First-Place Rampage Host KiXX On Friday
ROCKFORD, Ill. -- The first-place Rockford Rampage hope to add to their undefeated start to the 2009-2010 Major Indoor Soccer League season when they host the Philadelphia KiXX at 7:35 p.m. Friday at the MetroCentre. The first 200 kids in attendance receive a book, compliments of KinderCare. The night also includes a halftime WonderWalk in support of March of Dimes and a kid carnival sponsored by KinderCare.
The Rampage hold a 2-0 record following last week's 9-8 home-opener victory over the Milwaukee Wave. Philadelphia, on the other hand, enters this match with a 0-2 mark. But head coach Jeff Kraft and his Rampage players know they should not take the KiXX lightly.
"Every game is going to be a battle, and there's not going to be an easy night -- 0-2 means nothing," Kraft said of the KiXX. "They've got some great players and they're going to mesh sooner or later."
Rockford midfielder Jamar Beasley had two goals and Fabinho added the team's first three-point tally of the season last Friday against the Wave. Fabinho earned MISL Player of the Week honors, while Beasley took the team lead with four points. Rampage goalkeeper Danny Waltman had 15 saves.
The Rampage's first two games have been a bit on the low-scoring side, but they have demonstrated the ability to win tight matches and come from behind against two formidable opponents in the Baltimore Blast and Wave.
"As a coach you're always happy with a win, no matter how you get it," Kraft said. "To defeat Baltimore and beat the defending champs was a big win, and to come back against a great team like Milwaukee shows a lot of character."
Philadelphia has not played since a 19-8 loss to the defending champion Blast on Nov. 21. The KiXX are trudging through a tough portion of their schedule -- a six-game road swing to open the season, with their own home opener eventually taking place on Jan. 9, 2010, against Rockford at the Liacouras Center.
Last season the two teams split the series with two wins apiece. For the Rampage, this four-game stretch represented consecutive matches against only the KiXX from Feb. 21 through March 8. Though Rockford posted a 2-2 record head-to-head, with both wins coming at home, the Rampage held a strong advantage on the scoreboard, outscoring the KiXX, 38-25.
- Familiar face: Philadelphia goalkeeper Sanaldo joined the KiXX this season to replace goalkeeper Peter Pappas, who retired before the 2009-2010 season. Sanaldo played for the Rampage last season as he helped Rockford en route to a runner-up finish during the 2008-2009 National Indoor Soccer League season.
- New for the KiXX: On Wednesday the KiXX signed Cuban National Team player and defender Rey Martinez. Martinez was a member of the Baltimore Blast's 2007-2008 MISL Championship squad. He also played for Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids in 2004, posting an assist in seven games as a forward.
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Major Indoor Soccer League Stories from December 3, 2009
- First-Place Rampage Host KiXX On Friday - Rockford Rampage
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