The Wizards will partner with Kicks 4 Kenya, a non-profit initiative to support soccer in Kenya and raise money for mosquito nets to stop the spread of malaria. Last summer, the Wizards supplied balls, jerseys, and shoes to the Iowa college couple behind the effort, whose time and philanthropy in Kenya last summer are documented in these videos: Kenya 2007 and Good Times in Kenya.
KC rookie Jonathan Leathers, currently in France with the US U-23 team, was named 2008 Furman Male Athlete of the Year. Jon is the first two-time award winner in school history. As far as I can tell, Furman’s two most notable soccer standouts — US national teamers Clint Dempsey and Ricardo Clark — never won the award. Jon will suit up again tomorrow against Ivory Coast at 11:30 am on FSC in the Toulon Invitational.
TheBestEleven.com produces two maps showing where the Wizards come from, domestically and internationally. It’s an interesting geographic representation, and timely too — seven Wizards will be in their home state as the Wizards play Los Angeles on Saturday.
For those who have forgotten what CommunityAmerica Ballpark looks like while the Wizards are on their 2-month road trip, comes this video slideshow posted on YouTube earlier this week: T-Bone Evolution, showing the baseball stadium’s conversion into an all-grass surface. For what it’s worth, the T-Bones sit in first place at 6-1, and bring a five game winning streak into their home opener on Friday.
Speaking of CAB and, more generally, stadiums, I stumbled across this interview with Wizards President Robb Heineman posted last week on LiveWithJay: Wizards a Winner for Kansas City. Two disclaimers: it’s 33 minutes long, and it appears to have been done in late February. Neither takes away from what is a fabulous, open discussion of all things Kansas City Wizards and Ongoal LLC. Well worth a listen to Robb and business journalist Jay Libenguth. On a related note, Robb has joined the world of Facebook so here’s your chance to befriend a multi-millionaire.
Former Wizard Chris Klein is poised to set an MLS record on Saturday against his old team. The Galaxy right back will likely start his 94th consecutive MLS match, breaking the record held by current Wizard goalkeeper Kevin Hartman. Ironically, Hartman set the record as a member of LA and Klein began his current streak in KC.
Other milestones that may be accomplished on Saturday: if both play, it will be Jack Jewsbury’s 125th MLS appearance and Kerry Zavagnin’s 250th appearance for KC.
Lastly, the Wizards partner club, Atlas AC of Mexico, was eliminated in the Copa Libertadores quarterfinals last night after suffering a 3-0 home loss to Argentina’s Boca Juniors. A first half hat trick by Martin Palermo and an Atlas ejection early in the second half sealed the fate in front of 70,000 fans in Guadalajara.
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