Wizards welcome back Josh Wolff

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                                                     Photo by ISIphotos.com

The Kansas City Wizards may have found the cure for their terrible offense, or at least they hope so.

The Wizards have signed Josh Wolff, who makes his return to MLS after spending two seasons with German club 1860 Munich.

Wolff joins a KC offense that has managed just 11 goals all season, second-fewest in MLS this season (second only to San Jose).

KC coach Curt Onalfo will be hoping Wolff can duplicate his goal-scoring success from his first stint with the Wizards, when he netted 27 goals in four seasons with the Wizards, including a pair of 10-goal seasons (2004-2005). Wolff compiled 59 goals and 35 assists over the course of nine seasons spent with the Chicago Fire and Wizards.

Is Wolff the answer to the Wizards’ offensive problems? Those who watched Wolff struggle mightily for the U.S. national team in friendlies against England and Spain would probably disagree.

What do I think? I don’t think Wolff alone is going to help Kansas City’s offensive woes. He is 31 and has lost a step that he probably couldn’t afford to lose. He will help the team somewhat, but he alone isn’t going to turn KC’s offense into a dangerous unit.

What do you think of the signing? Share your thoughts below.

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56 Responses to Wizards welcome back Josh Wolff

  1. EDB says:

    Can’t hurt them at all

  2. kpugs says:

    Hahahahaha, Josh Wolff spark an offense?

    Heck, 1 goal every 2.8 MLS games. In this league? Not exactly a scoring machine. Good luck K.C.

  3. cbr says:

    i bet they got him on the cheap. He’s a servicable player in MLS. With that said i dont want him within 50 feet of our national team bench

  4. Mike says:

    How did they get him? Was there not a team who should not have any rights to him holding him for a ramsom like McBride? He is good MLS player when he is healthy.

  5. William the Terror says:

    Sure, he’s 31 and he’s lost a step, but I think he can still play in the MLS. As to the people who are disgusted with his performance in the recent friendlies, I repeat — he’s 31 and he’s lost a step. I agree that Bradley should not have called him in to camp and that he is no longer of use to the MNT. That being said, I also remember his play (him and Clint Mathis) in the 2002 WC qualififiers and 2002 WC and I have nothing but fond memories and respect for his service to the program. I would suggest that those of you who are angry now direct your anger at Bob Bradley and not a Wolff — who was once a valuable member of the MNT.

  6. Will Wolff be available for KC’s US Open Cup match against Carolina tomorrow night? Or would Onalfo leave him on the bench anyway, since he’s planning on fielding a reserve side and ditching the Open Cup as fast as he can?

  7. John says:

    @Mike

    You only go through the allocation process if MLS sold the rights to the player.

  8. Bravo says:

    What do you mean by only if MLS sold the rights? Can you give a more detailed explanation? I’m not understanding why Wolff doesn’t go through the allocation process.

  9. Blake says:

    hopefully he can replicate his National team form for his club…

    womp wommmmmmp

  10. Scott A says:

    Always nice to see USMNT guys come home

  11. Reid says:

    Slick Willy, very good points. While he is not the caliber of Nat’l team, he is a very good MLS player and still has a few good years left.

    Please all future hatred, direct towards Bob Arena, lets face it if any of you were called to the Nat’l team you would show up too.

  12. Michael F. says:

    JW blows. It’s over buddy. Why are MLS teams dragging in players from the past instead of featuring young guns? In the last 3 games JW played for the nats, he couldn’t even trap the ball. I swear, this guy had a few good games during qualifying including the one against Jamaica in 2002. But that’s it. They should start some up-and-comer from their reserves.

  13. ag nigrin says:

    One should never forget Josh’s goal against Mexico in “La Guerra Fria” WC Qualifier! Good luck with the Wizards except whenyou play the Red Bulls!

  14. Chris says:

    hahahahaha he couldnt cut it in the second division in Germany so he might as well just come back to MLS.

  15. Jon E says:

    I agree with William–Wolff will likely be useful for KC, and he did enough in his day for the MNT that people who call themselves US fans ought to show some respect. And for everybody posting snide comments about Wolff: what in your lives have you done as well as he’s played soccer?

  16. John says:

    Is it just me or are there lots of cynical and negative comments in these comments sections. Probably just a sign of immaturity and that is directed at nobody in particular.

    As for Josh Wolff, his return is good for KC and good for MLS regardless of his inability to play out wide right for the USMNT. I’m sure he picked up a few things during his stint in Munich that he can pass along and will be a good influence on the younger Wizards players.

    Finally, I had read that the Wizards somehow retained his MLS rights since he left for 1860. I don’t have any more details than that.

  17. frank from sf says:

    i’m w/ kpugs , pretty good post. i’d say the same.

  18. Mark says:

    Good for Wolff. I hope he’s able to have a few more productive years in MLS.

    I know I’m getting old cause it seems like yesterday I was watching Wolff break into the Nats setup. But even with such warm feelings of nostalgia, no way should he be called back to the Nats.

  19. Ted says:

    The Wizards were able to avoid the allocation process because they still hold Wolff’s MLS rights.

    When a player is sold outside the league, the team that sells him keeps his MLS rights for a certain amount of time, I believe two years. Because Wolff joined 1860 Munich in January 2007, the Wizards still hold his rights.

    The situation is different from McBride’s because McBride has been out of the league for four years, and his MLS rights have expired.

  20. Tbisgrove says:

    Hmmm, 1 goal every 17 games as a starting striker in 2ND DIVISION BUNDESLIGA… Yeah, thats a scoring machine right there. Let’s just hope KC didn’t have to use a DP slot for him like that waste of space Reyna did for NYRB…

  21. Ted says:

    “Hmmm, 1 goal every 17 games as a starting striker in 2ND DIVISION BUNDESLIGA…”

    He played mostly as a right sided midfielder off the bench but whatever, as long as you have your facts straight.

  22. golfstrom says:

    There are a lot of teams that could use a player with a 2.8:1 lifetime strike rate in MLS, which isn’t bad at all.

    And anyway, a team could sign Messi and 50% of the comments here would be negative (90% on bigsoccer).

  23. Adam R. says:

    Who knows, maybe he’ll be just what the Wizards need.

    He’s an excellent passer of the ball, and one of the smarter players out there. He’s never been the finest finisher, but would have made a terrific right sided midfielder had injuries not robbed him of his pace.

    For those who just want to dismiss him as a player who “sucks” etc, well go right ahead. I think he’ll help the Wizards turn right around. Lord knows they have plenty of talent in place already.

  24. Ted says:

    “And anyway, a team could sign Messi and 50% of the comments here would be negative (90% on bigsoccer).”

    OMG MESSI? Jesus, he’s so injurty proebn. GAH We need a CAM not a RW or a RF or a CF. Stupid Lalas! Jeez he sucks so bad he loses like 20 points if we put him at LWB and like 30 if we put him at LB. Gah, bad signing. We should have goten McBride or Cristiando Ronalldinho.

  25. tbisgrove says:

    Ted, check the team website. Its in german mind you, but if you look at the line ups for the last dozen games for 1860, it has him starting and playing 90 mins, so I would say thats piss poor scoring potential out of a guy who has had declining goals each year and is injury prone.

  26. aristotle says:

    HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA.

    Seriously, HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA.

    The expansion has hardly begun and already the league’s quality is going backwards fast. Lose two or three stars in the league, then replace them with one or two rejects. Ironically, I find myself more and more just wanting to watch L.A.’s games. (You know, the so called laughing stock of the league.) It seems like all other games in the league by comparison are extremely boring. This really needs to change, fast.

  27. Ted says:

    Tbisgrove:

    10 games in a row means nothing, he was a rotation player and mostly came off the bench for the year and a half he was there, regardless of the ten games you looked at. Not to mention that he wasn’t deployed as a striker.

    I’m not saying anything about his scoring potential. You said he was a starting striker, I said he was a bench right-sided midfielder.

  28. MLS Fan says:

    Good move by the Wiz. While he is not the player he was when he left the league he should fill in well for the Wiz. Certainly helps that he will finally give C Lopez some help up front.

  29. tbisgrove@hotmail.com says:

    I should clarify that 90mins thing by saying he’s starting and playing 90mins/game for pretty much every game all year at right mid in a 4-5-1. Thats not bench warmer to start a game and play 65+ mins 95% of every game last season for 1860. Besides, running a 4-5-1 you ought to know that its not like he had many defensive duties. Thats why you have the holding mid and the 4 backs. Either way, its a semantics arguement and he is on the down side of a modest career.

  30. John says:

    1. Yep, pretty much a failure in Germany. Like Landon Donovan and especially Taylor Twellman (who could never get off the reserves).

    2. And yes, he’s not NT material anymore. In fact, I’d argue that Taylor Twellman isn’t good enough for the NT. But is there a team in MLS that wouldn’t mind having Twellman on their side?

    Here’s the deal with Wolff. He’s not a brilliant talent, he was injury prone, I don’t think he came cheap, and he’s not a great goal scorer. But Onalfo has coached him before, he WANTS to be in KC (can’t be said of a lot of potential impact players) and he could be a good role player. Wolff since his first year in the league has always been excellent at moving off the ball. I think he’ll combine well with Lopez. And a step slower for him still means he’s faster than Angel, Cooper and definitely Moreno.

    I think it’s a good addition. Many foreign signings don’t work out or end up backing out at the last minute (just look at how many foreign signings the Red Bulls have had this year). With Wolff, there are only two potential downsides:

    –maybe he gets hurt

    –maybe they could have gotten someone better (and unless you know they either didn’t look or decided to bypass the next Luciano Emilio, you can’t make that claim).

    Since they spent their DP on Lopez, you know they can’t go out and sign some big name from Europe. So Wolff is probably the best option they had.

    One last point–I thought the deal was that returning USMNT players were required to use an allocation on. The exception is if the entire league passes on the player (which is how NE got Joe Max Moore back from Everton and Columbus got Frankie Hejduk).

  31. KingSnake says:

    Who holds what rights, and what they can get for them, depends entirely on what Ivan Gazidis reads in the Magic 8-Ball …

  32. Tommy says:

    Give your offense a spark with a striker who can’t score. Way to go MLS.

  33. greg says:

    Wolf is going from a very strong league to the MLS, that’s a very big drop in level. He will do well but I’m still surprised he didn’t shoot a little higher than coming back to MLS. He could have gone to a lower German league or Norway or Denmark and made more money and been in an area of the world to be seen.

    Shocking!

  34. Graeme says:

    @John

    I could be wrong, but it seems to me there’s a stipulation in the allocation rule that states MLS does not have to follow the list if they feel a player placement is in the best benefit for the league and/or the team.

    As for Wolff, I hope the best for him, but to me he has always been like a Ben Olsen type of player. Great talent held back by injury. From the KC point of view, I definitely agree that he’d be worth the gamble.

  35. Justin says:

    For those bashing the move, you obviously don’t know how truly awful the Wizards attack has been.

  36. hoyanick says:

    Reality check: most top division teams in Norway and Denmark, and especially squads in regional German divisions are NOT up to par with today’s MLS side. Sorry Eurosnobs.

  37. LJ says:

    ‘Reality check: most top division teams in Norway and Denmark, and especially squads in regional German divisions are NOT up to par with today’s MLS side. Sorry Eurosnobs.’

    ditto

  38. aristotle says:

    greg:

    Apparently there’s “a very big drop in level” in intelligence from the average SBI poster to you. I don’t know who you think you’re fooling. I’m a little concerned about MLS right now, but even I understand that a mediocre German second division team is NOT “a very strong league” in comparison to MLS.

  39. David Berger says:

    I look forward to seeing him play again.

  40. David Berger says:

    Also, totally agree with aristotle.

  41. David Berger says:

    I agree with aristotle’s post at July 01, 2008 at 12:42 AM. His previous post though I very much disagree with.

  42. CapeCudFutbol says:

    Good morning, always nice to wake up and agree with Aristotle.

  43. Kartik says:

    Wow. We have some pretty high standards among American soccer fans if suddenly Josh Wolff is trash. Sure he’s over the hill for the nats as I saw in person at Wembley, but have some respect fellows. This guy when healthy was one of our top choice strikers for many years. Who can ever forget the spark he gave chicago as a rookie in 1998 to do the double? Or the goal against Mexico in 2001? Or the great set up for McBride in the 2002 World Cup against Mexico?

    Maybe some of you are simply euro snobs who’d rather watch England’s national team anyhow.

  44. mig22 says:

    Yeah, and if you want to watch England’s nats, you’re stuck with friendlies and WC qualifying since they didn’t qualify for Euro. :) Small, petty…yes I am.

  45. HomeyBoehme says:

    @William the Terror and Jon E -

    I’m sure you guys have the same respect and feelings of nostalgia for Claudio Reyna? I’m sure you guys tell everyone to lay off Reyna and remember the glory years?

  46. Gino says:

    I am glad to see that not many people are impressed about Wolf returning to the MLS after a couple of unsuccesful years in the german second division. While the MLS should always welcome back any former US player that has some gas left in the tank to play club football, the MLS should also strive to be in a position to say no thanks to older players who no longer have a place in lower division leagues in Europe.

  47. aristotle says:

    David Berger:

    You only agree with one of my posts? How can David Berger disagree with Aristotle? Surely you are aware of my infinite wisdom? :)

    Hey, are you the guy who won the MLS Fantasy league a couple of times and was on TV?

  48. William the Terror says:

    @homey

    Frankly, YES, i do still respect what Claudio Reyna did in the mid 90′s through about 2004 or 5. He is the only American ever to be named to a WC all tournament team. How can you not respect that?

    But, I also remember him being stripped of the ball against Ghana at the 06 WC and watching helplessly as Ghana scored their first goal. I also readily acknowledge that since about 05 he is injury prone and a shadow of his former self and that he is contributing nothing to RBNY and is a waste of a DP slot. It is time for him to hang up the spikes and move on to the next phase of life. The fact that he is a broken old warhorse, however, still does nothing to diminish my respect for his prior contributions to the MNT.

    Wolff, on the other hand, does not appear to be coming back to MLS as a DP. Further, he has yet to play a game for KC, so to compare him to Reyna right now is a bit premature, don’t you think?? Wait and see if he’s a bust before you criticize the signing.

  49. Mike says:

    Ives,

    There is a lot of confusion to the allocation rules. Please clear up. Was Josh Wolff allocated? John says he isn’t because he was a free transfer to Germany. Then how come Conor Casey was allocated to Toronto. Casey never played in the MLS to the best of my knowledge. Colorado had to trade to get him. Ted says the MLS team owns their rights for two years, which is why McBride is allocated. This doesn’t make sense, because Donovan was gone for a few months and was allocated to Dallas not San Jose. LA (or the league) sent Ruiz to Dallas to get him. Frankly, I think it is an outdated rule that not too many people really understand.

  50. Jon E says:

    HomeyBoehme writes: “@William the Terror and Jon E – I’m sure you guys have the same respect and feelings of nostalgia for Claudio Reyna? I’m sure you guys tell everyone to lay off Reyna and remember the glory years?”

    —-

    Yes and no. Yes, as in I get a little queasy reading all these people screaming about how much Reyna sucks and how he was never all that good. Obviously, Reyna used to be one of America’s best players. He’s arguably had the best career abroad of any American field player. So, yeah, I do think a lot of people’s comments about him are spiteful and childish.

    Moreover, I think the comments are especially embarrassing coming from people who–odds are–have never done anything at as high a level as Wolff or Reyna _currently_ play soccer, much less as well as they did at their peaks. All of the “hahahahaha” comments from teenagers and/or people who are obviously frustrated enough with their own lives to vent spleen on a soccer blog are sorta sad.

    That said, I have no problem with anybody’s saying that Reyna hasn’t been very useful to the Red Bulls and that signing him as a DP has turned out to be a pretty serious mistake. To say that a player is no longer contributing is different from saying that a player never had any talent.

  51. aristotle says:

    Jon E:

    You think I “vent spleen”? Here’s some more vented spleen for you. you are an imbecile and a pompous as*. Alright, that’s enough venting of my spleen for today.

    What are you even doing on a sports blog? Stick to politics because that’s obviously where you must normally talk this trash.

    I’d tell you that you take yourself and everyone else far too seriously but I have a feeling that’s not the problem. I think maybe you’re just such a small person in the real world you have to go online and look for posts that aren’t even meant to be taken that seriously and make them into something other than what they are to feel good about yourself. You should read your post again. It really is ridiculous.

    No one hear should comment negatively on soccer players unless we are as good or better than they are at soccer? Who exactly do you expect to comment on this blog? Even Ives wouldn’t qualify.

    You’re calling people spiteful and childish yet your post is about as childish as it gets.

    Listen up everybody. No more comments that aren’t dead serious. No more tongue in cheek comments. No more humorous comments. No more trash talk comments. We’re all offending Jon E. What do you think this is, anyway? A sports blog?

    I can’t believe I’m bothering to explain this to you but I’ve defended Josh Wolff from comments about him never having been any good. I also like Josh Wolff. However, he is not what he used to be and I found it amusing that someone thought he could provide considerable offense at this point in his career, especially since he was just here a few years ago and couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo right before he left. (Sorry! Was I venting spleen, being childish, or sad for making that comment?)

    I freely admit I am not anywhere near as good as Josh Wolff or Claudio Reyna even in their current state, well, maybe Reyna. Alright, not even Reyna. Still I really don’t think even if they see these comments about them that they will be devastated. Unlike you they understand sports fans and don’t take everything so serious.

    Great! Now you’ve made me make this long winded post in response to you. I hope your happy.

    P.S.

    Is it alright that I made this post about you? I’m pretty sure I’m a better player than you are.

  52. son says:

    The drought is to all you eddie johnson haters

  53. Jon E says:

    @ Aristotle: Okay, so clearly I hit a nerve. You say you’re kidding; I’ll accept that. I didn’t mean to single you out anyway. But I still think that a lot of people who post here–and all sports blogs–are dead serious and more than a little ghoulish in the way that they heap scorn on the whipping boy of the day. (I assume you’ve seen the whine-fest that Big Soccer often turns into.) Does that mean they’re ghoulish in their real lives? Probably not. But my two cents is that wading through such comments makes reading blogs less fun.

    And I didn’t say people shouldn’t criticize players unless they can play better soccer. In fact, I explicitly said I’m fine with people criticizing them. I do that myself, and I’m a pretty terrible soccer player. For example, I personally think Reyna has turned out to be a very bad signing. It’s possible Wolff will turn out that way too, but we don’t know that yet.

  54. aristotle says:

    Jon E:

    Now that I think about it, I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that this happened. My post was in no way what you were describing but your reply has given me some incite as to where you may be coming from, figuratively speaking that is.

    Here’s why: A while back, some people here were posting and ripping Taylor Twellman over and over. It was FAR worse than this but my reaction still wasn’t anywhere near as harsh as yours, but it did seem to get a little disturbing. In fact it was almost like you were suggesting, like there were a few people who actually wanted him physically hurt. When I asked about why so many people were doing this, and why some of it actually seemed like malice, I was told most people really didn’t mean it that way but I should check out bigsoccer.com because they were doing it even worse there, so it was like a running thing going on. Part 1.

  55. aristotle says:

    Jon E:

    Part 2

    I didn’t go to bigsoccer.com because I didn’t want to see anymore of it, and also because I had made the mistake of going to bigsoccer.com once before and it almost caused me to stop posting, period. I won’t mention where I went because I don’t want to start something here, but I could not believe what despicable, hateful people they were. There was NO doubt whatsoever how serious they were in their hate. One of them actually wanted to meet me in person to show me how much of a man he was. If even 2% of the people on bigsoccer.com are like that, it is a truly disturbing commentary on all people, not just sports fans. At first I didn’t get it and thought a moderator would step in and put a stop to it. I was right. A moderator did step in. He stepped in to join them in their abuse! It was obviously a “club”. You can’t make too much out of people posting on a sports blog, but in this case these people were clearly lousy people, and not just while they were on bigsoccer.com. They clearly thought they were superior people and heaped abuse on people who didn’t go through some weird ritual of paying all of them homage for a period of time before daring to speak on anything. One of them was nice enough to explain to me why I deserved the abuse because I didn’t earn or gain their acceptance in the required manner! Thanks, but no thanks.

    Anyway, even here, it can get a little serious sometimes, and sometimes it seems like some people just want to be offended when it’s really people just being sports fans, over the top though it may be. I posted once about people trying to play a race card all of the time, and gave examples of what REAL racism was, and of course someone just read it out of context and said they couldn’t believe what a racist I was!

    I’ve learned from posting here that it really helps to put a smiley face or a tongue poke at the end of a post that you might think someone will take too seriously to show that no ill will is meant and that it’s all just in fun. I didn’t put one at the end of my post that you referenced because I thought the absurd string of hahaha’s accomplished the same thing. Apparently not. Anyway, just to let you know, even my silly name calling was just in response to your post making me look like something I am not, and there is no ill will at all. As I’m sure you know all too well, depending on the perspective, a post can mean completely different things to different people.

  56. Jon E says:

    @ Aristotle: Just noticed your last two posts. Thanks for taking the time to clarify. Sounds like we actually get frustrated by the same thing, so it’s ironic our exchange went started like it did.