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Rockford Rampage Announce 19 Signings For 2009-10 MISL Season

November 6, 2009 - Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) - Rockford Rampage News Release

ROCKFORD, Ill. - The Rockford Rampage announce the signing of 19 players as they enter their 2009-2010 Major Indoor Soccer League season. A total of 14 players from last season's runner-up Rampage squad return, and newcomers include defenders Fabinho and Chris Brisson, goalkeeper Danny Waltman and midfielder Hassan Minter. Per team policy, terms of their agreement are not released.

The returning Rampage squad is headed by Matthew Stewart and Bato Radoncic. They were Rockford's leading goal scorers during the organization's 2008-2009 National Indoor Soccer League debut. Stewart had 22 goals, seven assists and 53 points in 16 regular-season games, while Radoncic had 17 goals, four assists and 39 points.

"I don't have to look twice at them because they will give you everything that they've got," Rampage head coach Jeff Kraft said. "I can count on them every time."

Other notable and recognizable faces returning to the Rampage include defender Tijani Ayegbusi (led last season's Rampage with 28 blocks), defender Ibrahim Kante (led all Rampage defenders with 21 points), midfielder Semir Mesanovic (had 24 points) and northern Illinois natives Fred Degand, Roberto Gallo, Eric Lukin and Marco Sullo. Another familiar player is Elmhurst, Ill., native John DeVae, who played for the Rampage during the team's 2007-2008 American Indoor Soccer League title-winning campaign.

New to the Rampage this season is goalkeeper Danny Waltman, who orchestrated an MVP and Goalkeeper of the Year season for the Xtreme Soccer League champion Detroit Ignition. Rampage founder and general manager Oscar Albuquerque and Kraft were assistant coaches with the Chicago Storm when Waltman was playing for that organization.

"It's funny. With Danny, I discovered him back when Oscar and I were coaching under Frank (Klopas)," Kraft said. "He was a young keeper who was hungry, and I said back then, 'We've got to give this guy a shot.' He has turned into one of the top goalkeepers and it's come full circle that he's back under me."

Brazilian defender Fabinho provides an impact on all areas of the field. Fabinho previously played for the Chicago Storm, and his best season was in 2007-2008, when he led the team in blocks (45) and led all Storm defenders with 36 points.

"Fabinho brings a great dynamic on both ends of the field," Kraft said. "He's a proven player, a smart player who takes care of himself and is a first-class professional."

Defender Chris Brisson played for Chicago over the past three seasons. Brisson had an injury with his back early in 2008-2009, but he is in great shape for his Rampage debut. "He's 100 percent healthy and he's looking good," Kraft said. "He's the one guy that's really caught my eye. He's a smart defender and doesn't try to do too much. He's another great addition for this team."

Rounding up the team's set of newcomers is midfielder Hassan Minter, an Ontario, Calif., native who played collegiately at Trinity Christian College (Palos Heights, Ill.) of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference. He also runs Fast Forward - Sports Performance, a program that focuses on athletes' speed, agility, short-step quickness and more.

This core group is gearing up for the Rampage's 2009-2010 MISL opener, which takes place at 6:35 p.m. CT on Friday, Nov. 13, at the Baltimore Blast -- the league's defending champions. Rockford's home opener is set for 7:35 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 27, against the Milwaukee Wave at the MetroCentre.

Rockford Rampage's current 2009-2010 roster:

No. Name, Position, DOB, Hometown

2 Andre Berenzon, M, 09/28/84, Sao Paulo, Brazil

3 Ibrahim Kante, D, 07/20/81, Bamako, Mali

4 Eric Lukin, D, 06/14/79, Chicago, Illinois

6 Chris Brisson, D, 08/11/82, Hugo, Minnesota

7 Semir Mesanovic, M, 01/01/81, Toronto, Canada

8 Bato Rodoncic, F, 08/28/80, Montenegro

9 Fabinho, D, 06/07/77, Sao Paulo, Brazil

10 Geison Moura, M, 07/16/86, Sao Caetano, Brazil

11 Matthew Stewart, M, 09/17/76, El Paso, Texas

12 John DeVae, F, 10/21/83, Elmhurst, Illinois

13 Fred Degand, D, 06/06/79, Deerfield, Illinois

14 Tijani Ayegbusi, D, 10/14/82, Ligos, Nigeria

15 Samuel Ogunsanya, D, 03/01/80, Nigeria

16 Roberto Gallo, D 07/09/84, Chicago, Illinois

18 Hassan Minter, M, 04/29/82, Ontario, California

19 Ante Cop, D, 11/07/74, Slavonski Brod, Croatia

20 Marco Sullo, D, 03/10/87, Chicago, Illinois

24 Danny Waltman, GK, 09/19/81, Gig Harbor, Washington

30 Gary Brooks, M, 12/02/77, Jamaica

The Rockford Rampage are members of the Major Indoor Soccer League and are coming off a runner-up finish in the National Indoor Soccer League in 2008-2009. Rampage season tickets for the 2009-10 MISL season currently are on sale. For more information, log on to www.RockfordRampage.com or call the Rampage at (779) 423-1082. Individual game tickets are available at www.MetroCentre.com or by calling (815) 968-5222.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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