Wizards Travel to Face Galaxy in First-Ever Return of Former Galaxy Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman

Kansas City (6-5-3, 21 pts) at Los Angeles Galaxy (3-5-3, 12 pts)
Saturday, July 7 – Carson, California
The Home Depot Center – 9:30 p.m. CT
TV: Metro Sports with Sean Wheelock and Brian Roberts
Radio: 97.3 ESPN Radio
Broadcast Details: Metro Sports VYVX # 2334283

(July 6, 2007) – At the midpoint of the 2007 Major League Soccer season, the Kansas City Wizards (6-5-3, 21 pts) travel Saturday to face a Los Angeles Galaxy (3-5-3, 12 pts) squad one week prior to the arrival of international superstar David Beckham. The game, 9:30 p.m. CT on Metro Sports and 97.3 ESPN Radio, pits Wizards goalkeeper Kevin Hartman against the team with which he spent 10 successful seasons.

Kansas City, 0-3-2 in its last five games, is in the midst of a unique stretch of five games in which they have outshot their opponents 91-53 but been outscored 8-5. Kansas City and its high-powered offense now leads the league in goals, (24), shots (220), shots on goal (98), shot margin (+72) and corner kicks taken (82). The Wizards are also second in MLS in assists (24) so far in 2007. Kansas City is currently tied with Red Bull New York for third place in the highly competitive Eastern Conference, just two points behind first-place D.C. United.

Los Angeles has won two of its last three games after the return of forward Landon Donovan from U.S. National Team duty and the additions of former Portuguese international defender Abel Xavier, former Wizards outside midfielder Chris Klein and Honduran international forward Carlos Pavon. The Galaxy beat the Chicago Fire 2-0 Wednesday on the strength of two Landon Donovan penalty kicks.

Saturday’s match marks the first time Hartman returns to Los Angeles since being traded form the Galaxy to the Wizards for a pair of second round MLS SuperDraft picks in December 2006. Hartman is the Galaxy’s all-time leader in five significant goalkeeping categories and the all-time MLS leader in wins (122), shutouts (65), games played in goal (257) and minutes in goal (22,995). LA won an MLS Cup Championship (2005) and a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Championship (2001) while Hartman was the first-choice goalkeeper. He was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 1999 after posting the best goals against average in league history (0.91).

Also returning to Los Angeles is Wizards midfielder Sasha Victorine who spent five seasons playing with Hartman and the Galaxy. Victorine was traded to the Wizards for a second round MLS SuperDraft pick prior to the 2005 season. The duo also returns to the town in which they played college soccer. Hartman (1994-96) and Victorine (1996-99) each attended soccer powerhouse UCLA.

The Galaxy play a return match in Kansas City Thursday, September 27 at 7 p.m. CT in Beckham’s first-ever trip to Kansas City. Tickets are available at kcwizards.com or any Ticketmaster location.

Two Wizards stars were named Thursday to the MLS All-Star First XI as chosen by fans, players, coaches/general managers and the media. Defender Jimmy Conrad and forward Eddie Johnson are two of the 11 first-choice players available to New England Revolution manager Steve Nicols. First XI status does not guarantee a start in the All-Star game, but most First XI players healthy will start the match July 19 against Scottish Premier League Champions Celtic FC.