Lucio Named XSL Offensive Player of the Year
Lucio and Neto had stellar seasons for New Jersey (Photos by Rich Graessle)
Newark, N.J. (Thursday, April 9, 2009) – The New Jersey Ironmen were notified by the Xtreme Soccer League today that Brazilian striker Lucio Gonzaga has won the 2008-09 XSL Offensive Player of the Year Award. The Ironmen were also informed that Lucio and teammate Adauto Neto received nods to the inaugural All-XSL Team.
“When we first saw Lucio last year in Baltimore, he was only half a season into his indoor career and showed the qualities of a veteran player,” Ironmen Head Coach Omid Namazi commented. “He is a very savvy and complete player that can play on both sides of the ball, and I can’t say enough about him. He has just scratched the surface and will only get better and better.”
Lucio had an outstanding season for the Ironmen this year, and he was a pivotal part of the highest scoring offense in the XSL. His 62 points (3.32/game) were 11 more than any other player in the XSL, and he also led the league with 23 goals and eight three-pointers. The second-year forward had nine assists and five blocks on the season, and he tallied three knocks on the power play. Additionally, his four game-winning goals tied him for the best mark in the league.
“I am happy to have won this award, but I would have much rather shared a championship with my teammates,” Lucio said. “I will do everything that I can to get better during the offseason, and I will continue to give all I have to Omid and our team.”
Joining Lucio on the All-XSL Team was fellow forward Adauto Neto.
“Neto is a difference maker, and he has been for many years,” Namazi stated. “After overcoming some early season injuries, he truly found his form and put it into second gear over the second half of the year. Once he got comfortable, he really showed his qualities.”
A former MVP winner, the play of Neto has become synonymous with success since he played his rookie season for Namazi with the Cleveland Force in 2003-04. He finished this past season with 46 points, which places him third overall in the XSL. He acquired those 46 points on an extremely well-balanced 15 goals and 16 assists, notching three scores on the power play and blocking five shots as well. His 16 helpers put him a three-way tie for second overall in the league, knotted up with teammates Goran Vasic and Chile Farias.
“Being a part of so many goals is a direct reflection of my teammates,” Neto remarked. “They move around the field well, and that opens up a lot of opportunities. We really play for one another, and I am just happy to be able to help my team win games.”
Securing MVP honors for the inaugural season of the XSL was Detroit Ignition netminder Danny Waltman, who was also named Goalkeeper of the Year. Winning Defensive Player of the Year honors was Ignition defender Josh Rife, while Detroit shot caller Matt Johnson was selected Coach of the Year in just his first season on the bench. Milwaukee Wave forward Marco Terminesi took Rookie of the Year accolades.
Goalkeeper: Danny Waltman (Detroit)
Defenders: Josh Rife (Detroit), Troy Dusosky (Milwaukee)
Midfielders/Forwards: Lucio Gonzaga (New Jersey), Marco Terminesi (Milwaukee), Adauto Neto (New Jersey)