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Chicago Riot Prepares for Critical 2-Game Set Against Omaha

February 10, 2011 - Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) - Chicago Riot News Release

CHICAGO (Feb. 10, 2011) -- The Chicago Riot prepares for a two-game weekend set against the Omaha Vipers in Major Indoor Soccer League action. Chicago faces the Vipers at 7:05 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, at the Omaha Civic Center. Then the Riot hosts Omaha at 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 13, at the Odeum Sports and Expo Center in Villa Park, Ill. Both games are available through a live webcast accessible through, and Spanish-language radio at .

Tickets for Sunday's match are available starting at $10 at or by calling 630-708-6284.

The Riot also announces this week that the team has released rookie forward Edward Santeliz, who decided to return to Guatemalan club Deportivo Suchitepequez, where he played from 2005 to 2009. Chicago has signed defender Betim Bekteshi. Per team policy, terms of Bekteshi's agreement are not released.

Bekteshi was discovered by Riot midfielder and assistant coach Novica "Novi" Marojevic. The 6-foot-3, Kicevo, Macedonia, native previously played for the Chicago-based Albanian Stars.

"He trained with us for a couple of days and he's got all the makings of a good player," Riot Head Coach Jeff Kraft said. "Novi saw him play a couple times and he comes highly recommended. Betim's fitness is not quite there, but we're not going to throw him into the wolves."

Santeliz had a successful Riot debut, tallying three goals, four assists and 10 points in 11 games this season.

In other Riot player news, Brazilian midfielder Andre is out this weekend with a groin injury. Defender and midfielder Chris Brisson also is out with a knee injury.

The Riot (3-9) is coming off a 16-12 victory over the Missouri Comets on Feb. 6 at the Odeum. Forward Bato Radoncic netted four goals, and the Riot outscored Missouri 8-0 in the fourth quarter for the comeback win. Radoncic was named MISL Player of the Week for his efforts.

"We gave up some bad goals in that game, but we stayed focused and played the full 60 minutes," Kraft said. "We finished our shots, and defensively everything fell into place in the fourth quarter."

The Vipers (6-7) have not had a league match since their 16-10 win over Missouri on Jan. 30. Omaha's Feb. 3 match against the Milwaukee Wave was postponed because of poor weather conditions and rescheduled for Feb. 16. And on Feb. 6, the Vipers hosted the Mexican national indoor soccer team. Mexico earned a 23-13 victory.

Omaha has a 2-0 series lead over the Riot this season. The Vipers posted a dominant 17-6 win over the Riot on Dec. 10, with Omaha forward Carlos "Chile" Farias netting four goals and 10 points. Omaha then edged Chicago, 13-11, on Jan. 9 at the Odeum.

"Chile's a great player and he's a veteran," Kraft said. "He knows the game. We took him too lightly in the first game, and in the second half, the momentum shifted [in Omaha's favor]."

The weekend series is a critical one for Chicago, which can move within a half game of the third-place Vipers with two victories. The league's top three teams advance to the postseason.

The Riot is 1-6 on the road and 2-3 at the Odeum this season. The Vipers are 3-4 at the Omaha Civic Center and 3-3 on the road.

Notes: - Scoring leaders: Riot forward Bato Radoncic leads Chicago with 27 points and 11 goals. Radoncic moved into the top 10 among the league's points leaders, entering the weeked tied for ninth with Milwaukee's Hewerton, and Radoncic already has matched last season's goals total when he was with the Rockford Rampage. Riot captain Fred Degand leads the Riot with six assists. ... Vipers forward Carlos "Chile" Farias leads Omaha with 17 goals, nine assists and 48 points. Farias enters the weekend tied for second in the MISL in points with Milwaukee's Marco Terminesi.

- Familiar faces, local ties: Omaha forward Chile Farias, defender Fabinho and forward Freddy Moojen have previous ties to the Chicago Storm. Fabinho and Vipers defenders Tijani Ayegbusi and Ibrahim Kantepreviously played for the Rockford Rampage.

- Milestone watch: Riot midfielder Ptah Myers needs two goals for 75 in his career. ... Semir Mesanovic needs seven points for 200 in his career.

- MISL Injury Report: Chicago Riot -- Andre (groin, out), Chris Brisson (knee, out); Omaha Vipers -- no injuries reported.

- Cop's goal goes national: Riot goalkeeper Ante Cop's thrilling game-winning goal against the Baltimore Blast on Jan. 16 will be featured on Winners Bracket, an ABC program that airs at 4 p.m. this Saturday. Tune in this weekend and relive the Riot's highlight of the season. In case you missed it the first time, here are two clips from that memorable finish: Novi and Cop Goals ; Cop Goal .

About the Riot's opponent, the Vipers: One of three new teams for the 2010-2011 MISL season, the Omaha Vipers joined the league in August of 2010 as part of the league's growing Midwest contingent. The Vipers are led by head coach and forward Marcelo Fontana. This is Fontana's first season as a head coach, and before the 2010-2011 season he played in 384 games, scoring 179 goals and accumulating 433 points -- the bulk of his time with the Milwaukee Wave.

Omaha's attacking base includes forward Carlos "Chile" Farias, who was named to the 2009-2010 All-MISL First Team after posting 17 assists, 16 goals and 53 points last season to help lead La RaZa de Monterrey to the championship over host Milwaukee. Farias and Omaha native Ryan Junge were the first two players to sign with the Vipers.

With Monterrey not playing for the 2010-2011 season, the Vipers took advantage by bringing in several other players from the MISL champion La RaZa squad, including goalkeeper Jose Bontti, midfielder Victor Quiroz, forward Shaun David and defender Ibrahim Kante who split his time between Monterrey and the Rockford Rampage.

In late November, the Vipers signed Brazilian defender Fabinho, who finished the 2009-2010 season with the Baltimore Blast. Fabinho has been on several Midwest-based clubs, including the Kansas City Comets, Chicago Storm and Rockford Rampage.

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