Storm host AISL's Rockford Rampage on Tuesday
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. - The Chicago Storm put their Major Indoor Soccer League tilt on hold for a week when they host the American Indoor Soccer League's Rockford Rampage at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, at the Sears Centre Arena. The event is the team's annual School Day Game, and about 3,500 excited students will attend the event.
The Storm defeated the Rockford Thunder (now Rampage), 21-10, in last season's exhibition "I-90 Showdown." The Storm (12-7 MISL) then travel to Loves Park, Ill., on Saturday, Feb. 9, for another match against the Rampage (10-0 AISL; regular-season champs) at 7:30 p.m.
- This past week: On Saturday, Feb. 2, the Chicago Storm earned their first victory against the expansion New Jersey Ironmen, 15-4, at the Sears Centre Arena. Chicago points leader Matthew Stewart tallied two goals and goalkeeper Jim Larkin saved 13 of 15 shots. On Friday, Feb. 1, Stephen Armstrong scored a hat trick and a career-high eight points, but it was not enough as the Storm fell to the Baltimore Blast, 18-8, at 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore. Armstrong had two three-point goals and a two-pointer. His eight three-point tallies lead the Major Indoor Soccer League, and his individual points total Saturday ranks second on the Storm's all-time list behind Mark Ughy's 11-point feat last season.
- Points leaders: Three Storm players rank in the MISL's top 20 in points. Matthew Stewart is 12th with 41, and he leads the Storm with 18 goals (all two-pointers). Stephen Armstrong currently ranks 15th with 38 points. Armstrong has 14 goals (an MISL-leading eight three-pointers) and two assists. Carlos "Chile" Farias is tied for 16th with 37 points. Farias has 11 goals (two three-pointers) and 13 assists.
- Richey honored: Last week, Storm goalkeeper Jeff Richey was named co-MISL goalkeeper of the week with Orlando's Paul Nagy. On Friday Jan. 25, Richey saved 13 of Detroit's 14 shots at the Sears Centre, resulting in a 9-2 victory for the Storm. Richey holds an 8-4 record with 12 starts. He is in third place in the league with 8.59 points allowed per game and a save percentage of 0.746.
- Champs, already: Rockford is dominating AISL play this season with a 10-0 regular-season record. The Rampage already wrapped up the AISL regular-season title with Saturday's overtime victory against the Cincinnati Excite.
- Two-headed monster: Rockford's Novi Marojevic and Bato Radoncic have scored a combined 68 points in AISL play this season. Marojevic's 37 leads the league. He has 21 assists, 12 one-point goals and two three-point goals in 10 games. He also has two game-winning goals. Radoncic has 31 points, leading the team with 19 one-point goals, and 12 assists in nine matches. Marojevic played for the Storm from 2004-06. Radoncic, who was last year's AISL MVP, was drafted by the Storm in the July 2007 supplemental draft.
- More Chicago connections: Rockford head coach Jeff Kraft was an assistant coach with the Chicago Storm for one season (2004-05), alongside Rockford Rampage president Oscar Albuquerque. Kraft played for the MISL's Kansas City Comets. Albuquerque is a former Chicago Sting player, making stops with MISL teams in Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas and New York. ... Mike Rigas is a Chicago native.
- Rock solid: Rockford goalkeeper Dimitri Meletis is 10-0 in goal for a reason. He is allowing only 5.66 points per game and saving 73.9 percent of shots his way. He opened the season allowing only one point against Cincinnati in the season opener Nov. 3, 2007. The native of Greece is the first AISL goalkeeper to reach that mark.
The Chicago Storm are members of the Major Indoor Soccer League. Storm offices are located at 5333 Prairie Stone Pkwy., in Hoffman Estates. For more information on all aspects of Storm soccer, including season tickets, group outings, birthday parties and more, call (866) STORM-81, or visit ChicagoStorm.net.
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