D'Ambra was a member of two KiXX championship teams.
D’Ambra Spent 14 Years with Organization
Philadelphia (Wednesday, April 14, 2010) – The longest tenured athlete in the City of Brotherly Love has decided to hang up his boots for good. Philadelphia KiXX player/coach Don D’Ambra, who was the final player to have been with the organization since its inception in 1996, announced today that he will step aside from his position as head coach and will formally retire after a 16-year playing career.
“I'd like, first and foremost, to thank Jeff Rotwitt for the opportunities he's extended to me as a KiXX player and coach,” D’Ambra said today. “Few people have the chance to play the sport they love for a living, even fewer for so many years and in their hometown. Jeff, Don Pasquale, Charlie Wright and Bill Begley have remained committed to the team and to me through many challenges, and I cannot fully express my gratitude for that. This organization has always done things with professionalism and class.”
D’Ambra was one of the first players on the KiXX roster when the team was founded 14 years ago, and he has performed the role of head coach for the past seven seasons in addition to being a player on the field.
“Don is arguably one of the best forwards of all-time to play professional indoor soccer,” KiXX President Jeff Rotwitt remarked. “He has an amazing work ethic and a true passion for the game. Our fans, his wife, Leslie, and daughters have been a great support system over his career, and we look forward to officially retiring his number at a game next season.”
The 37 year old D’Ambra began this past season on the bench for the KiXX but returned to the turf during the season. In his final campaign as a professional soccer player, the Philadelphia native tallied 21 points on nine goals and four assists in just nine contests. Upon retirement, D’Ambra leaves the KiXX as its all-time leader in points (905), goals (388), power play goals (44), game-winning goals (46), games played (445) and shots (1599).
D’Ambra was instrumental in leading the club to a pair of Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) championships, one as a player in 2002 and a second as player/coach in 2007. In his final championship run, the St. Joseph’s graduate was named the 2007 MISL Championship Game MVP after scoring two goals in a win over the Detroit Ignition, 13-8. As head coach, D’Ambra accumulated a franchise best 119 wins and held the position for longer than anyone in team history.
KiXX management stated that a search for a successor to D’Ambra is currently underway.