With week 1 in the book for the Wizards, lots to comment on prior to tomorrow’s game.
- First and foremost, kickoff for Saturday was changed to 4 pm in order to accommodate KU basketball’s 7:47 tipoff. However one perceives the move — and there was equal parts praise and criticism — the biggest concern was whether or not the sudden time change could be communicated effectively. All signs indicate it has. Visitors to kcwizards.com are notified by a special webpage prior to entering the site; The Kansas City Star has written two stories on the decision; and I’ve been told a message recorded by President Robb Heineman was used to contact hundreds of pertinent prospective fans by phone (all ticket holders were also contacted via email). This on top of the team’s promise to exchange tickets for a future game for those fans who are unable to attend because of the change.
- As for those fans claiming the decision is somehow minor league, do consider that such changes occur in all professional sports. To put it in context, the NHL’s Boston Bruins moved their 7 pm start time to 4 pm in order to avoid a conflict with the Red Sox World Series run last October. Even the NFL is moving the game time up for their season opener this year due to the, wait for it, Republican National Convention. And if it’s the short notice that’s the issue, just last month the NBA’s Rockets-Lakers clash was moved up on four days notice as well.
- Speaking of rare schedule conflicts, the Wizards will have more competition coming in the Kansas City sports scene this season. As a result of leaving Arrowhead Stadium and the Truman Sports Complex, for the first time the Wizards will play at the same time as several Royals home games. In fact, following tomorrow’s match, 7 of the next 10 Wizards home games will be played simultaneous to Royals home games.
- For Wyandotte County Wizards fans, tickets to tomorrow’s game can be purchased for $10 from Harmon H.S. students. It is part of a fundraiser for upgrades to their soccer and baseball fields.
- For any Spanish fluent fans out there, a good interview with Colombian Ivan Trujillo. In it he discusses his attitude in coming to the states and his goals for the season.
- Shep Messing and Greg Lalas with some complimentary comments about KC on the most recent MLSnet.com Extra Time video (5-minute mark).
- Kansas City is the focus of today’s Ives Galarcep’s ESPN.com feature: Wizards poised to be season’s surprise. Ives’ website also revealed volunteer correspondents for each MLS team today — I’m looking forward to the additional KC coverage and commentary by Mike Cross.
- The Wizards 2nd-round SuperDraft pick, Yomby William, appears to have secured the 28th and final roster spot. His name and profile have been added to the kcwizards.com roster. This move would mean open tryout discovery and Graceland University product Kevin Souter was edged out. I spoke to Kevin last Saturday following the game and he said he had been offered a contract but that there was an issue with his eligibility he hoped could be resolved.
- Finally, on a fun note, this picture of ’96 LA Galaxy players has been making the rounds this week in conjunction with David Beckham’s appearance on The Jay Leno Show. On the far left is Wizards Head Coach Curt Onalfo. Also of note, to his right is Jorge Salcedo, Chance Myers’ coach at UCLA.
Look for a pre-game preview tomorrow morning.
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