Rockford Rampage pro soccer team gears up for weekend doubleheader
From press release
The Rockford Rampage enter a critical weekend set in Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) play when they hit the road to face the Milwaukee Wave Saturday, Feb. 13, followed by a Sunday, Feb. 14, match against the Philadelphia KiXX at the MetroCentre.
Saturday’s game begins at 6 p.m. at the U.S. Cellular Arena. Sunday’s match kicks off at 5:05 p.m., and it is the Rampage’s first leg of a three-game homestand. Rockford plays its final four regular-season games on the road in March.
Capitalizing with a pair of victories this weekend would be a huge momentum changer. The Rampage (6-6) are hoping to end a two-game losing streak and jump ahead of Milwaukee (7-6), which enters the weekend in second place behind first-place La RaZa de Monterrey.
“We’ve had good success against Milwaukee, and they’re a good team,” Rampage head coach Jeff Kraft said. “We’ve played them well. They’re going to be gunning for us. This game will make us or break us.”
The Rampage have posted a 3-0 record against the Wave this season. With a victory Saturday, that would clinch the season series against Milwaukee and give the Rampage a playoff tiebreaker advantage if both teams finish the regular season with identical records.
On the flip side, the Rampage have had their struggles against the KiXX, posting a 1-3 record against last-place Philadelphia heading into Sunday’s game.
Every team in the MISL, outside of Philadelphia, has enjoyed a first-place seat in the standings. The KiXX (3-6) have posted all of their victories against the Rampage.
“Every weekend, someone else can take first place,” Kraft said. “Monterrey won five in a row and took over first. It’s one of those things where you just try to not make an answer out of it. You go out every game and take them as they come. Every team is going to start upping their level of play.”
Because of poor weather and driving conditions, Friday’s KiXX at Baltimore Blast match was rescheduled to March 13. So Philadelphia will be well-rested, while the Rampage have to quickly recover from Saturday’s matchup against Milwaukee.
• Making their points: Heading into the weekend, Rampage midfielder and captain Matthew Stewart holds a team-high 27 points and 10 goals. Stewart is 5 points away from reaching 300 for his career. … The Wave’s Marco Terminesi still leads his team with 35 points and 13 goals. But he has missed four games this season and is out this weekend, as well, with an illness. … The KiXX’s Adauto Neto has 28 points on nine goals and nine assists. Neto had his best performance of the season against the Rampage when he tallied four straight second-half goals and 9 points during a 23-20 KiXX victory Jan. 9.
• MISL injury report: On the weekend injury report, Rampage goalkeeper Danny Waltman is out (knee) and defender Fabinho is questionable (jaw). For Milwaukee, Marco Terminesi is out (illness), Brett Wiesner is questionable (hamstring) and Hewerton Moreira is probable (hamstring). Philadelphia did not report any injuries.
• Temporary coaching change: Rampage head coach Jeff Kraft was issued a red card last week in Monterrey, so assistant coach Rob Kraft will be taking over head coaching duties Saturday in Milwaukee. Jeff will return to the helm for Sunday’s match against Philadelphia.
Also this weekend …
• Saturday, Rocky and several Rampage players and staff members are visiting the Northern Illinois Food Bank in Rockford to help sort and can boxes of food.
• Sunday, NIFB volunteers will be at the game and set up a display on the main concourse. They will hold a “Kick out Hunger” station, where kids can try to kick a soccer ball to knock down a pile of cans. NIFB volunteers are accepting donations at their display table.
The Rockford Rampage are members of the Major Indoor Soccer League and play their home games at the MetroCentre. Rampage tickets for the 2009-2010 MISL season are on sale. 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. All Rampage home broadcasts are available live online at http://www.depor13.com/rampage_prewebcast.htm.
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