Midfielder Chile Farias has played well for the Ironmen (Photo by Rich Graessle)
Newark, N.J. (Friday, January 23, 2009) – The New Jersey Ironmen (3-3) left Newark International Airport this morning with an ambitious attitude, knowing that they must play at a premiere level to return to the Garden State with a pair of wins on Monday. New Jersey will make their first stop of a two-game swing in Milwaukee to play the Wave on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. before heading to Detroit for a 4:35 p.m. contest against the first-place Ignition on Sunday.
“We have to approach the weekend one game at a time,” Ironmen Head Coach Omid Namazi said. “We have to put all our energy into the first game, and afterwards we can think about the second game.”
New Jersey saw a three-game winning streak come to a conclusion last Friday after the Wave narrowly defeated the second-year side by a count of 8-6 at the U.S. Cellular Arena in Milwaukee. The team has focused upon putting that loss behind them as they head into the critical weekend that is staring them in the face.
“If we can win on Saturday, then we can take some momentum into the next game,” midfielder Chile Farias stated. “These are important games that we need to win. We just have to look at it one game at a time.”
The Ironmen should receive an added spark when former MVP Adauto Neto returns to the turf this weekend after a hamstring injury cost him the past two games. The Brazilian striker is listed as doubtful, but the team is hopeful #15 is healthy enough for action. His two teammates that won a league championship aside him with the Baltimore Blast last season, midfielders Lucio Gonzaga and Rey Martinez, have been lighting up the score sheets this year while donning the Maroon and Mandarin. Martinez is second on the club with 17 points while Gonzaga leads the XSL with a tally of 23.
“The most important thing to us right now is that we must win our first game on Saturday,” Gonzaga commented about the busy weekend. “We must talk a lot on the field, and we must play for each other. We know we have a great team and must be focused on playing our game to get two wins.”
While the Wave are always a tough squad to play in Milwaukee, the Ignition have been unbeatable at home during recent times. They are currently amid a 13-game home winning streak dating back to last season and have earned the top spot in the XSL this season after a 4-2 start. Should New Jersey take both road matches this weekend, they would find themselves alone atop the league standings.
Both road contests this weekend can be followed live via B2 Networks (www.b2livetv.com), and the Ironmen return home to Prudential Center on Sunday, February 8th, to host the Chicago Storm at 1:00 p.m. Tickets for that match-up and all Ironmen games start at only $10 and can be purchased by calling 1-800-IRONMEN today!