Wednesday, January 5, 2005
By David Deal
Philadelphia KiXX Executive Vice President/General Manager Greg Bibb announced today the acquisition of six players through the 2005 Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) Dispersal Draft. On December 30, the MISL announced the San Diego Sockers and the Monterrey Tigres were discounting operations for the balance of the 2004-05 season. Through the draft, Philadelphia acquired the rights to Philadelphia native Daniel Antoniuk, all-star forward Steve Butcher, Herculez Gomez, Ricardo Villar, Alan Gordon and McKinley Tennyson, all of which were on the San Diego Sockers’ protected list.
The KiXX, with the MISL’s third-best winning percentage in the 2003-04 season and the games to date in 2004-05, were given the fifth selection in each round of the dispersal draft. Philadelphia selected Antoniuk with the team’s first-round selection, fifth overall. A Philadelphia native, Antoniuk began his professional indoor career with the Milwaukee Wave in 2003-04, but was traded after just three appearances to the San Diego Sockers. The 6-3, 200-lb target recorded four points on two goals and a pair of assists in eight games with San Diego in 2003-04, and has notched seven points (one goal, six assists) in 10 contests with the Sockers this season. Antoniuk has also competed with the Portland Timbers of the outdoor A-League the past two seasons. The 23-year-old graduate of Wheaton College finished his collegiate career as the school’s all-time leader in every major statistical category, including goals (54), assists (36) and points (144). He set Wheaton’s single-season record in goals (18), assists (13) and points (49) during the 2000 season and is a three-time NEWMAC All-Conference selection. Antoniuk was also named the 2000 NEWMAC Player of the Year.
Antoniuk’s career statistics follow:
In the second round (12th overall), Philadelphia selected all-star forward Steve Butcher. The native of North Tonawanda, NY began his professional indoor career with the Buffalo Blizzard of the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) and spent two seasons with the Blizzard, before being acquired by the Cleveland Crunch (now known as the Cleveland Force) in the 2000 NPSL Dispersal Draft. After registering 92 points in 50 games in two seasons with Cleveland, the 26-year-old forward was selected by the St. Louis Steamers in the 2003 MISL Dispersal Draft. Under the League’s newly-adopted single-point scoring system, Butcher tallied 31 goals and 17 assists for 48 points with the Steamers in 2003-04 and was selected to his first all-star game; prior to this season, the MISL used a multi-point scoring system in which teams were given the opportunity to earn two- or three-point goals. Butcher was then traded to the San Diego Sockers prior to the 2004-05 campaign and he has recorded 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in nine games with the Sockers this season.
Butcher’s career statistics follow:
Philadelphia continued their selections with midfielder Herculez Gomez in the third round, 19th overall. The native of Las Vegas, Nevada has recorded five goals in 10 games with San Diego this season, his first professional indoor campaign. The 22-year-old midfielder also competed with the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2004.
Gomez’s career statistics follow:
The KiXX re-acquired the rights to Ricardo Villar with the team’s fourth-round selection, 26th overall; the club originally obtained the rights to the Penn State graduate with the team’s territorial pick in the 2002 MISL Amateur Draft. The Sao Paulo, Brazil native started every game his senior year and led the Nittany Lions in almost every statistical category, including goals (10), assists (13) and game-winning goals (4). Villar was named 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. Following graduation, Villar competed with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the outdoor A-League and was named to the 2003 All-League First Team after concluding the season tied for first in assists (12).
In the fifth round, 33rd overall, Philadelphia selected forward Alan Gordon. A product of Oregon State, Gordon was selected in the first round (9th overall) of the 2004 A-League College Draft by the Portland Timbers and was named the A-League’s Rookie of the Year after concluding the season tied for first in the League with 17 goals. The native of Long Beach, CA was also drafted by the Los Angeles Galaxy in the sixth round of the 2004 MLS SuperDraft. Despite only playing two seasons at Oregon State, Gordon finished his collegiate career third on the school’s scoring list with 59 points on 26 goals and seven assists. He led the Beavers and placed third in the Pac-10 with 25 points on 11 goals and three assists his senior season in 2003. The 23-year-old forward began his collegiate career at Yavapai Junior College.
Philadelphia concluded their selections in the sixth round, 40th overall, by choosing forward McKinley Tennyson. The Indiana native has played professionally with GIF Sundsvall (Sweden), the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Portland Timbers. With Portland, McKinley registered 29 goals in two seasons and led the A-League in scoring with 42 points (18 goals, six assists) his rookie year in 2002. The UCLA graduate also competed with the U.S. Under-18 National Team at the Paolo Valenti Tournament in Italy and at the U.S. Soccer Festival.
The Philadelphia KiXX return to action for a rematch versus the Comets on Saturday, January 8. The first 2,500 fans to enter the gates will receive a complimentary 2004-05 Philadelphia KiXX Rally Towel. Game-time at the Wachovia Spectrum is slated for 7:05 pm ET, with doors opening at 6:00 pm ET. For additional information or to purchase tickets, please contact the club’s Executive Office at 1-888-888-KiXX (5499) or visit www.kixxonline.com.