Wizards sign Garcia, Victorine
The Kansas City Wizards announced Friday that defender Nick Garcia and recently acquired midfielder/defender Sasha Victorine have signed multiyear contracts with the club, though specific terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Garcia is a five-year MLS veteran, having spent his entire career with the Wizards since being drafted in the first round (second overall) of the 2000 MLS SuperDraft. He has been an ever-present figure in Kansas City's backline since his rookie season, racking up 138 regular-season appearances during his tenure.
"We are thrilled to be able to retain Nick's services," said Wizards general manager Curt Johnson. "He has been a large part of the successes we have had both on and off the field over the last five years."
Victorine, who joins the Wizards after four seasons with the Los Angeles Galaxy, is also a five-year MLS veteran. He played in 121 games with L.A. before being traded to the Wizards on Jan. 14 in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft.
"Acquiring and now signing Sasha Victorine gives us a versatile and valuable player with a tremendous amount of experience," said Johnson.
The 2004 season was one of Garcia's most successful. He aided in making the Wizards' defense the stingiest in MLS, allowing only 30 goals in 30 regular-season games. Kansas City also kept their opponents scoreless on 12 occasions, a league high on the season.
Garcia helped the Wizards to the 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship and appeared in his second MLS Cup Final last season. The Plano, Texas, native played every minute of every game en route to Kansas City's MLS Cup championship run in his rookie season in 2000. Garcia has also appeared six times for the U.S. national team.
Victorine played nearly every position on the field in his five seasons with the Galaxy, though he was mostly used as a wide midfielder or defender. He was a part of three championship teams in Los Angeles, contributing in their successes in the 2000 CONCACAF Champions' Cup, the 2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and the 2002 MLS Cup. He has earned four caps for the U.S. national team.
The Wizards will begin preparations for the 2005 season on Tuesday at the Arrowhead Indoor Training Facility, though a full training schedule has yet to be released.
Jonathan Nierman is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Soccer or its clubs.