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Event Spotlight:
KiXX Roster Presents Numerous All-Star Candidates
MISL All-Star Balloting to Begin Today

Thursday, January 16, 2003

By David Deal
Public and Media Relations Manager

Balloting for the 2003 Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) All-Star rosters is scheduled to begin today and the MISL defending champion Philadelphia KiXX present voters with a number of All-Star caliber candidates. Voting, which continues through January 31, will be conducted by a panel of 40 team-level executives and media members from around the MISL.

Each All-Star voter will complete a ballot for both the Eastern and Western Conference All-Star rosters. Philadelphia players selected for the game will compete on the Eastern Conference squad with All-Stars from the Baltimore Blast, Cleveland Force, and Harrisburg Heat. The National Conference roster will consist of All-Stars from the Dallas Sidekicks, Kansas City Comets, Milwaukee Wave, and San Diego Sockers.

KiXX goalkeeper Peter Pappas heads the list of Philadelphia players warranting All-Star consideration. Currently, Pappas ranks second in the league in wins with a 12-2 record, including a mark of 9-0 in his last 10 starts. His 8.97 points against average ranks him second in the League and rates as a career best. In his 15 starts this season, Pappas has held his opponents to 10 or fewer points on 10 occasions and less than five points five times. For his 6-0 month of November, Pappas was named MISL Defensive Player of the Month. He was also named MISL Defensive Player of the Week for the seven-day period ending November 3, in which he posted a 2-0 record with victories over the Baltimore Blast (11/2) and the Harrisburg Heat (11/3). He has posted a .730 save percentage, recording 173 saves on 237 shots faced. Pappas has also tallied six assists, four of which were dishes for game-winning goals.

KiXX forward Joel Shanker joins Pappas on Philadelphia’s potential All-Star list. The 2002 MISL All-Star Game Most Valuable Player leads the team with 45 points, ranking him 11th in the MISL. In the 18 games he has appeared, Shanker has posted six multiple-goal games, including a season-high three goals for seven points against the Cleveland Force on October 13. Shanker is currently riding a 13-game point streak. The seven-year veteran has been extremely consistent this season, tallying 13 points in October, 12 in November and 14 in December. Through January 16, Shanker has added six points on three 2pt goals for the month. On January 4, as the KiXX defeated the Dallas Sidekicks 10-7, Shanker appeared in his 200th career game.

KiXX Player/Coach Don D’Ambra has Philadelphia leading the MISL’s Eastern Conference with a 16-3 record and may earn a trip to the All-Star game as the Eastern Conference head coach by virtue of the club’s first-place standing. D’Ambra, however, also warrants a look as a player. The St. Joseph’s University product is second on the team with 31 points and ranks second in the MISL with four game-winning goals. One of D’Ambra’s game-winners came at Harrisburg on November 3, where the veteran striker knocked in a header a mere eight seconds into overtime giving the KiXX a 6-4 victory. Other 2002-03 highlights include the October 13 game versus Cleveland where he posted his 700th career point. The player/coach enjoyed an especially productive month of November in which he tallied 13 points on six 2pt goals and one assist.

Defender Pat Morris is another player that warrants All-Star consideration. Morris ranks third on the team with 30 points, leads the club with 12 assists and places second on the KiXX roster with 25 blocks. Against Milwaukee on December 21, Morris recorded a season-high seven blocks to ensure the 14-11 Philadelphia victory. Since turning professional in 1999, Morris has evolved into one of the most respected marking defenders in the League.

Despite missing six games this season with injury, KiXX captain Kevin Sloan is enjoying another All-Star caliber season. The midfielder made his triumphant return to play at Baltimore on November 8 and exploded for six points on a 3pt goal, 2pt goal, and an assist. Sloan lead Philadelphia with 19 points in the month of November on a pair of 3pt goals, six 2pt goals and one assist. He currently ranks fourth on the team with 29 points and is 15 points shy of 1,000 for his career.

MISL veteran Glenn Carbonara joined the KiXX at the beginning of the 2002-03 season and has brought experience to the Philadelphia backline. The Vineland, NJ native has tallied 16 points and leads the team with 33 blocks. In the seven-game span from November 8 to December 8, the defender recorded at least one block in each of the contests. In the KiXX home-opener against Harrisburg (10/5), Carbonara recorded his 300th career point. He has also connected on one-game winning goal and a pair of goals against a sixth-attacker. Along with being considered the sport’s best defender, Carbonara has won six league championships in his last 13 seasons while being named to two All-League squads and making five All-Star appearances.

Third-year midfielder Gary DePalma continues to evolve into one of the MISL’s most exciting young stars. The 26-year Pittsburgh native is tied for fourth on the KiXX roster with 29 points. DePalma is tied for the team lead with three 3pt goals. He is six points shy of recording his 100th point with the KiXX in just his second season in Philadelphia. DePalma is looking to make his second consecutive All-Star appearance after being the youngest participant in the 2002 All-Star game.

2002 MISL Champion Series Most Valuable Player Chris Handsor also deserves serious consideration. Despite missing six consecutive games, he has tallied 21 points on a 3pt goal, six 2pt goals, and six assists. Against Baltimore, he tallied a season-high eight points (3pt goal, 2pt goal, and a game-high three assists). Handsor has reached several career marks this season, including notching his 700th career point against Kansas City on October 26. The Toronto native appeared in his 200th game versus Dallas on January 4.

The MISL All-Star Weekend will be held in Milwaukee on March 7-9, 2003. The three-day soccer celebration includes a press conference, charity dinner, skills competition, Legends Game and the 2003 All-Star game. For more information, contact the MISL at 203.222.4900.

For more information on these players or any other KiXX player, please contact the KiXX Public Relations Department at 215.952.5431 or fax at 215.952.5488.

©2003 South Jersey Sports Online Inc.