Kansas City's Roger Espinoza will suit up for Hondruas in the World Cup next month.
Otto Greule Jr./Getty

Kansas City Wizards Weekly Update July 1

* Wizards Re-Acquire Defender Shavar Thomas
* Over 12,000 Fans Gather in Kansas City Power & Light District for USA-Ghana Watch Party
* USA Fans Encouraged to Support Effort to Land World Cup in 2018 or 2022
* Wizards Travel to Face FC Dallas Saturday on KCWE 29
* Ticket Sales Surpass 40,000 for Manchester United Friendly
* Greener Goals Event a Success

The Kansas City Wizards re-acquired central defender Shavar Thomas Wednesday through a trade with the Philadelphia Union. In exchange for the Jamaican defender, the Wizards sent Philadelphia two second round MLS SuperDraft selections, one in 2011 and one in 2012, as well as allocation money. Thomas has played 151 games for five MLS teams over eight seasons, scoring three goals with one assist. Thomas, 29, played for the Wizards from 2004-2006. He will arrive in Kansas City Wednesday night and will be available for training Thursday.

Thomas was drafted 10th overall in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft by FC Dallas (then the Dallas Burn) and played in 15 games (14 starts) as a rookie, scoring one goal. Thomas was then traded to the Wizards along with allocation money for Carey Talley and Eric Quill. Thomas experienced a breakout season in 2004, playing 25 games (22 starts) for the Wizards, who finished the season as the best defensive club in MLS. The Wizards advanced to the MLS Cup final that season and won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the first time in club history.

Thomas remained a starter for the Wizards over the next two seasons. In total, he scored two goals in 6039 minutes over 76 games (70 starts) for Kansas City from 2004-2006. He was then traded to the Los Angeles Galaxy, who dealt him to cross-stadium rivals Chivas USA before he played for Los Angeles. Thomas played 59 regular-season games (58 starts) for Chivas from 2007-2009 along with five playoff games (five starts). Philadelphia selected Thomas in the 2010 Expansion Draft. He played 35 minutes in one game for the Union this season.

Thomas has appeared 27 times for the Jamaica National Team. He served as captain for the team’s 2004 Olympic squad (U-23) and was a member of the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup team. Thomas played the final group stage match in the Gold Cup, the only game that Jamaica won.

During his previous stint with Kansas City, Thomas was teammates with current Wizards Davy Arnaud, Jimmy Conrad, Jack Jewsbury and Josh Wolff. Assistant Coach Kerry Zavagnin was also a member of the team while Thomas played for the Wizards from 2004-2006. A corresponding move to clear space on Kansas City’s roster for Thomas will be announced in the coming days.

Over 12,000 screaming USA fans gathered in Power & Light Saturday as ABC/ESPN cameras were on hand. To see a pair of videos of crowd reaction when Landon Donovan scored his second-half goal, click here and here. For a full sights and sounds package from the event, click here. Watch parties will continue at the Power & Light District for every remaining World Cup contest.

U.S. National Team fans are strongly encouraged to support the bid to bring the FIFA World Cup™ to the United States in 2018 or 2022. To date, over 760,000 people have showed their support, including over 21,600 from Kansas City.

In addition to signing the petition at www.goUSAbid.com/kc, supporters can register their interest by texting “Kansas City” to “22442”. Kansas City is one of 18 cities still in the running to host games should the USA bid be successful.

The Kansas City Wizards travel to face FC Dallas Sunday in their 2nd match since the World Cup break. Kansas City lost to the first-place New York Red Bulls 3-0 last Saturday, while FCD topped Chivas USA 2-1. The Wizards will receive a boost, as Honduras World Cup team member Roger Espinoza returns to the club this week. He will be available for selection by Manager Peter Vermes Saturday.

Espinoza has been an anchor on Kansas City’s back line this season as the left back. He played in two matches (both starts) for Honduras, patrolling the left side of midfield. While Espinoza returns, the Wizards will be without midfielder Davy Arnaud, who picked up a red card in 2nd half stoppage time against New York. Kansas City will also have the services of newly acquired defender Shavar Thomas, who started his career in Dallas in 2003 before playing for the Wizards from 2004-2006.

Saturday’s match can once again be viewed on KCWE 29 featuring play-by-play announcer Dave Borchardt and analyst Sasha Victorine, with 30-minute pre-game and 30-minute post-game shows.

Ticket sales have surpassed 40,000 for the international friendly between the Kansas City Wizards and soccer superpower Manchester United July 25 at New Arrowhead Stadium. The match will set a new attendance record for soccer in Mid-America, as sales have already surpassed the previous record of 37,319 set when the United States Men’s National Team played a World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica at Arrowhead in 2001.

A limited number of lower-level seats are still available for the Manchester United match, but fans are encouraged to act quickly to reserve their seats before all lower-level seats are sold out. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.com, by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or at any Ticketmaster outlet. Special packages are also available through the Kansas City Wizards and can be purchased by calling 1-888-4KC-GOAL.

Media members who do not have Kansas City Wizards full-season credentials are required to register for credentials for the Manchester United match by Tuesday, July 13. Credentials are available from Soccer United Marketing through this website.

The Kansas City Wizards teamed up with local children and community leaders surrounding Belvidere Park in Northeast Kansas City, Missouri Monday for a “Greener Goals” event to help improve and reconstruct heavily used fields in Belvedere Park.

Staff members helped area officials clean up the park and install new fixtures in the morning, with Wizards defenders Pablo Escobar and Aaron Hohlbein and goalkeepers Erik Kronberg and Jimmy Nielsen holding a mini-clinic for the children during the afternoon. To read a recap of the event, click here. To see a video recap, click here.