* Wizards Dismiss Onalfo, Name Peter Vermes Interim Head Coach
* Weekly Schedule
* Wizards, Budweiser to Host Watch Party for USA-Mexico World Cup Qualifier
* Wizards Host Chicago Fire, Cuauhtémoc Blanco Sunday, Aug. 16
* The Jimmy Conrad Show Airs Live From Fox and Hound in Overland Park This Month
* Spanish-Language Coach’s Show Airs Thursday
WIZARDS DISMISS ONALFO, NAME PETER VERMES INTERIM HEAD COACH:
Kansas City Wizards President Robb Heineman announced Tuesday that Technical Director Peter Vermes will serve as the team’s Interim Head Coach through the end of the 2009 season. Vermes was a founding member of Major League Soccer and a standout on the United States National Team. After retiring, Vermes became the Technical Director of Blue Valley Soccer Club before serving as the Head Coach of the United States Under-20 Men’s National Team in 2006. He became the Wizards Technical Director on November 15, 2006 and will maintain that role while assuming Interim Head Coaching duties. The team announced Monday that it had dismissed Head Coach Curt Onalfo. Onalfo finished with a 27-29-22 record in MLS play after taking over prior to the 2007 season. Assistant Coach Kris Kelderman was also dismissed.
Media members outside the Kansas City area should contact Dave Borchardt or Kyle Rogers in Kansas City’s media relations department to arrange phone interviews with Vermes. Kansas City-area media are encouraged to attend one of the Wizards upcoming training sessions on Wednesday or Thursday.
“We thank Curt Onalfo for his service over the last two-plus seasons, but the shareholder group decided it was time to move in a different direction” OnGoal CEO and Wizards President Robb Heineman said. “We are happy to announce Peter Vermes as Interim Head Coach for the remainder of the 2009 season.”
Vermes retired from MLS after playing in 184 games League games (183 starts), amassing 16,384 minutes, 11 goals and 17 assists for the then New York/New Jersey MetroStars, Colorado Rapids and Kansas City Wizards over seven seasons. He scored two goals and recorded three assists in 2000, helping lead the Wizards to their first MLS Cup championship. Vermes was a finalist for the National Soccer Hall of Fame in each of the last two rounds of voting, finishing in the top 10 both years.
“The ownership group wanted to make a change, and I will take over as Interim Head Coach,” Wizards Technical Director/Interim Head Coach Peter Vermes said. “We will run a process around the new head coach after the season.”
Vermes first joined the Wizards on February 3, 2000 via trade from the Colorado Rapids and enjoyed his greatest team and personal success in MLS. He anchored a defense that allowed just 29 goals in 32 regular season games, posting a Major League Soccer record 17 shutouts, including eight straight at home. The team amassed an amazing streak of 681 straight minutes. Vermes played every minute in 2000 and helped Kansas City capture the Supporters Shield for best record in the regular season and the MLS Cup crown. He was named BIC 2000 Defender of the Year, to the MLS Best XI team and was a member of the MLS All-Star squad that season. He played for the Wizards for two more years before retiring after the 2002 campaign.
Vermes played in 67 games for the United States National Team, scoring 11 goals and registering three assists. In 1998, he was named the Chevrolet U.S. Male Soccer Athlete of the Year. His leadership and mentality then helped lead a young squad to an improbable qualification in the 1990 World Cup in Italy, the first trip for the United States in 40 years. Vermes also played for the United States at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea, where he was named U.S. Olympic Player of the Year for the Summer Games. Vermes later became the first American ever to play in Hungary’s (Raba Eto) and Holland’s (F.C. Volendam) First Division. He also played for Figueras of the Spanish Second Division. In addition to English, Vermes speaks Spanish and Hungarian.
Veteran coach Zoran Savic will be added to the staff as an assistant coach under Vermes. Savic has previously served as a Head Coach of the Kansas City Comets and an assistant for Chivas USA of Major League Soccer.
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS HEAD COACHES
NAME ERA W L T PCT
Ron Newman 1996-1999 50 50 0 .500 (2-5-0 in post-season)
*Ken Fogarty 1999 0 3 0 .000
Bob Gansler 1999-2006 86 85 51 .502 (9-8-3 in post-season)
*Brian Bliss 2006 4 4 6 .500
Curt Onalfo 2007-2009 27 29 22 .487 (1-2-2 in post-season)
TOTAL 1996-2009 167 171 79 .495 (12-15-5 in post-season)
* Interim Head Coach
The Kansas City Wizards will train twice on Wednesday this week and play the Kansas City Brass of the Premier Development League Friday in a scrimmage at the team’s Swope Park Training Center. Both of Wednesday’s training sessions will be open to the media and general public. The Wizards will NOT host their weekly press conference Thursday at the team’s Swope Park Training Center but will still host the conference as scheduled on subsequent Thursday’s going forward.
Date Time Location
Wednesday, August 5 10 a.m. CT; 3:30 p.m. CT Swope Park Training Center
Thursday, August 6 10 a.m. CT Swope Park Training Center
Friday, August 7 10:30 a.m. CT Swope Park Training Center vs. KC Brass (PDL)
WIZARDS, BUDWEISER HOST WATCH PARTIES FOR USA-MEXICO WORLD CUP QUALIFIER:
Next Wednesday, the Wizards and Budweiser will host watch parties at both area 810 Zone locations for the World Cup Qualifier between the United States and Mexico at famed Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. The match kicks off at 3 p.m. CT, broadcast live on Telemundo (Spanish) and mun2 (English). NBC Universal has agreed to allow local cable companies a free one-day preview of mun2. Wizards partner Time Warner Cable has taken advantage of this offer and will allow customers free access to mun2 for the day.
WIZARDS HOST CHICAGO FIRE, CUAUHTEMOC BLANCO AUG. 16
The Kansas City Wizards host the Chicago Fire Sunday, Aug. 16 at 2 p.m. CT at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. Chicago, currently in 2nd in the Eastern Conference, features Mexico legend Cuauhtémoc Blanco, USA international Chris Rolfe and USA Gold Cup goalkeeper Jon Busch. The Wizards will host First Responders Appreciation Day, recognizing police officers, firefighters and EMT’s for their service to the community. Festivities will include a halftime soccer match between area police officers and fire fighters. For tickets, visit http://www.Ticketmaster.com/kcwizards. Call the Wizards at (913) 387-3400 for more information on First Responders Appreciation Day, as a portion of proceeds from tickets sold through this promotion will benefit the Surviving Spouse and Family Endowment Fund.
MODIFIED JIMMY CONRAD SHOW AIRS FROM FOX AND HOUND IN OVERLAND PARK THIS MONTH:
The Jimmy Conrad Show, presented by Budweiser, will air Wednesday night on Sports Radio 810 WHB from 7-8 p.m. CT and simulcast online at kcwizards.com. The show will be broadcast live from Fox and Hound in Overland Park, Kan. during the month of August. Jimmy Conrad will be back live on the air after spending the past month away with the U.S. National Team and All-Star Game activities. Fans are encouraged to call in during the show at 913-3-810-810.
Fox and Hound – Overland Park
10428 Metcalf Ave
Overland Park, KS 66212
Google Maps Link
In 2009, the Wizards will take registrations from fans at each edition of the Jimmy Conrad Show for month-end drawings. Prizes will include Field Side Reserved tickets, a clinic from a Wizards player, a Football/Futbol double-header package and a VIP Meet & Greet session after a training session. Each fan can enter that month’s drawing each time they attend The Jimmy Conrad Show.
The Jimmy Conrad Show will be held at different bars throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area. The show will run from 7-8 p.m. CT each week except for a small number of nights when the time will change due to programming conflicts on Sports Radio 810 WHB.
Month Prize Winner
April 2 Field Side Reserved tickets to Kansas City Wizards vs. D.C. United May 6 Matt Fulton
May VIP Meet & Greet session for 10 at a Wizards practice Mandy Kraft
June 4 Terrace Table tickets to Kansas City Wizards vs. Houston Dynamo July 4 Jeremy Underwood
July Youth-team clinic with a Kansas City Wizards player
August Football/Futbol Double-Header package including KU, K-State or MU Football tickets
September 2 Field Side Reserved tickets to Kansas City Wizards vs. Colorado Rapids Sept. 26
October Autographed Wizards jersey and on-field VIP experience at 2009 playoff game
Fans can download archives of The Jimmy Conrad Show from the podcast page at kcwizards.com.
ZONA WIZARDS AIRS THURSDAY ON 1480 AM:
Wizards Interim Head Coach Peter Vermes will join Enrique Morales Thursday at 5 p.m. CT for the weekly Spanish-language coach’s show Zona Wizards on Ke Buena 1480 AM. This week, Spanish-speaking fans are encouraged to listen for insight into Vermes’ plans for the remainder of the season.