Three Members of the Philadelphia KiXX Voted All-MISL
Morris, Pappas Named to the League's First Team, While D'Ambra Nabs Second Team Selection
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
By David Deal
The Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) announced today that three members of the Philadelphia KiXX have earned All-MISL recognition. KiXX defender Pat Morris and goalkeeper Peter Pappas were selected to the League’s First Team, while player/coach Don D’Ambra was voted to the MISL’s Second Team. Morris and Pappas are joined on the All-League First Team by Genoni Martinez of the Monterrey Fury, the Milwaukee Wave tandem of Greg Howes and Todd Dusosky and Carlos “Chile” Farias of the Baltimore Blast. D’Ambra accompanies Dan Green of the Wave, San Diego Sockers’ Sean Bowers, Jeff Davis and Dino Delevski of the Kansas City Comets and Baltimore’s Denison Cabral. The selections are the results of voting conducted by a panel of team-level executives and media members from around the MISL.
Philadelphia native Pat Morris continued his defensive dominance along the KiXX backline, en route to earning his third All-League selection; Morris was also named to the All-MISL First Team for his play in 2001-02 and to the League’s Second Team last season (2002-03). The five-year veteran solidified the club’s defense with a team-high 63 blocks (3rd MISL), while notching 34 points, good for third on both the team and among the League’s defenders on the offensive end of the floor. Morris, arguably the MISL’s best-marking defender, blocked a season-high seven shots versus the Fury in Monterrey on January 29, then added four blocks and a season-high four points (goal, three assists) versus the Baltimore Blast on February 7.
The 26-year-old backliner made his third all-star appearance, representing Team USA in the MISL All-Star Game on February 29. Morris also received numerous League accolades throughout the year, including three Defensive Player of the Week honors (seven-day periods ending December 28, January 11 and February 8) and a pair of Defensive Player of the Month awards for his play in January and February. Philadelphia’s iron man posted a 97-games played streak before he was forced out of action for the club’s final four contests due to illness.
KiXX goalkeeper Peter Pappas posted another career season, making his sixth overall All-League squad and garnering his fourth consecutive nod. He was voted on the All-MISL Second Team for his play during the 2000-01 and 2001-02 campaigns and the All-League Third Team after the 1997-98 and 1999-00 seasons. The native of Toronto, Ontario finished the 2003-04 regular season ranked first among MISL netminders in save percentage (.765) and saves (430) and third in wins (17), minutes (1748), and goals against average (4.53). While his goals against average is third in the League, Pappas had faced nearly 200 more shots than his counterparts ranked higher in the standings.
The 31-year-old goalkeeper posted a perfect (16 saves on 16 shots faced) performance versus San Diego on January 17 to earn a 5-0 shutout victory, the third of his career and the first shutout in the modern-day MISL. Pappas, a Philadelphia University product, received a team-high seven League accolades for his play throughout various points this season, including a MISL-high five Goalkeeper of the Week honors (seven-day periods ending October 5, October 12, January 18, February 1, and February 8) to match a pair of monthly awards for his performance throughout October and January. The Goalkeeper of the Year candidate was selected to his seventh consecutive all-star game, but did not participate because of injury.
KiXX player/coach Don D’Ambra continued to excel both on and off the playing field this season, earning the first All-League selection of his illustrious career. The Philadelphia native led the club to a 20-16 overall record and their eighth consecutive postseason berth, all while ranking second on the team with 44 points. D’Ambra, a product of St. Joseph’s University, finished the 2003-04 regular season ranked first in the MISL with seven first goals, tied for second with five game winners and fifth on the League’s circuit with 35 total goals.
The 31-year-old midfielder achieved numerous career milestones this season, including appearing in his 350th game and notching his 450th point. D’Ambra also recorded his 350th point and played in his 300th contest as a member of the KiXX franchise. The 10-year veteran played a role in each of the club’s six goals versus the Monterrey Fury on January 24, finishing with six points (four goals, two assists) to set his best outing in eight seasons with Philadelphia. D’Ambra, in his second consecutive all-star appearance, tallied the final goal for Team USA in the 2004 MISL All-Star Game, in which MISL USA defeated the League’s International unit by a score of 10-1 in St. Louis’ Family Arena on February 29.
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