Tuesday, March 12, 2002
By Greg Wiley
Philadelphia KiXX Correspondent
The Philadelphia KiXX on Tuesday selected Penn State star Ricardo Villar with their Territorial Round pick and made Richard Stockton College's Jeff Moore the club's first overall selection in the 2002 Major Indoor Soccer League Amateur Draft.
The KiXX also chose Jamal Ballantyne of St. Lawrence University, David Boutilier of Rutgers, Seton Hall's Greg Strohmann and George Washington's Matt Pilkington. All of these players will be available to join the KiXX after the 2001-02 MISL season is complete.
"We came into this draft with specific needs in mind," player/coach Omid Namazi said. "Not only did we fill those needs, we got some quality soccer players who will have a serious chance to fight for a spot on our club next season."
Villar, who is currently training with the Dallas Burn of Major League Soccer after being selected in the league's draft in February, finished his Penn State career second on the all-time assist list with 31.
The Sao Paulo, Brazil native started every game of his senior campaign and led Penn State in almost every statistical category, including goals (10), assists (13) and game-winning goals (4). The forward was named as one of Soccer America's 11 Most Valuable College Players, and also received first team All-America and unanimous first team all-Big Ten accolades.
"Ricardo has the ability to be a great indoor player," Namazi said. "He is an accomplished Futsal player and his skills would translate superbly to the indoor game."
Moore, a midfielder who graduated from Triton High School, capped an outstanding career at Stockton with his selection as an NCAA Division III Second Team All-American. He helped the Ospreys to the 2001 NCAA championship, leading the New Jersey Athletic Conference and setting the Stockton single-season assist record with 19 helpers in 2001.
The 5-foot-8, 150-pound Gloucester Township native also became the school's career leader with 48 assists. Moore earned NSCAA Metro Region First Team honors last season after being voted to the NSCAA Metro Region Second Team in 2000 and Third Team in 1999. In addition, Moore was a four-time New Jersey Athletic Conference All-Conference player, earning First Team honors in his junior and senior seasons.
Ballantyne, of Brooklyn, NY, led St. Lawrence to an 18-2 mark this past season, scoring nine goals and recording a team-high 17 assists for a club-best 35 points from his forward position. The KiXX selected the 5-foot-7, 150-pounder with the first pick of the second round, a selection they received from the Kansas City Comets in the Goran Hunjak trade.
With their second pick in the second round, the KiXX chose Boutilier, a six-foot defender from Sparta, NJ. He was a mainstay in the backline for Rutgers during his tenure, making a name for himself as a defender in the Big East.
In the third round, Philadelphia chose the Wehrheim, Germany native Strohmann. The 6-foot-2, 170-pound forward was a two-year captain for the Pirates' program. He finished his collegiate career with 41 goals and 23 assists for 105 points. In his senior season, Strohmann tallied 10 goals and recorded five assists for a team-high 25 points.
The KiXX' final selection of the draft was Pilkington, who is a 5-foot-9, 155-pound midfielder from Manchester, England. In 16 games as a senior, Pilkington led the George Washington attack with 10 goals and seven assists for 27 points.
The KiXX currently stand in second place in the MISL standings, posting a 23-11 record this season. The team begins a three-game road trip this Thursday in Harrisburg, with the game starting at 7:05 p.m. Philadelphia returns to the First Union Spectrum on Saturday, March 23 to face the first-place Milwaukee Wave starting at 7:05 p.m. For ticket information call 1-888-888-KIXX or visit www.kixxonline.com for more information.