Friday, January 22, 2010

KC Wizards invitees tryout - some interesting names

Not commonly known but the Wizards are holding two tryouts this year. An open tryout in March like they have done the last two years and an invitational tryout. There are some names that are familiar to Wizards fans like Nelson Pizarro and Doug Demartin. Pizzaro signed with the Wizards two seasons ago after he impressed in the open tryouts. Nelson was allowed to leave the team last year so he could find more playing time. DeMartin was one of the Wizards second round picks last year but left training camp with an injury. He trained with the team again during the season but the club did not opt to sign him. Good to see both them back trying again.

Nelson Pizzaro at the tryout...

Another name that is fairly recognized is Vincenzo Bernardo. He is a player that has been highly touted, spent time with the U-17 and U-20 National teams and was in Italy from 2006 to 2009. All that and he is still just 19.


The biggest name that I have found out so far is Ian Walker. I believe he is the same Ian Walker that played in the Premier League for Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City. He was capped with the English National team as well.

Walker is the keeper with the ball...

Coach Zambrano...

Not sure of his name, just liked the shot. He made the save...

It looked like there was over 30 players. Seems like they are serious about looking for talent.
More photos here...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Random shots - 1/21/2010

The other day after Robb took his first dig to start the new stadium, I did an interview. No, I was not the interviewer, I was the interviewee. Laz from asked to talk about the Wizards and how they relate to NextGen Media. Check out the interview here. Also listen to Laz's podcasts on Nextgen media.

Mike has a good post on trialists that are coming in to camp. Robb has mentioned that numerous players will be in camp to tryout. He said these players are of the quality that they probably would have just signed them in the past. Vincenzo Bernardo is one of those players. He has played on the US U-17 and U-19 teams. Since 2006 he had been in Italy with Napoli. It seems that he decided to return to the United States to get playing time, hopefully get in the US National team picture and get his career on track.

Pablo Escobar signed

Escobar, 22, joins the Wizards from Colombian power Deportivo Cali. Before joining Cali in 2009, Escobar played for rival team Deportivo Quindio in the Colombian first division for three and a half years. Escobar, a central defender, was part of the famed Boca Juniors academy and the America de Cali academy.

Coach Vermes spoke about Escobar before it was announced:

2010 podcast #2

Mike and I recorded our second podcast of the year a couple days ago. Of course the Wizards have been pretty busy since then. They got final approval on the stadium, started the digging and announced the signing of a couple players. A bit of this is a little out of date now but not too bad.

part 1 - We talk about the draft

part 2 - we talk about the stadium renderings, jersey's and a couple other things

part 3 - former player updates

As soon as we can figure out a good name for the podcast, I will start putting out audio only podcasts and hopefully get it added to itunes. So let us know if you have any suggestions for a name for the podcast or any other suggestions.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wizards stadium started (dirt is moving)

Robb Heineman got to do what Wizards fans have begged for and little boys dream of. Use heavy machinery to dig in the mud and start construction of the new Wizards stadium. The first bucketful of dirt (mud) was Robb's honor.

I did find out that there will be two webcams setup in the near future. One on a pole on the State ave bridge that crosses France Family Dr. and one in the corner of State Ave and N 106th. The webcam over the bridge will be moved into complex once some of the infrastructure is complete.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

International signings for the Wizards (a little more info)

As I reported earlier this evening, Stephane Auvray received his P1 Visa and the should be announced by the team soon. Robb was really chomping at the bit to tell the fans but held off as the visa lawyer requested. Robb told me there was a great photo of Auvray and Dwayne DeRosario that he really liked. He had considered posting that photo and saying that they had signed one of those two. I am sure that would have generated some fun questions.

So Auvray is the defensive mid that Robb had tweeted about and from the looks of the highlight clips he is a going to make opposing offenses regret going up the middle.

The second of three players that Robb mentioned in tweets is one of the three central defenders that Ives reported a month ago; "America De Cali central defender Edward Zea, Deportivo Cali central defender Pablo Escobar and Deportes Quindio central defender Hanyer Mosquera have been signed by MLS".

So Escobar, Hanyer or Mosquera? One of those players is waiting his Visa approval for the Wizards. Peter says the player to be named later is fast. Very fast. Very athletic.

The third player that Robb tweeted about was an attacking left side player. I found out tonight who that is but all I can say for now is he is English, he was in the youth system of one of the big 4 Premier League teams, is still young and has played for a few well known English teams. Does not look like he lit up the scoring at the highest levels but will have to see what he can do at the MLS level.

Wizards Stadium approved in KCK

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas gave final approval on a deal to build a new stadium for the Kansas City Wizards. The Wizards stadium is part of a larger $400+ million project developed by OnGoal and LANE4 Property Group. It will include world-class tournament field complex with 18-24 fields for major youth sporting events and an office complex for Cerner Corporation expansion.

A few quick interviews after the meeting:

Robb Heineman (Robb wanted to clear up the target opening date)

Coach Vermes

Kevin Shook

The vote is passed, the handshake

I managed to get shots of Robb signing the actual agreement after it was all over...

Wizards sign Auvray

The Kansas Wizards received news late today that Stephane Auvray has received his P1 visa and will be officially announced by the team soon.

Auvray was born in Guadeloupe and has played for their national team. He has been playing professionally in France since 1999'

I talked with Peter Vermes about Auvray a few days ago and here is what he had to say:

A good youtube video of Auvray can be found here