of days. He was very impressive in a couple of days. It could be him, it could come from some other guys. I think the main thing is that we're going to need some depth up top."
MLSnet.com: Does that mean with you and Preki coming back, and Sealy and Diego Walsh, there will be a little more variety in the attack too?
CK: "I think we have to have a bit more variety in the attack. I think we'll still be an image of last year, but I think we have to add things to our game. With myself, and Preki, and some other guys, I think we have to give it that added dimension. Some other guys are going to have to step up, guys like Jack Jewsbury and Diego Walsh who have done that in the past are going to have to continue that and add more this year."
MLSnet.com: Will that depth also pay off when World Cup qualifiers occur? I would think that once you get back in shape you might be in that mix too.
CK: "We have the potential of a few guys who could be called in to the national team and I think that's where depth becomes important as well. We hope to have as many guys as we can in that pool for qualifying. In saying that, it becomes difficult on your club team when that happens. We'll have to deal with that as the games come."
MLSnet.com: What impact do you think moving to the Eastern Conference will have?
CK: "I think the biggest impact will come late in the season and in the playoffs. Realistically when you look at the season, we play each team pretty evenly because we only have 12 teams in the league.
"It's going to be different. Where we usually have our set rivals who we know we're going to finish with at the end of the season, they're not there anymore. It will be a bit of a change for us. I don't think some of the guys have thought about it since we have Colorado on April 2. I think once we get towards the end of the season we'll really start to see a difference."
MLSnet.com: What will the Wizards need to be successful this season?
CK: "The biggest thing for us is going to have to be consistency. I thought we played very well from beginning to end last year. Of course, you're going to have your rough spots, they are bound to happen. I think we need to be a consistent team. We play very good defense, and I think we can be a very explosive offensive team. In saying that, we have to go out there and do it. And I think that's going to be the key for us. A lot of people talk about us as solely a defensive team or a counter-attacking team. We have to prove that we can come out of that and show another side to ourselves.
MLSnet.com: Is the possible sale or move of the team going to be something that impacts the team? Has it been impacting the team?
CK: "It would be naïve to say that it's not going to impact the team. It has impacted the team because when you look at players, more importantly when you look at our fan base, there is so much uncertainty out there it's bound to affect the mood around the organization. Does it affect how we play? I hope not. It hasn't yet, and I don't anticipate that it will. But does it affect the mood around the organization? Absolutely.
"Some stuff has come out lately that makes it a little bit more optimistic. We really just don't know. It is going to affect us a little bit. As professionals we have to minimize the affect that that's going to have when we take the field. We can always promise the fans that they're going to get the same effort and the same goal that we've ever had in our 10 years in Kansas City."
MLSnet.com: You missed out on a World Cup qualifier last weekend. Is it a big goal of yours to get fit, perform well for the Wizards, and have that end up in a national team call-up?
CK: "Absolutely. In recovering from my injury, the first thing I want to do is to get back healthy and playing games, and I'm doing that now. The second thing is to be playing sharp and playing well. I didn't expect to be called into these first few games. I want to do well with the Kansas City Wizards. If I do that, I believe that I'll get another opportunity to do that with the national team. Right now my focus is here.
"I watch the guys closely and talk with the guys in with the national team and follow what's going on, so I'm in tune with that. I need to take care of my business here, and stuff with the national team will come later."
MLSnet.com: What is this rumor about Landon Donovan coming back to MLS? Have you heard anything about that?
CK: "I heard something about that the other day, just talk. Landon is not playing a whole lot over [in Germany]. Saying that, he is, without a doubt in my mind, the best player that our country has, without a doubt the best player MLS has produced. So I think it would be wise for MLS to try to and get him back.
"That's ultimately going to be a personal decision for Landon, what he desires, what is best for his future as a soccer professional. Landon is a mature kid, and he realizes there is more to life than soccer, even more than that, than money. He's got a good head on his shoulders. I have no doubt that he's going to make the right decision whenever he's forced to do that."
Robert Rusert is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.