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Wolff to share, not bear, goalscoring burden
by Ridge Mahoney, July 1st, 2008 7:01AM

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TAGS:  mls


[MLS] Disregard those who believe Kansas City coach Curt Onalfo expects returnee Josh Wolff to solve his team's goalscoring woes single-handedly.

"I don't think he's going to come in here and score a million goals," says Onalfo, who worked with Wolff during four years as an assistant to Bruce Arena with the U.S. national team. "He'll score some goals himself, of course, but he'll also create chances for our other players.

"He adds a lot to our offense with his speed and the runs he makes. He can link up with players, and also gives us someone with the pace to get in behind defenses, which is something we want to do more of."

Wolff, 31, has rejoined the Wizards, for which he played from 2003 to 2006, after spending the past season and a half with 1860 Munich of the German second division. In 34 matches, he scored two goals and recorded seven assists and elected to come back home when he wasn't offered a new contract by the German club.

He scored 27 goals and logged 20 assists in 80 appearances for the Wizards following five seasons in Chicago during which he scored 32 goals and added 15 assists. Kansas City retained his MLS rights because he left the league after his contract expired. If he'd been sold in a transfer, he'd be subject to the allocation process.

"He makes us a better attacking team, which is obviously an area where we've struggled this season," says Onalfo of the league's second-worst offense (11 goals in 13 games). "We're not giving up many goals [16, second-best], but we need to score more and by getting a player I've wanted to get since I took the job, we've addressed that. I'm extremely excited to get him. I'm not set into one system, and he can play wide in midfield, attacking midfield, or as a forward.

"The league is tougher now. Goalscoring is not an easy thing to do, and making changes in this league is a challenge. Foreign players need time to adapt and it's hard to get teams to trade good attackers."

Kansas City waived forward/midfielder Eloy Colombano last week, yet Onalfo says no other moves are necessary to accommodate Wolff under the team's salary cap ($2.18 million this season, according to a source) and on the 18-man regular roster.

Designated Player Claudio Lopez shares the team lead with three goals. Colombian striker Ivan Trujillo has scored just one goal in 10 games but Onalfo expects improvement in the second half of the season. There's also Scott Sealy (one goal) and Davy Arnaud (zero goals) to consider.

"Trujillo has looked good in training the past couple of weeks, and I think you're going to see a lot more out of him," says Onalfo. "Like I said, getting Josh helps our entire attack since he combines so well with players and can create chances for them as well as score them himself."



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