Wednesday, September 12, 2001
By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Kixx Correspondent
The Philadelphia KiXX today announced the signing of forward Joel Shanker and defenders Chris Handsor and Edgar Bartolomeu to Major Indoor Soccer League offer sheets. The three players were selected in last month's MISL Dispersal Draft. Per team policy, terms of the offer sheets are not disclosed. The KiXX also announced that veteran defender Scott Henderson, an original member of the team and its all-time leader in blocks, has retired.
"One of our goals heading into training camp has been to improve team speed. These three players help accomplish that goal," said KiXX head coach Omid Namazi. "Handsor was a menace for Buffalo at the end of last season and will be a great target player for us. Shanker is one of the best two-way players in the league and I love his intensity. Bartolomeu is a young guy whose potential is unbelievable. He is a tough player with a great attitude and good skills coming out of the back."
Handsor was Philadelphia's second-round pick (eighth overall) in the MISL Dispersal Draft from the Buffalo Blizzard. In 36 combined matches with Edmonton, Kansas City and Buffalo last season, the 29-year-old recorded one three-point goal, 28 two-pointers and 17 assists for 76 points. A 1999 NPSL All-Star, Handsor has compiled 291 career points over five seasons, including helping the Cleveland Crunch capture the NPSL title as a rookie in 1995-96.
Shanker begins his second stint with the KiXX, having registered 15 points in 14 games with the team during the 1999-2000 campaign before being traded to the Detroit Rockers. The 30-year-old appeared in 34 games with Detroit last season and recorded 58 points and 35 blocks. A standout at Indiana University, Shanker has totaled 244 points and 212 blocks in 149 career matches with St. Louis, Philadelphia and Detroit.
Bartolomeu, who turns 25 on Friday, had five points and 17 blocks in 20 games as a rookie with Buffalo in 2000-01. Born in Angola, Africa, Bartolomeu previously played for the Toronto Lynx of the A-League from 1999-2000 and for Sporting of Lisbon in Portugal from 1991-95. Shanker and Bartolomeu were chosen in the fourth and fifth rounds of the dispersal draft with picks 21 and 27.
Following 384 career games over 10 NPSL seasons, Henderson is retiring to become the Director of Recreation/Assistant Athletic Director/Assistant Men's and Women's Soccer Coach at Gordon College in Barnesville, Ga. He finishes 10th in league history with 515 blocks and was a 1999 All-Star.
Henderson, 33, began his indoor career in 1990 with the Dayton Dynamo and spent four seasons (1992-96) with the Harrisburg Heat before the KiXX selected him in the 1996 Expansion Draft. He recorded a career-high 100 blocks in 1997-98 to tie for the league lead and appeared in all 124 games from 1997-2000. Henderson is Philadelphia's all-time leader with 275 blocks and ranks second in games played (190).
"Scotty is a player that everybody looked up to," commented Namazi, who played alongside Henderson for five years with the KiXX. "He was a great pro day in and day out and his solid defensive play will be missed. We all wish Scotty well in his new endeavors."
"This was a very tough decision to make, but it is one that is probably best for me and my family," said Henderson. "I will definitely miss my KiXX teammates, as well as the great city of Philadelphia. I'd like to thank the Teppers for giving me the opportunity to play, Dave MacWilliams for bringing me to Philly, Omid Namazi for everything he has done on and off the field, and of course all KiXX fans who have supported the team over the years."
The KiXX, who begin training camp on Oct. 1 at Tri-State Sports in Aston, Pa., open their sixth season on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 7:05 p.m., when they entertain the two-time defending champion Milwaukee Wave at the First Union Spectrum. The contest will be a rematch of last year's NPSL Finals.
Individual KiXX game tickets are $10 at all times for kids 14 and under and range from $16-$18 for adults. Season ticket prices for 18 games (doesn't include two School Day Games) begin at $198, while half-season and six-game Pick-A-Plan options are available. Fans can take advantage of discounts for groups of 10 or more people as well.
The KiXX also offer the popular Family Four Pack (4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 sodas) for $48 and birthday packages (10 tickets, food, merchandise, opportunity to run out on field with players) for just $160.
Contact the KiXX office at 888-888-KIXX for season tickets, group discounts, birthday packages and Family Four Packs. Individual game tickets are available at the First Union Center box office and all Ticketmaster locations, or by calling 215-336-2000, 856-338-9000 or 302-984-2000.