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Kansas City Wizards Weekly Update

November 16, 2009 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Sporting Kansas City News Release


Kansas City Wizards President Robb Heineman announced last Tuesday that Peter Vermes would become the team's full-time Manager. Vermes assumed the role of Interim Head Coach August 4 and guided the Wizards over the final 12 games of the Major League Soccer season. Vermes

became the Wizards Technical Director on November 15, 2006 and will maintain that role while assuming Head Coaching duties.

"Over the past three years as the Wizards Technical Director, Peter has demonstrated strong work ethic, leadership and creative management of our team roster," Heineman said. "As the club's new Manager, we believe Peter has the technical and tactical qualities, attention to detail, and determination necessary to bring championship soccer back to Kansas City."

Vermes was a founding member of Major League Soccer and a standout on the United States National Team. After retiring in 2002, Vermes became the Technical Director of Blue Valley Soccer Club before serving as a coach of the United States Under-20 Men's National Team in 2006. Vermes retired from MLS after playing in 184 games League games (183 starts), amassing 16,384 minutes, 11 goals and 17 assists for the then New York/New Jersey MetroStars, Colorado Rapids and Kansas City Wizards over seven seasons. He scored two goals and recorded three assists in 2000, helping lead the Wizards to their first MLS Cup championship. Vermes has been a finalist for the National Soccer Hall of Fame in each of the last two rounds of voting, finishing in the top 10 both years. The National Soccer Hall of Fame announced Monday that he is again among the top 24 retired players eligible for voting.

"I have a strong understanding of where we are currently and where we need to go, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to lead the team on the field next season," Vermes said. "There will be a certain mindset and spirit in the locker room moving forward, and I am excited for what lies ahead. We will add different players to the equation and continue to develop from within our current roster, but we will all be eagerly anticipating pre-season, which is less than three months away."

Vermes first joined the Wizards on February 3, 2000 via trade from the Colorado Rapids and enjoyed his greatest team and personal success in MLS. He anchored a defense that allowed just 29 goals in 32 regular season games, posting a Major League Soccer record 17 shutouts, including eight straight at home. The team amassed an amazing streak of 681 straight minutes. Vermes played every minute in 2000 and helped Kansas City capture the Supporters Shield for best record in the regular season and the MLS Cup crown. He was named BIC 2000 Defender of the Year, to the MLS Best XI team and was a member of the MLS All-Star squad that season. He played for the Wizards for two more years before retiring after the 2002 campaign.

Vermes played in 67 games for the United States National Team, scoring 11 goals and registering three assists. In 1998, he was named the Chevrolet U.S. Male Soccer Athlete of the Year. His leadership and mentality then helped lead a young squad to an improbable qualification in the 1990 World Cup in Italy, the first trip for the United States in 40 years. Vermes also played for the United States at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea, where he was named U.S. Olympic Player of the Year for the Summer Games. Vermes later became the first American ever to play in Hungary's (Raba Eto) and Holland's (F.C. Volendam) First Division. He also played for Figueras of the Spanish Second Division. In addition to English, Vermes speaks Spanish and Hungarian.



Ron Newman 1996-1999 50 50 0 .500 (2-5-0 in post-season)

*Ken Fogarty 1999 0 3 0 .000

Bob Gansler 1999-2006 86 85 51 .502 (9-8-3 in post-season)

*Brian Bliss 2006 4 4 6 .500

Curt Onalfo 2007-2009 27 29 22 .487 (1-2-2 in post-season)

Peter Vermes 2009- 3 6 3 .375

TOTAL 1996-2009 170 177 82 .492 (12-15-5 in post-season)

*Interim Head Coach


Three Kansas City Wizards players remain in the running for Play of the Year awards from Major League Soccer fans. Kansas City and Seattle Sounders FC are the only teams to have three finalists still in the running for two honors. Attackers Davy Arnaud and Claudio Lopez are each finalists for the AT&T Goal of the Year award, while goalkeeper Kevin Hartman is up for the Degree Men Save of the Year honor. Fans can vote for both awards through or No Wizards player has ever won Goal of the Year honors. The Save of the Year award is in its inaugural season.

Voting runs through Tuesday.

The 2009 Goal of the Year and Save of the Year will be announced on Nov. 18, 2009. Click on the links provided below to vote for the 10 nominees.



Week 1

Davy Arnaud -

MLS Goal of the Week Nominee

Launched long-range shot into upper corner of goal against Toronto FC.

Week 19

Claudio Lopez -

MLS Goal of the Week

Connected on remarkable strike from beyond the half line in 1-1 tie with Los Angeles Galaxy.



Week 32

Kevin Hartman -

MLS Save of the Week

Changed directions to palm shot off the foot of Ben Olsen over the bar in 2-2 tie with D.C. United.


Kansas City Wizards defender Jimmy Conrad remains with the United States National Team in advance of Wednesday's friendly against Denmark, who also qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The match kicks off at 1:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on the ESPN family of networks. Wednesday marks the USA's first ever visit to Denmark for the team's 24th and final match of the year. Conrad has appeared 26 times in a U.S. uniform, including two matches during the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The Wizards and Budweiser will host watch parties for the Denmark game Wednesday at both area 810 Zone locations.

Conrad played in two matches for the U.S. during the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, suffering a concussion during the first half of a quarterfinal tilt against Panama that forced him to miss the semifinals and final. Conrad has appeared 26 times for the U.S. National Team since 2005 and scored one goal. Conrad's lone international goal was a game-winning header in a 2-0 victory over archrival Mexico Feb. 7, 2007. He was on the game day roster for each of the USA's final two World Cup qualifiers, though he did not see the field in either match.

Former Wizards forward Eddie Johnson, now with Fulham FC of the English Premier League, also made the roster. Johnson has appeared for the United States 38 times, scoring 12 goals. Johnson played for Kansas City between 2006-2007. Johnson scored 17 goals in MLS play over that time, putting him in 9th place on the Kansas City's all-time goals list. Johnson set career highs in goals (15) and assists (6) in 2007 for the Wizards. Johnson then transferred to Fulham FC in January of 2008. Johnson played the second half of Saturday's 1-0 loss to Slovakia


GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton), Troy Perkins (Valerenga)

DEFENDERS (8): Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Edgar Castillo (Tigres), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Jonathan Spector (West Ham)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Michael Bradley (Borussia M=F6nchengladbach), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Benny Feilhaber (AGF Aarhus), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Dax McCarty (FC Dallas), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)

FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Hull City), Conor Casey (Colorado Rapids), Jeff Cunningham (FC Dallas), Eddie Johnson (Fulham)


The Kansas City Wizards are now accepting renewals from current season ticket holders and new season ticket deposits for the 2010 Major League Soccer season. The Wizards will begin the 2010 campaign with a home match on Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. CT against D.C. United at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. Kansas City, a charter member of Major League Soccer, will play its 15th season in 2010.

Fans who renew their season tickets or purchase new season-ticket packages will retain an early priority number that will determine seat locations in Kansas City's new stadium. To renew season tickets or place a deposit for new season tickets, call the Wizards locally at 913-387-3400, toll free at 1-877-828-7222 or visit

Prices for the 2010 Kansas City Wizards season at CommunityAmerica Ballpark will remain unchanged, with the exception of some premium seating sections. Season tickets start at just $180 for an 18-game schedule that includes 15 regular-season MLS contests and three "Special Game" tickets. The Wizards will offer FREE parking for all matches at CommunityAmerica Ballpark again in 2010.

After the season opener, the Wizards will travel to face the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. CT. The full 2010 MLS schedule will be announced in January of next year, and Kansas City's broadcast schedule will be announced leading up to the start of the 2010 campaign.

2010 Season Ticket Prices

Seating Category

Full-Season Rate

Per-Game Rate

Gate Price

Field Side Reserved




Terrace Table (4 Seats)




Stadium Reserved




Bleacher Reserved








Grass Berm/General Admission





Two Kansas City Wizards players will participate Friday in the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony put on by the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, Kansas City, Kansas. Defender and metro-area native Matt Besler will be joined by midfielder Kurt Morsink at the event from 5-6:30 p.m. CT Friday at Kansas City, Kansas City Hall. Besler and Morsink will sign autographs and mingle with local children. The players will then flip the switch to turn on the Christmas Tree lights.


The Kansas City Wizards announced Monday that the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) has named CommunityAmerica Ballpark's playing surface the Professional Soccer Field of the Year. A panel of six judges independently scored each entry based on the playability and appearance of the playing surfaces, innovative solutions, effective use of budget and the development and implementation of a comprehensive, sound agronomic program. Kansas City's grounds crew faces the unique challenges of converting a minor league baseball field into a Major League Soccer surface throughout a nine-month season that features vastly different weather patterns due to the team's location in the Midwest.

"This is a well-deserved award for Jay Griggs, Justin Bland and Michael Moyer," Kansas City Wizards Manager Peter Vermes said. "Those guys do an unbelievable job every week to get the field at CAB ready for Major League Soccer matches. Players in our League cover a lot of ground and put a lot of wear and tear into a field. Making the changes that we make on an every-game basis and keeping the playing surface in world-class condition is a testament to the hard work and ability of our grounds crew."

"This was a great effort from the entire Wizards grounds crew to get the field at CAB ready for Major League Soccer," Jay Griggs, Wizards Sports Field Operations Manager for CommunityAmerica Ballpark said. "Our Wizards crew removed sod and dirt nine different times and installed dirt and sod eight different times this season to complete the conversion to soccer. Our job is to provide a first-class playing surface for MLS games, and this award acknowledges that effort."

Other professional field award winners included Lambeau Field, home of the NFL's Green Bay Packers (Professional Football Field of the Year) and Whataburger Field, home of the Corpus Christi Hooks (Professional Baseball Field of the Year). The Colorado Rapids' surface at Dick's Sporting Goods Park was named Professional Soccer Field of the Year in 2008. The Wizards have never previously won an award from STMA.

"The Field of the Year Award validates the intense dedication of our members," Kim Heck, CEO of the Sports Turf Managers Association, said. "Each year STMA awards no more than 14 Fields of the Year, so a very small percentage of our members are winners. Jay Griggs and his crew are very deserving of this prestigious award for their exhaustive work at CommunityAmerica Ballpark."

Griggs and the entire grounds crew, including Justin Bland and Michael Moyer, will be presented with their award during the Annual Awards Banquet on Fri., Jan. 15, 2010, which is held every year at the Annual STMA Conference and Exhibition. The 21st Annual STMA Conference and Exhibition is Jan. 12-16, 2010, at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort and Convention Center in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.


The Kansas City / USA Host City Bid Committee announced last Monday that an electronic petition drive has begun to boost the city's chances of hosting FIFA World Cup™ matches in 2018 or 2022 should FIFA choose the United States as a host nation. Kansas City is one of 27 remaining cities in the running to be part of the USA Bid Committee's bid submission to FIFA. The USA Bid Committee is expected to include 18 cities in their bid to FIFA. Matches in Kansas City would be played at Arrowhead Stadium. To support the effort, Kansas Citians are asked to sign the petition at and pass the petition along to their friends and family.

A series of emails will be sent from community leaders to their employees, patrons and clients in the coming days to support to the online petition effort. All Kansas Citians are encouraged to click through the email and sign the petition, then pass the message along to their friends and family members. The Kansas City / USA Host City Bid Committee is Co-Chaired by Kansas City Chiefs Chairman of the Board Clark Hunt and Cerner Corporation's Chairman and CEO and Kansas City Wizards co-owner Neal Patterson. The USA Bid Committee will select final cities to be included in the bid in December. The USA Bid Committee will then submit their bid to FIFA, world soccer's governing body, in May of 2010. FIFA will select host countries for the 2018 and 2022 events in December of 2010.

"On behalf of the Kansas City Bid Committee, I would encourage sports fans across the Midwest to sign the petition to bring the FIFA World Cup™ to Kansas City," Hunt said. "Hosting the FIFA World Cup™ at Arrowhead was a longtime dream of my father's. The time is right to bring the world's most prestigious soccer competition to the Kansas City community. The USA Bid Committee will soon make its final selections for cities to be included in the USA Bid. We need the community's help to ensure that Arrowhead and Kansas City will showcase the international excitement that is the FIFA World Cup™."

A study released previously by the USA Bid Committee indicates that the total economic impact projected for any one host city ranges from approximately $400 million to $600 million at today's dollar value. That figure is based on 12 host cities staging five to six matches, along with ancillary venues such as the International Broadcast Center (IBC) in one city and FIFA Fan Fest™ in each city. The study also estimates 5,000 to 8,000 jobs would be created in each host city during the event's operation.

"It is not often that citizens from every walk of life have the opportunity to play such an important role in bringing a world-class event to their city," Patterson said. "This is one of those rare opportunities. I encourage all Kansas Citians to visit and sign the petition. Hosting an event of this magnitude would showcase our fine community to the rest of the world and bring hundreds of millions of dollars to our local economy."

The Kansas City / USA Host City Bid Committee features members and expertise from a wide range of Kansas City metropolitan area public and private entities from both sides of the state line, including: The Kansas City Chiefs; Kansas City Wizards' ownership group OnGoal, LLC; the Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation; the Kansas City Convention and Visitors Association; the City of Kansas City, Missouri; the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, Kansas City, Kansas; the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA); and POPULOUS, formerly HOK Sport Venue Event.

The full list of cities still in the running includes: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York City, Oakland, Orlando, Philadelphia, Glendale-Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, and Washington, D.C.


Kansas City Wizards Head Athletic Trainer Chet North has been named the 2009 MLS Head Athletic Trainer of the Year, presented by Mueller Sports Medicine. Fellow MLS Head Athletic Trainers and League and team staff members voted on the award.

North has served as the team's Head Athletic Trainer in every Major League Soccer season, only missing a pair of games during that stretch for the births of his two children. North is the last remaining member of the staff from 1996. North is constantly researching the latest in Athletic Training development and trends to ensure the best possible service to Wizards players. His track record is outstanding, as the Wizards have one of the lowest injury rates in MLS.

"It means a lot when you are honored on an individual level," North said. "I would like to thank my assistant, Kenny Ishii and the rest of the technical staff for their support. With this ownership group and technical staff leadership, we're on a very exciting journey. I look forward to the future with the Kansas City Wizards."


The National Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum distributed the 2010 Player Ballot today to all voters last week. The ballot features 24 retired national team and professional players who all have contributed to the growth of soccer in the United States. Among the players on the ballot are three FIFA Women's World Cup winners who helped launch the Women's United Soccer Association in 2001, and ten men who have played in the FIFA World Cups of 1990, 1994, 1998 or 2002. Five players on the ballot had international careers and were among the early pioneers of Major League Soccer.

Six players on the ballot played for the Kansas City Wizards, highlighted by Wizards Manager Peter Vermes and all-time leading scorer Preki. Vermes finished as one of 10 finalists in each of the last two years. Former Wizards Head Coach Bob Gansler is also up for the National Soccer Hall of Fame on the Builder Ballot. The players on the ballot are:

Mike Burns

Mauricio Cienfuegos

Raul Diaz Arce

Thomas Dooley

John Doyle

Marco Etcheverry

Robin Fraser

Chris Henderson

Eduardo Hurtado

Dominic Kinnear

Roy Lassiter

Shannon MacMillan

Joe-Max Moore

Victor Nogueira

Peter Nowak

John O'Brien

Cindy Parlow

Preki Radosavljevic

Mike Sorber

Earnie Stewart

Steve Trittschuh

Carlos Valderrama

Tisha Venturini-Hoch

Peter Vermes

Player biographies of all candidates are available on the Hall of Fame's website .

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.