New Jersey Climbs into Second Place Tie with Win
Head Coach Omid Namazi and the Ironmen are in need of a big win (Photo by Rich Graessle)
Newark, N.J. (Friday, March 6, 2009) – After a heart pounding win last weekend over the host Detroit Ignition (7-6) at Compuware Arena, the New Jersey Ironmen (6-7) return to the scene of the fight this Sunday with the hopes of drawing even with the second-place Ignition. Detroit currently holds a one-game lead on New Jersey, and an Ironmen win would lock the two clubs up at 7-7 in the XSL standings.
“Having won there last weekend helps with our confidence, but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves,” New Jersey Head Coach Omid Namazi stated. “We understand that we have to be at our best to go into a tough place like Detroit and get a result.”
The conclusion to last Saturday night’s thriller could not have been anymore dramatic. After a goal by Ignition midfielder Ryan Mack in the closing minutes of regulation sent this game into sudden death overtime, Ironmen midfielder Goran Vasic pounded home a Chile Farias ball in the extra frame to give New Jersey a much-needed victory.
“That goal meant a lot to us, and we knew it could turn our season around,” Vasic reflected. “We controlled the tempo of the game, but their goalkeeper made unbelievable saves and their defenders did a great job as well. That win gave us a big boost in confidence, and more importantly, it gives us a chance to be in the running for a championship.”
A win on Sunday would knot up second place in the XSL standings with both the Ironmen and Detroit sitting on 7-7 records. In other league action, the first place Milwaukee Wave (8-5) travel to Chicago to play the host Storm (6-9) on Sunday afternoon. Should New Jersey persevere against the Ignition and get some help from the Storm, they would trail the first-place Wave by a single game. After this weekend, the Ironmen play Milwaukee three more times and Detroit twice. The fate of their entire season would rest in their own hands at that point.
Kickoff for the Sunday evening match-up between New Jersey and the Ignition is 4:35 p.m. and can be viewed live via B2 Networks.
When 13,249 fans welcomed the legendary Pelé to Prudential Center at their first home contest in team history on December 1, 2007, the New Jersey Ironmen established their honorary captain program. The Ironmen have since built on their honorary captain program by having such stars as former U.S. National Team midfielder Tab Ramos, former MLS offensive juggernaut Giovanni Savarese, Survivor-Africa winner and philanthropist Ethan Zohn, former IBF Junior Welterweight Champion Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi, former Cosmo midfielder Vladislav Bogicevic and former NASL/MISL goalkeeper Shep Messing being among their previously honorees. Former Cosmo Captain Werner Roth will be honored on Sunday, March 22nd, five-time MLS Cup Champion Jeff Agoos will serve as honorary captain on Friday, March 27th, and Super Bowl Champion George Martin will be honorary captain on Saturday, April 4th.