Thursday, December 14, 2006

RIP Lamar

For those of you that haven't heard yet, Lamar Hunt passed away tonight, Wednesday, Dec 13, 2006. I had been planning on talking about his recent bout with cancer today, but now it looks like unfortunately I'm writing a kind of obituary for a great man who has done so much for the sport of soccer in the US. Starting with his involvement in the old North American Soccer League becoming owner of the Dallas Tornado. Since then he's had a huge influence on the sport of soccer over the years. In 1996 with the formation of Major League Soccer, Lamar became a principal investor in the league, and owner of the Kansas City Wiz(ards) and Columbus Crew. Over the years, Lamar acquired ownership of the Dallas Burn(later renamed FC Dallas). His love for the sport of soccer helped keep MLS afloat in a time when lesser men would have walked away and let the young league go under. He was elected in the US Soccer Hall of Fame, as well as having the US Open Cup named after him in 1999. After the 2004 MLS Cup Final, he announced that the Wizards were for sale, which brought out anger and rage from many Wizards fans towards Lamar, myself included. He was not the most well received person with many Wizards fans. While he did put the team up for sale, though, it was his love for the team that helped keep the team in KC. If Lamar did not love the Wizards and believe that they could succeed in KC, he never would have sold the team locally, heck they probably would have been sold to out of town investors long before August of this year when OnGoal LLC purchased the team. He wanted this team to stay in KC, and while we didn't get the stadium that he built in Columbus or in Dallas, he did give the chance of that still happening by keeping the team local, and I would hope Wizards fans will never forget that. As a Wizards fan, a US Soccer fan, a Chiefs fan, I will never forget Lamar Hunt, he truely was a great man and will be missed in many circles.

If you wanna read more on Hunt's contribution to US Soccer, read Frank Dell'Apa's column on

Hard to go onto other news after that, but I had wanted to touch on this very quickly. After Joe Cannon was traded to LA, it certainly looked like El Gato, Kevin Hartman, was on his way out of Planet LA. Two locations looked likely, Columbus to add to their soon to be roster full of keepers, or KC, who had 1 keeper on their roster. It appears that it will be the later. Hartman will be joining the Wizards for an unanounced draft pick. Overall, while I'm not a huge fan of Hartman's my hate mainly comes from his days with the Galaxy. While he's not good in the air on crosses, he is definitly an upgrade over Bo, so that can't be all bad. In the end, I think this will be a major plus for the Wizards, and if Onalfo and Vermes find some decent talent on their current scouting trip, then the Wizards could very well be in business to be back competing in the playoffs next year. Can someone just please tell Hartman that the whole frosting/bleaching your hair went out years ago?

RIP LAMAR, you will be missed.

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