KiXX midfielder Sandre Naumoski has a goal and two assists on the year (Photo courtesy of Philadelphia KiXX).
Philadelphia Returns Goalkeeper Nick Hovaker to Roster
Philadelphia (Thursday, December 17, 2009) – The Philadelphia KiXX (1-3) will make its second trip of the season to Baltimore on Friday night, and the team is currently finishing preparations for the 7:35 p.m. faceoff with the Blast (2-1) at First Mariner Arena. Also making the trip down I-95 with the KiXX is goalkeeper Nick Hovaker, who was re-signed today for a third year in Philadelphia.
Baltimore returns this season as the defending league champions, and KiXX head coach Don D’Ambra has been focusing his efforts this week in training on a certain aspect of the game that he feels will play a dominant role in the outcome of this contest.
“We need to play very good team defense,” he confirmed. “We have allowed way too many points within our last four games. We need to be more disciplined and do a better job of recognizing and executing roles and responsibilities. As for the Blast, we need to do our best to eliminate their dangerous scorers, such as Millwood, Lucio and Cabral.”
A win in this match-up would jump Philadelphia back up the Major Indoor Soccer League standings, which look to be very crowded throughout the entire season. With a high-powered offense and a defense that feels it has something to prove, D’Ambra feels confident that his team will enter this showdown in Baltimore with a strong focus.
“I believe that the players want to compete and get on a winning track,” he remarked. “Our guys worked very hard this week, and they have been extremely focused on getting on the same page and correcting some of the mistakes that we have been making.”
Fans will be able to follow all of the action in this match live on Friday night via B2 Networks, with coverage slated to begin prior to kickoff.
After spending two seasons learning behind long-time KiXX netminder Peter Pappas, who announced his intentions to retire prior to the start of the current season, Hovaker returned to the mix for Philadelphia this week in preparation of this key match-up.
“Nick has improved quite a bite with his feet, and he is capable of making the necessary saves to keep us in the game,” KiXX head coach Don D’Ambra said of Hovaker. “He also understands how to break pressures and makes good decisions.”
Hovaker appeared in six games last year for the KiXX, turning away 12 shots and recording a 0.75 save percentage. The previous season, he played in 13 matches and compiled an overall record of 3-6 in his rookie campaign. The Pasadena, Maryland, native was a First Team All County pick while playing at Chesapeake Senior High School, allowing a stingy four total goals during his senior year. After playing his collegiate soccer at Mount Olive College in North Carolina, he signed a contract to play in Philadelphia in 2007.
The KiXX are hosting a special “Meet the Team” event at the Liacouras Center tonight from 7-9:00 p.m. This function is open to the public, and fans will be able to meet the KiXX players and dance team members as well as get their autographs. This will also be the first chance for fans to get a look at the KiXX turf at the Liacouras Center, and they will additionally be able to select their season tickets for this year on the spot.
The KiXX will play its historic first home game at the Liacouras Center on the campus of Temple University on Saturday, January 9th, they will be hosting the Rockford Rampage at 7:00 p.m. Season and group ticket packages for the KiXX are available now by calling 1-888-888-KiXX.