Kansas City Wizards (11-13-6, 39 points, +1 goal-difference)
What went right: After taking over late in 2009, Peter Vermes made lot of roster changes (about ten new players, including four new starters and about four more regular contributors) heading to 2010. The only one that really didn't work out was the "Medellin Experiment" with centerback Pablo Escobar. Teal Bunbury is a star in the making, Kei Kamara scores double digit goals and Ryan Smith is possibly the most exciting player in the league.
What went wrong: The Wizards scored a total of six goals in the months of May and June. I'm not sure how much further you have to look. They dropped so many unnecessary points and dug a hole so deep that they couldn't quite dig out of.
What we learned: Vermes' favored 4-3-3 formation is great. The players love it, the fans love it, I love it. More than anything, though, we learned that to successfully run it to its fullest productivity, you have to have four legitimate forwards. Three to start, one to come in off the bench and run by worn down defenders. The Wizards attempted to run the system with two for much of the year, and three late on after Teal Bunbury emerged. It was no coincidence they succeeded after Bunbury began starting.
Where we go from here: Wizards president Robb Heineman did an interview on KC radio Tuesday and said that there were three or four more new pieces the team needs heading into 2011 to reach their annual goal of qualifying for the playoffs. I would assume one or two starting centerbacks, a creative midfielder and hoping to retain the services of Omar Bravo would be at or near the top of the list.
Core 11 (players that should be protected): Jimmy Nielsen, Michael Harrington, Roger Espinoza, Graham Zusi, Craig Rocastle, Davy Arnaud, Stephane Auvray, Kei Kamara, Ryan Smith, Omar Bravo and Sunil Chhetri. Chance Myers and Teal Bunbury will also be protected as Generation Adidas players, and Jon Kempin as a homegrown player.