The beginning of a (hopefully) weekly segment that will introduce you to the people in and around Kansas City's soccer community. We kick off with the new voice of the Wizards, Dave Borchardt.
Borchardt, of Lee's Summit, also works in the Wizards public relations department and might be familiar to Sports Radio 810 WHB listeners. He was the host of the station's Chiefs pre- and post-game shows, did play-by-play for high school and arena football and hosted the Jimmy Conrad Show several times.
This year, he will handle the play-by-play duties alongside former Wizard Sasha Victorine on KCWE (Ch. 29).
He was gracious enough to allow us to ask him five quick questions in advance of Saturday's opening game for the Wizards. How long have you worked for the Wizards and what led you down this career path?
I began working for the Wizards in February of 2008. Before then I worked at Sports Radio 810, and during that time I became familiar with the Wizards by doing the sideline reporting for the team's TV broadcast.
You probably know the team better than almost anyone but the coaching staff at this point, what are your expectations for this coming season? Who's been impressive? What new player are you most excited about?
I have big expectations for the Wizards in 2010. I think we'll get back to the playoffs, and if we can stay healthy and continue to gel throughout the season, I think we will be a very dangerous team in the playoffs. I have been focusing most of my attention this preseason watching the newcomers, and I have definitely been impressed with what I have seen from Ryan Smith, Teal Bunbury and Jimmy Nielsen.
This year, you will have the role of "voice of the Wizards" added to your resume as they move from MetroSports to KCWE. What's your preparation going to be like for the games?
I am lucky because I get to go to practice every day, so that really takes care of most of my prep work as far as the Wizards are concerned. The coaching staff is great and will always trust me with inside info (lineups, injuries, etc.) that helps in the preparation for the broadcast. As for the visiting team, I'll be watching their previous game, and I'm also going to lean on Sasha Victorine (our TV color commentator) for his analysis on the opposing players and coaches.
An influx of international players often brings with it some names that can trip an announcer up. How much time have you spent perfecting the pronunciation of the player's names?
I am definitely working on the tougher names, with those being Birahim, Korede Aiyegbusi and Stephane Auvray. I'm actually pretty lucky because most of our foreigners have simple names (Escobar, Kostrov, Smith, etc.). Again, it really helps that I get to see these guys every day, so I have their names down pretty well at this point.
Do you have call in your pocket for the first Wizards goal of the year? Do you plan on having a signature goal call for the season?
I don't necessarily have a specific call in mind for the first goal ... it depends on how good the goal is. If it is not a dramatic goal, it may not be much more than a traditional goal call. But when we get a great goal (see Davy Arnaud's bombs last year) I think I'll have to break out a special call. I don't want to give it away, but people that know me know that I'm kind of a goofball, and I have something in mind that I think would be pretty clever/funny.
If you can't make it out to CommunityAmerica Ballpark Saturday, you can catch Borchardt starting at 7:30 p.m. on KCWE. You can follow him on Twitter
Is there a player/person you'd like to know more about? Leave a comment and let us know.