Conrad signs four-year deal with K.C.

The Kansas City Wizards have locked up one of their stars through the 2010 season, agreeing Thursday to a four-year contract extension with defender Jimmy Conrad.

"I am happy to be with the Wizards for the next four years, and I look forward to bringing the club a lot of success on and off the field," Conrad said. "The level of commitment and the new vision from the new ownership group and coaching staff made it enticing to stay in Kansas City."

Conrad was the MLS Defender of the Year in 2005 and has been selected to the RadioShack Best XI and MLS All-Star team in each of the past three seasons. The Wizards see him as the centerpiece of their plans for the foreseeable future.

"Signing Jimmy to a new four-year deal solidifies our commitment to establishing the premier organization in MLS," said Wizards technical director Peter Vermes. "Jimmy is not only a quality soccer player, but also an extremely valuable person within the Kansas City community, and we are pleased to say that he will be with us for the long term."

Conrad had been rumored to be a transfer target for European teams, including Norwegian side Lillestrom SK, but will now be staying stateside. Wizards head coach Curt Onalfo said Conrad will serve as the club's captain.

"Over the last four or five years, he has proven himself as one of the best defenders in the league," Onalfo said. "Over the next four years, he is going to help the Kansas City Wizards to become a rock solid team defensively. We look forward to Jimmy leading our team, as the captain, to championship ways."

A member of the Wizards since 2003, Conrad broke into MLS with the San Jose Earthquakes in 1999 after spending 1998 with the A-League San Diego Flash.

He has made 183 MLS appearances, including 168 starts, and registered 11 goals and nine assists. He has also made 19 appearances for the U.S. national team, notching his first international goal on Feb. 7 against Mexico.

Jason Halpin is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.