No doubt that Wizards fans are frustrated that their team missed the playoffs for a second straight year.
But they may be surprised to hear that another person shares in their disappointment.
Former coach Curt Onalfo.
While Onalfo has had job offers since being fired by D.C. United this summer, he is taking a break from soccer and enjoying some quiet time with his family.
But Onalfo, who coached the Wizards during 2007-09, followed the Kansas City’s progress, and was dismayed that they fell short of the postseason.
Still, Onalfo thinks the Wizards have a lot of talent, and he was enthralled with the Wizards’ 4-3 victory against Houston on Sept. 22.
“When they won that game, I thought they were going to make (the playoffs),” Onalfo said.
But alas, they came up short for the fourth time in the last six seasons.
The Wizards made the playoffs in Onalfo’s two full seasons with the Wizards. In 2007, they won a first-round series, then lost the Western Conference finals to eventual MLS Cup champion Houston.
In 2008, the Wizards made a late run (highlighted by a victory over the Earthquakes on a stoppage-time Herculez Gomez goal in the second-to-last game of the year) but were knocked out in the first round by eventual champion Columbus.
“I had a great time with the Wizards,” Onalfo said. “I had some great, great memories. I think about some of those moments, like when we made the playoffs when Herculez scored that goal in the last minute. Those are some great memories.”
| Pete Grathoff, firstname.lastname@example.org