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Cougars Host Mbemba and the Outlaws

December 5, 2008 - Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL) - California Cougars News Release

STOCKTON, Calif. - For the first time this season, experience will not be solely in the favor of the undefeated Stockton Cougars (3-0, 4-0) as they suit up against the visiting Texas Outlaws (2-2) on Friday night at 7:15 p.m. inside the gorgeous downtown Stockton Arena. The match marks the first of three consecutive home weekend dates for the Cougars and the first meeting between the two Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL-Pro) teams.

Stockton is 4-0 overall in PASL-Pro play after wins against Colorado, San Diego, Wenatchee and Denver this season. Dating back to the end of the 2007-08 season, the Cougars have won six consecutive matches.

The Stockton offense is led by head coach Bernie Lilavois. His 12 points, six goals and team best six assists, is second on the team behind midfielder Greg Howes. Howes leads the PASL-Pro with 13 points this season in three games played.

The Texas roster features several former World Indoor Soccer League, Major Indoor Soccer League and Continental Indoor Soccer League players including Patrick Shamu, Jamie Harrigan, Mark Rowland and most notably Franck Mbemba.

Stockton fans remember Mbemba as the Cougars midfielder that scored two goals on March 30, 2008 at Stockton Arena against the visiting Orlando Sharks. A native of the Republic of the Congo, Mbemba totaled seven goals and nine assists while playing in 15 games for the Cougars last season.

Shamu's professional career saw him score 198 points over eight indoor seasons. He played all eight of his professional indoor seasons as a member of the Dallas Sidekicks. Shamu was named to the 1995 CISL All-Rookie Team and was a CISL All-Star in 1997. His 2000 season saw him net 19 goals and record 16 assists for 35 total points. Mbemba was also a member of the Soccer Studio team that won the 2006 Winter PASL-Premier Chamionship.

Both Rowland and Harrigan have found success in the outdoor game while playing for Dallas Roma F.C. (USASA) in both the 2005 and 2006 Lamar Hunt US Open Cups. The Roma club defeated Cocoa Express 7-2 in the first round on June 8, 2005 before being eliminated. In 2006, Roma reached the round of 16 (fourth round) in the US Open Cup, after defeating Chivas USA (Major League Soccer) in penalty kicks (0-0, 4-2). They were eliminated from the tournament by the Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS). The Galaxy lost in the US Open Cup championship match, 3-1, to the Chicago Fire.

Rowland spent a small part of his indoor career with the Sidekicks in 2004. Dallas won four champions during their long indoor soccer tenure. They were the 2001 WISL Champions, the 1993 CISL Champions and 1986-87 MISL Champions. The Sidekicks played at Reunion Arena from 1984-2004. The building closed in 2008, the Sidekicks dispersed in 2004.

Texas also brings former Sidekicks Jose Castro and Chuck Salas with them to Stockton for the match against the Cougars. The Outlaws are led in part by Co-Head Coach Cesar Cervin. Cervin was an assistant coach for the Sidekicks from 1997 to 2004. Kevin Leonard is club's coach and general manager.

Tickets are available by calling (209) 373-1550 and by visiting www.stocktontickets.com.

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