New Jersey Rides Three-Game Winning Streak into the Brew City
Lucio Gonzaga leads the Ironmen into the Brew City (Photo by Rich Graessle)
Newark, N.J. (Thursday, January 15, 2009) – The New Jersey Ironmen (3-2) picked up two critical wins this past weekend to elevate themselves into a three-way tie for the top spot in the Xtreme Soccer League, and the second-year club is currently amid a three-game winning streak heading into a Friday night pairing with the Milwaukee Wave (3-2). While the team has begun to take the form of what was predicted of the veteran roster, Ironmen Head Coach Omid Namazi is quick to refocus his players.
“It is important for the players to remain grounded,” he commented. “We won two games last weekend at home, but you should win at home.”
Namazi also showed a tremendous amount of respect for the opponents he faces tomorrow night.
“Anytime you play in Milwaukee, you know you’re going to get a tough game,” he remarked. “They always play with a lot of energy at home, and we know that they are going to make it difficult for us.”
Fans that made it to Prudential Center this past weekend were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of what was the foundation of a rising superstar in New Jersey midfielder Lucio Gonzaga. In a pair of wins over the Chicago Storm and the Wave, Gonzaga exploded for 18 points. In the 23-8 victory over the Storm on Friday, the Brazilian playmaker tallied 11 points on four goals (two three-pointers, two two-pointers) and an assist while recording the game-winning goal. He hit the winner again on Sunday in a 14-4 decision over Milwaukee, also filling up the stat sheet with two triples and an assist. His 23 points currently lead the XSL, and his remarkable performance has not gone unnoticed by his coaching staff.
“Lucio is an intelligent player that has unbelievable potential,” Ironmen Assistant Coach/midfielder Goran Vasic stated. “The great thing about him is his willingness to learn. He listens to the coaches, and he takes that coaching to make himself better every week.”
Namazi agreed with the thoughts of his player/assistant coach.
“Obviously, Lucio is an extremely skilled player with great physical attributes,” he said. “When you combine that with his soccer IQ and ability to read the game, there is no surprise how he has adapted to the indoor game so quickly.”
The Friday night match between the Wave and the Ironmen will kick off at 8:00 p.m. (EST) and can be viewed live through B2 Networks (www.b2livetv.com). New Jersey again takes to the road next Saturday to face the Detroit Ignition and returns to Prudential Center on Sunday, February 8th, to host the Chicago Storm. Tickets for that match and all Ironmen games start at only $10 and can be purchased by calling 1-800-IRONMEN.