How Did Santa Do? “We are having a baby girl in May, so… “ Jack Jewsbury
Jewsbury Begins First National Team Camp Monday
Kansas City Wizards midfielder Jack Jewsbury began his first stint with the U.S. National Team Monday. The team focused on technical ball work and conditioning before playing a game to goal from the top of one 18-yard area to the top of the other. Jewsbury is one of four players who have never experienced a senior National Team camp before, joining Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew) and Chris Wingert (Real Salt Lake) in that category. Follow Jewsbury and the rest of the U.S. National Team camp through the Men’s National Team blog from U.S. Soccer.
Jewsbury, 27, experienced a breakout year in 2008, setting new career highs in games played (29), games started (29), minutes played (2,548) and assists (7). He was a vital part of the Wizards plans from the opening day, missing his only match of the year due to a yellow-card accumulation suspension late in the season. Jewsbury started the season on the right wing before playing for a period of time at right back. Once he moved into a central holding midfield role, Kansas City went on a 5-1-1 tear to close the regular season and qualify for the playoffs. Jewsbury then started both playoff matches in the center of the park as the eventual MLS Cup Champion Columbus Crew eliminated the Wizards from the postseason. Jewsbury will look to impress Bradley and the rest of the coaching staff ahead of a busy international schedule in 2009.
After the Sweden match, the U.S. will begin the final round of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup when they host regional rivals Mexico on Feb. 11 at Columbus Crew Stadium. In addition to the ten matches in the final round hexagonal, the U.S. will compete in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in June, having been drawn into Group B along with five-time World Cup winners Brazil, current World Champion Italy, and Egypt. Just days after the tournament, the U.S. will begin its defense of the CONCACAF Gold Cup title.
Midfielder Roger Espinoza to Update Fans from Honduras National Team Camp
Kansas City Wizards midfielder Roger Espinoza has been named to the training camp roster for Honduras ahead of the upcoming UNCAF (Central American Football Union) Nations Cup. The camp, which began Jan. 1 in Miami, Florida, will help Honduras manager Reynaldo Rueda select a 20-man roster for the Central American tournament that determines the regional champion. The top five finishers in the tournament will qualify for the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Espinoza has never appeared for Honduras at the youth or senior levels. Should Espinoza earn a CAP for his native country, he will become the first-ever Wizards player to represent Honduras at the international level.
Espinoza will update fans on his experience thus far with the Honduras National Team later this week on team blog, Hillcrest Road (www.hillcrestroad.blogspot.com).
Kansas City selected Espinoza with the 11th overall selection in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft after he signed with MLS as a member of the Generation adidas program. As part of the program, Espinoza’s contract does not count against the League salary cap, and adidas pays for him to continue his education while playing in the League. During his first year with the Wizards, Espinoza scored one goal and added three assists in 22 games (12 starts). He was among the rookie leaders in games played, minutes played and assists. He was part of a recent Generation adidas squad that traveled to London, England and played against reserve teams from Chelsea FC, West Ham United and Reading FC. He started two matches and came off the bench in a third.
Kansas City Wizards to Hold 2nd Annual Open Tryouts March 7-8, 2009
The Kansas City Wizards will hold its second-annual open tryouts March 7-8, 2009 in Kansas City. The Wizards held an open tryout in 2008 for the first time since their inaugural 1996 season, with the event drawing over 200 players from 15 different countries. Two players eventually signed for Kansas City, midfielders Kevin Souter and Nelson Pizarro. Both went on to play in MLS matches for the Wizards in 2008, and Souter started the final four games of the regular season and both MLS Cup Playoff matches for Kansas City. The tryout costs $200, and players can sign up through www.kcwizards.com/opentryout.
Participants will take part in matches Saturday, with the top players called back for Sunday’s session. Finalists will then get the opportunity to tryout with the Wizards first team in March with the chance of securing a contract. Final tryout location and times will be provided to each participant closer to the event.
Kansas City Wizards Open Tryouts
March 7-8, 2009
Kansas City Wizards Swope Park Training Center
6310 Lewis Road
Kansas City, MO 64132
Google Maps here
Kansas City Kicks Off 2009 Season Saturday, March 21, 2009 at Home, Moves Home Start Times to 7:30 p.m. CT
The Kansas City Wizards will start the 2009 season with a home match against Toronto FC on Saturday, March 21, 2009. The game will kick off at Kansas City’s new start time, 7:30 p.m. CT, at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. Season ticket packages are now available by calling the Wizards ticket office at (913) 387-3400. Group packages for groups of 15 or more are also available for the home opener. Single-game tickets will go on sale at a later date.
Kansas City finished the 2008 regular season with a 9-2-4 home record, good for the 3rd best mark in MLS. The Wizards defeated D.C. United 2-0 on March 29, 2008 in their first-ever match at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. The stadium quickly became known for its loud atmosphere and distinct home-field advantage for the Wizards, as the team closed with a 7-0-3 mark in its last 10 regular-season home games.
In 2009, the Wizards will continue to offer a free bus to groups of 50 from within the Kansas City metro area. Contact a Wizards sales rep at (913) 387-3400 for more information about bringing your group outing to a Kansas City Wizards match via bus. Alcohol, excluding kegs, is allowed on buses to the stadium.
Visit www.thetrailskc.com for Latest on The Trails Development
For the latest on The Trails Development, LANE4 Property Group’s $1 billion project in Southeast Kansas City that will include a soccer-specific stadium for the Kansas City Wizards, visit www.thetrailskc.com. This website includes all the relevant facts and figures on the project, including initial renderings and a preliminary site plan.