Ex-Wizards Friday Feature

So I tune in to FSC for their MISL game of the week and who do I see?  Former Wizards Tony Meola (99-04) and Stephen Armstrong (02-03) facing off.  Meola played in 125 games while with the Wizards, most notably of which was the 2000 MLS Cup season when he was named league MVP for his record 16 shutouts.  Coincidentally, this week Tony was one of Jeff Bradley’s MLSnet.com First XI: 11 things he loved and misses in MLS since 1996.  He writes:

6. Tony Meola in the goal. I know he still wants to go out the right way and I know he’s fit and diving all over the place for the New Jersey Ironmen. Surely there’s a team in the league who could use a veteran ‘keeper, if for no other reason than to push some snot-nosed kid a little harder. Never say never. It would be a great story in 2008, no doubt.

Armstrong, a former player for Watford FC and the South African olympic team, played in 55 games for the Wizards, who acquired him in a trade with D.C. United for Brandon Prideaux.  He had 5 goals.   

On a related note, recent Wizards trialist Ibrahim Kante signed with Meola’s Ironmen today.  Kante played for the Kansas City Comets from 2004-05.

For news and notes on Will John, Josh Wolff, Chris Konopka, and Eddie Johnson…

  • Will John and Randers FC are in Dubai for preseason training, where he impressed today with his ability to take free kicks.  He also has a new hair style — out with the spikes, in with the cornrows.   Notice he is representing Rockhurst with his shirt selection.
  • Josh Wolff and 1860 Munich play Sunday in the Bundesliga 2 against TSG Hoffenheim.
  • Chris Konopka was on the bench of Bohemian FC’s 0-0 preseason friendly versus English Championship side Burnley FC today.  You can see Chris in training this week and hear goalkeeper coach Dermot O’Neill talk about his play in this clip from the club (goalkeeper segment runs from 1:15 – 3:10).
  • Finally, all signs point to Eddie Johnson making his debut for Fulham in their home match against West Ham next Saturday.  After playing the full 90 in a reserves match on Monday (tying Chelsea reserves 2-2), EJ said all the right things on Thursday, excerpts below:

It was a dream come true to make the move to the Premier League…I am really excited to get going, it is, without doubt, the best league in the world and I feel that I am part of a great team here at Fulham.”

Every day is a big challenge; nothing over here is guaranteed to you as a player. You have to prove yourself on a daily basis and I think that is one of the major differences from the MLS. No one is different from another guy in the squad, there is no special treatment or perceived level of status, you are rewarded with how you train and play in games and that’s how it should be.”

UPDATE: Manager Roy Hodgson gives his evaluation of Eddie in this interview (2:00 minute mark) yesterday, and has some interesting thoughts on him being an American 23-year-old versus an English 23-year-old. 

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