Sunday, May 24, 2009

Las Vegas Knights vs. V.C. United


V.C. United Falls in Las Vegas 12-4
5/24/09 - LAS VEGAS, Nev- V.C. United dropped their season-opening contest in Las Vegas Saturday night, falling to the Knights 12-4. The home-team dominated play at the Las Vegas Sports Complex handing United a loss in their first PASL-Premier match. Edgar Olivas scored a pair of goals for V.C. United. Juan Perez and Abraham Campos each added goals from free kicks.

V.C. United returns home to McDermont Field House for El Superclasico against Sequoia FC on Saturday May 30 at 7:00 p.m.

Final Stats

Las Vegas Knights 12
Valley Central United 4 (Olivas-2, Campos-1, Perez-1)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sequoia FC vs. Las Vegas Knights

Sequoia FC Drops Season Opener in Vegas

Sequoia FC can't overcome their early deficit and fall in Las Vegas 6-3

Sequoia FC lost 6-3 against Las Vegas Knights Saturday night in their opening game of the PASL Men’s Premier Season. Like their exhibition game on Friday against La Cabana, Sequoia had several chances to score but didn’t finish those opportunities.

“We need to work more on finishing,” said Sequoia coach Miguel Baez. “We are creating the opportunities but we are not taking advantage of those chances.”

Vegas scored its first two goals of the night during the first quarter. After that Sequoia scored the first goal of the game after Arturo Jauregui hit the wall with a cross and a Vegas player scored an own goal.

Both teams played more aggressive in the second quarter, but it was Vegas who took advantage of their opportunities and scored their third goal.

The Knights took a 3-2 lead into halftime.

“We still have a lot to learn about this game. The transition from attacking to defending needs to be quicker in this game and we are not doing it as we should,” Baez said. “By not doing that, we are giving the other team a lot of chances to score,” Baez added.

The Sequoia coach also said the team needs to learn to be more patient and smarter during the game. “Soccer is a game of patience, it’s about waiting for the right opportunity to attack. We need to use the walls more for our benefit and be ready at all times to keep the other team from scoring when they use the walls, especially in set plays,” he said.

During the first minute of the fourth quarter, Sequoia had a couple of chances to score but Vegas’ goalie saved two attempts by Jose Barragan and Omar Trelles. Sequoia kept pressuring and Barragan gained the ball in the midfield and with the keeper out, he took the shot and scored to get within one goal at 4-3. Again Sequoia gained the momentum but a couple of mistakes on the back gave Vegas the chance for two more goals to put the final score at 6-3 in favor of the home team.

“We are fortunate to have two good goalies, Saturday night Miguel Beltran did an excellent job,” Baez added.

“This sport has excitement from the first minute to the last; it is a fast-paced, action-packed game,” stated Rene Hernandez, McDermont Sports Manager added. “If you’re a soccer player or fan, you will enjoy this league.”

Sequoia FC returns home to battle their hometown rival V.C. United in the inaugural Superclasico May 30 at 7:00 p.m. at McDermont Field House.

Thursday, March 5, 2009



PASL-Premier National Finals
3/5/09 - The PASL-Premier National Finals are kicking off this weekend at the Las Vegas Indoor Soccer complex Friday morning at 9:00AM. Twelve teams from around the country are traveling to Las Vegas in hopes of claiming the Winter 2008/09 National Championship. The tournament begins with four groups of three teams. Each team plays two round robin games against their group opponents Friday morning. Friday afternoon, the 2nd and 3rd seed teams from each group play in elimination games, with the top seed advancing straight to Saturday’s quarterfinals. The quarterfinals kickoff Saturday morning at 9:05AM, with the winners from Friday afternoon’s elimination rounds playing the top seeds from round robin play. Semifinal action begins at 1:15PM with the National Championship game kicking off at 4:35PM.

Tournament Groups:

Group A

Alamo SC San Antonio – The South Central season champions enter the tournament after getting knocked off in the South Central playoff race. They finished the regular season tied in scoring with 85 goals in just 8 games. Accompanied by their solid defense that has allowed just 32 goals, Alamo SC enters Las Vegas with the second best goal differential with +53.

Ft. Collins Fury - The Fury have lost just two games this year, coming by a narrow 4-3 loss to the Northern Colorado Cutthroats, and a 7-5 loss to the Rocky Mountain regular season champions Denver Dragons. The Fury have beaten the Denver Dynamite Reserve team twice this year, showing they can not only play with the best, they can beat them.

Tacoma Stars - The Stars won the PASL-Premier National Championship in Summer 2004. This has been an incredible season for the Stars, as they advanced to the US Open Cup Semifinals after beating two PASL-Pro teams, the Denver Dynamite and Wenatchee Fire. The Stars are led by US National team player/assistant coach Greg Howes and two US National Team members Chris Kintz and Lee Williams.

Group B

Estadio Azteca - The Pacific Division #1 seed, finished the regular season with 77 goals, second most of the 51 teams nationwide. They also have the 3rd best goal differential with +37. Estadio lost just one regular season game to Summer PASL National Champions OTW Santa Clara. In all seven wins, opponents were limited to five or less goals.

San Diego Fusion - The PASL-Premier National Champions in Summer 2005 are back again. The Fusion are just one of two PASL-Pro developmental teams that made it to the National Championship tournament. They travel to Las Vegas after earning the top seed in the Southwest Division. The Fusion are one of just six teams nationwide that have lost just one game all season.

Northern Colorado - Cutthroats The Cutthroats enter the tournament on fire, scoring 19 goals in their last two games, while allowing just four. The Cutthroats beat Division Champion Ft. Collins Fury, so they are surely here to make a run at the championship.

Group C

Kansas City Kings - The Kings have put together statistically the best team in the Nation. With 85 goals scored and just 17 against and a goal differential of +68, the Kings rank #1 in each of these categories. No team has scored more than 3 goals against the Kings, while they average over 10 goals a game.

OTW Santa Clara - The PASL-Premier defending National Champions are back. Santa Clara has shown over the years that they are a National powerhouse, having finished the top seed in the largest division the league, the past four seasons. The have scored 68 goals this season, showing they know how to find the net on a consistent basis.

Arizona Heat - The Heat enter the tournament for the first time. The team struggled this season on the road, however at home they were unbeatable. Beating every division opponent at their own turf, they will surely be a team to look out for.

Group D

New York Shockers - The Shockers are in familiar territory at the PASL-Premier National Finals, they have been here the last four years. The Shockers come to Las Vegas after finishing the regular season as the top seed in the PASL-Premier New England division. The Shockers have allowed the 2nd fewest goals in the Nation, with just 25 against.

Vitesse Dallas - Vitesse comes to Las Vegas after winning the South Central championship in through playoffs. They are led by one of the league’s most prolific goal scores, Mario Torres. Vitesse went undefeated at home this season, while losing their only game in their season opener.

Las Vegas Knights - The home team to the PASL-Premier National Finals, has its work cut out for them. Though they have lost four games this season, all four losses have come by three goals or less, and two by just one goal. The Knights are led by US National Team member Derik van Gessel.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Knights take on the Scorpions
Seven different players scored for The Las Vegas Knights on Saturday night. Luis Suarez, Manny Kouhaiz, Marco Pina, Ryan Purtell, Itzik Rapoport, Rene Abrego, and Derik van Gessel all found the back of the net. Manny and Itzik both had three goals a piece leading the Knights to an 11 to 8 win. Scoring started quickly and for awhile it seemed that the Knights were going to pull away from the Sacramento squad. Sacramento battled hard and at half-time the Knights had scored only 5 goals and with Zeke Sanchez in goal allowed the Scorpions 3 goals. Phil Webb came on in the second half and proved just as strong.

The Sacramento Scorpions, who traveled 9 hours to come to Las Vegas, proved to be a good challenge. They were led by coach Eric Harvey, who incidentally is one of the older players in this league.

This game served as a warm-up for the Las Vegas squad as they look forward to the PASL National Championships this week. The Championships will take place in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Sports Park this year. The games will start on Friday, March 6, 2009 at 9am and they will finish on Saturday March 7, 2009.

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

San Diego Fusion Southwest Division Champions for 4th Time in 5 Years
San Diego Fusion top Las Vegas Knights 8-5

2/21/09 - San Diego, CA Josh Barton and Colin Jennings led the San Diego Fusion to their fourth PASL- Premier Southwest Division title in five years.

The Fusion have won the PASL-Premier Southwest Division Title in the 04/05, 06/07, 07/08 and 08/09 seasons. The Fusion will be heading to the 2009 PASL Nationals Championship in Las Vegas on March 6-7.

The Fusion had gone up 2-1, but Knights, scored four unanswered goals. The Fusion went in at the half losing 5-4 with the Knights looking for an upset. "It was the first time of the season that a team had really taken advantage of some of our errors," stated Managing Director Alex Monnar.

The Fusion came out in the second half with a new outlook and that was the difference in the game when they scored four in the second half to win the game 8-5. Monnar stated, "This was one of our off games but we perform well enough in the second half to chalk up a win and clinch a title for the fourth time. I’m so proud of this team and we are now in a position to win another national title with a little luck."

Next up, the San Diego Fusion take on the Arizona Heat on Saturday February 21st at 8:00PM in Phoenix and then are back in action again Saturday February 28th at 7;00pm with the San Diego Crew at Tobey Wells YMCA.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

Knights lose to San Diego by narrow margin


Thu, Feb 5, 2009 (6:46 p.m.)
The Las Vegas Knights used Saturday's game against the San Diego Fusion as a measuring stick.

The Knights, a semi-professional indoor soccer team based out of the Las Vegas Sports Park in Summerlin, narrowly lost to the Fusion, 9-8. The Fusion have won three Premier Arena Soccer League championships in the last seven seasons.
We gave them a fight," Knights coach Meir Cohen said. "We're disappointed we lost the game but they had to work hard in order to beat us today. We just couldn't get the momentum. We were chasing them the whole game."

The game was a back-and-forth battle from the start.
San Diego entered halftime with a 4-3 advantage. The pace picked up in the third quarter as each team netted three goals and San Diego retained a 7-6 lead entering the final period.

Knights players slammed on the glass and waived their arms to incite the more than 200 people in attendance as the fourth quarter began. The fans rejoiced soon thereafter when Roberto Garcia tied the score with eight minutes remaining.
San Diego then went on to score a pair of goals to retake the lead 9-7.
The Knights Manny Kouhaiz scored with a minute remaining, but Las Vegas couldn't get any closer.

"I think we played the best team in the league probably," Kouhaiz said. "It's good because we can see what we have to work on. But I definitely think we could have won the game."
Marco Pina and Itzik Rapaport each scored two goals for the Knights while Rene Abrego and Mike Mason also found the net.
The loss brings the Knights record to 1-3-1. Before the season began, Las Vegas was set to host the national tournament at the Las Vegas Sports Park.
Now to secure a seed in the tournament, the Knights must win two of their remaining four games, including home games against the Arizona Heat on Feb. 7 and the Chico Bigfoot on Feb. 28. The national tournament will be held March 6 and 7.
Sanchez said he was disappointed at the result of the San Diego game but expected the team to bounce back. "They're a good team," Sanchez said. "Every time we scored a goal and got some momentum they scored right after us.

Christopher Drexel can be reached at 990-8929 or christopher.drexel@hbcpub.com.

Photos by Richard Brian-Las Vegas Sun

Sunday, January 4, 2009

There have been some famous "Bash Bros".

. . . there were . . .
Derek Boogaard and Todd Fedoruk of the Minnesota Wild in 2007


Getty Images
and . . .

Eric Godard & Paul Bissonnette of the

Pittsburgh Penguins in 2008

(Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press) Yokitis on Flickr

and . . .
Mark McGwire and José Canseco of the Oakland Athletics in 1987

Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images, 1990

and . . .
Fulton Reed and Dean Portman in
The Mighty Ducks movies.

and now . . . Derik van Gessel and Mitch Jenkins shown here at the 2008 PASL Allstar game.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

New soccer team packs sports park

Jummel Hidrosollo / Special to the Home News
Las Vegas Knights midfielder Fekade Gebretsadik attempts to keep the ball in possession during the season home opener at the Las Vegas Sports Park on Dec. 13 against the Arizona Heat.

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By Christopher Drexel
Wed, Dec 24, 2008 (2 a.m.)

The Las Vegas Knights indoor soccer team appears to be a hit in Southern Nevada.
Nearly 400 people packed the Las Vegas Sports Park in Summerlin on Dec. 13 to take in the Las Vegas Knights' season opener.

The Knights, a semiprofessional team playing in the Premier Arena Soccer League, began their third season with an 8-4 victory over the Arizona Heat. The team hopes to continue building support in preparation for hosting the league's championship in early March.

"I'm happy to see hundreds of people here," Knights owner and coach Meir Cohen said. "We need the support of our community.
"Because we're hosting the championship we want to build a great relationship with the community. This is just the first step."
Professionally printed programs, shirts with Knights logos and black and red balloons signifying the team's colors could be found throughout the sports park. In between the fast-paced game action, music was blasted on loud speakers as the home crowd was enthusiastic from start to finish.

"We did really well for an opener," captain Juan Romero said. "The few guys we have that are first-year players did really good. We all stepped up and played like a team. As long as we win all our home games, we can make the playoffs."

Romero was one of six players to score goals for the Knights. Forwards Derik Van Gessel and Emmanuel Kouhaiz each put in two goals, while Rene Abrego, Ryan Purtell and Luis Suarez also found the back of the net.

Goalkeeper Zeke Sanchez only allowed one goal in the first half before being pulled to give the team's backups experience.

The Knights hope to build as much momentum as possible early in the season to ensure they'll be playing in their own arena for the league championship.

"Hosting the championship definitely gives us extra motivation," defender Fekade Gebretsadik said. "It's our dream to play here for nationals and represent Las Vegas as best we can."

The Knights held tryouts in October where about 40 players from the Sports Park's adult leagues attempted to fill 20 roster spots. Of the 20 players, eight were born outside the United States.

"We had a good turnout for our tryouts so there was a good variety to choose from for the team," Van Gessel said. "We all play here so we know the field. This place is a big home field advantage for us."


Christopher Drexel can be reached at 990-8929 or christopher.drexel@hbcpub.com.
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Photos - Jummel Hidrosollo / Special to the Home News
Link below to original web site at the Las Vegas Sun
http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/dec/24/new-soccer-team-packs-sports-park/

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cougars Open Training Camp


Monday Oct 13, 2008

STOCKTON , Calif. – The Stockton Cougars, of the new Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL-Pro), continue their open training camp this week at Big League Dreams in Manteca , CA . The 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. camp practice is open to the public and to local media throughout the week. All contracted Cougars players are to report to the team on Wednesday, October 15.
The Cougars open their fourth season of professional arena soccer on October 25 against the Colorado Lightning at Stockton Arena. Season ticket plans and individual or group tickets are available by contacting the Cougars office at (209) 373-1550 or online by visiting http://www.stocktoncougars.net/.The Cougars will announce the 2008-09 roster at the conclusion of training camp.
Currently signed players include: Bernie Lilavois, Brian Farber, Aaron Susi, Matt McDougall, Pedro Lupercio, Majell Aterado and Jesus Molina.
The Cougars are currently participating in two-a-day practices and will continue training up to the PASL-Pro inaugural match on October 25 at Stockton Arena.

The official training facility of the Stockton Cougars is Big League Dreams in Manteca , CA . Big League Dreams is located at 1077 Milo Candini Drive in Manteca , CA . They can be reached at (209) 824-2400.
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About the Stockton Cougars
Announced on February 28, 2004, the Cougars made their competitive debut as a member of the now defunct Major Indoor Soccer League in November, 2005, with the beginning of their first 30-game regular season. The Cougars announced their move to the Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL-Pro) prior to the 2008-09 season. They begin competitive play as an inaugural member of the PASL-Pro on October 25, 2008 at Stockton Arena against the Colorado Lightning. Located in Stockton , California , the Stockton Cougars play their home games at the state-of-the-art Stockton Area, an integral piece to the city’s developing waterfront district. Stockton Arena opened to the public in December, 2005. For additional info rm ation about the Cougars, contact Greg Young, Director of Media Relations, or visit the Stockton Cougars’ official website: http://www.stocktoncougars.net/.
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About the PASL-Pro
PASL-Pro is a newly fo rm ed arena soccer league that is made up of eight U.S. teams and four Canadian teams. The league has partnered with the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League (CMISL) and Liga Mexicana de Futbol Rapido (LMFR) in order to create a true North American arena soccer league. PASL-Pro is the direct result of 10 successful seasons of the Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL-Premier). PASL-Premier is the nation’s top amateur arena soccer league. PASL-Pro and PASL-Premier are members of Federacion Internacional de Futbol Rapido (FIFRA). More info rm ation about the PASL-Pro can be obtained at http://www.arenaleague.com/.
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Link below to original web site at the Stockton cougars

Stockton Cougars Tryouts

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Circuito Mundial de Futbol Rápido 2008

Mexico wins 1st FIFRA Event



http://www.flickr.com/photos/husseinabdallah/tags/soccer/show/
The setting was perfect for FIFRA’s (Federacion Internacional de Futbol Rapido) first ever championship, the Circuito Mundial 2008. A clear and sunny day about 80 degrees and a light breeze. The Celafete festival on the Old Port of Montreal, and an intimate 3,000 seat arena soccer (indoor/Futbol Rapido) stadium, on natural grass, outdoors on Canada Day. Indoor soccer outdoors on natural grass?
Yes it’s the same game, but reflective of how it is played in the west and Mexico, the word indoor will be a word of the past and Arena Soccer/Futbol Rapido is the new broader name. The game is still boards and turf, but is played indoors or outdoors. The grass is an event by event possibility, but turf will remain the surface of choice.
The arena was completely full, and the corners were packed with standing room only spectators. There was a buzz in the air, the anthems played, and the anticipation of heavily favored Mexico stomping the young USA team was on everyone’s mind.
The US team made up entirely of players from two tryouts, and the majority coming from PASL-Premier teams or newly formed PASL-Pro teams who are to start this October, had never played together. They were playing a Mexican team with seven players from the MISL’s league runner-up Monterrey La Raza. It was obvious, Mexico would slaughter these guys.
Mexico defeated the US 6-4, but the game did not go as many skeptics thought. The game was tied 4-4 with four minutes remaining. There were four times the game was tied and four lead changes. The young team, made a young team’s mistake in the end, with an illegal substitution with less than three minutes left, which sealed their fate. However, a new respect was given, and a new light into the future shined.
The truth was out, the PASL’s new Pro League will be a high caliber league with lots of talent, even if you have not heard of them, yet.
In the second game, the US struggled early falling into a 5-2 hole. The US played with renewed determination and heart in the second half, rallying to take a brief 7-6 lead. Canada rallied on the sheer will of Darko Kolic, who was credited with Canada’s final 6 goals. After falling behind 9-7, the US cut the lead to 1 at 9-8 and 10-9, but Jack Cummings shootout attempt was snuffed out by Canadian goalkeeper Jean Lou Gosselin to preserve the victory.
Evan McNeley lead the US with 4 goals. Brian Farber equalled his point production with 4 assists. Bernie Lilavois, Garth Archibald, and Jack Cummings each had 2 goals.
In the virtual final, Mexico beat Canada 10-5. Mexico lead 7-1 in the first half and Canada got as close at 7-5, but could gain no more ground.
Tournament organizers were ecstatic with the results and there was talk of expanding the format in the future. While the players did their usual entertaining best on the field during the games, US players Dominic Scicluna and Darrel Quinn wowed the crowd with a halftime soccer juggling and breakdancing exhbition.
Tournament MVP’s: Despite Mexico’s tournament championship, it was Canada’s Kolic that took home the MVP prize. The NPSL veteran and forward from PASL- Premier’s Laval XPOS from 2004-07, currently playing with the Vermont Voltage in the USL, had eight goals to lead all scorers. He accounted for over half of Canada’s goals. Genoni Martinez from Mexico had strong consideration as he managed the game on the field for Mexico. He scored three goals and an assist from the defense. Evan McNeley was the top player for team USA with four goals from the defense. It was clear after some debate that Canada would have not competed without Kolic. He almost single-handedly guided Canada to victory over the US, putting them in position to win the tournament. When Canada got down early against Mexico he helped lead a rally that kept a flicker of hope alive.
Link below to original web site
http://www.arenaleague.com/USNAST/260014.html

Monday, June 16, 2008

US Announces Roster for Montreal
June 16 - On the heels of Saturday’s US National Arena Soccer Team (USNAST) combine in Cincinnati, Head Coach Bernie Lilavois has selected his team for the Circuito Mundial 2008 in Montreal Canada. Players were selected from the first two of five US National Arena Team combines that are being held this summer and fall.
The four nation tournament to be held June 28 to July 1 will set the scene for the first ever competiton for the new USNAST. The official logo of the USNAST, created by Flynnagain Productions, was also unveiled.
Lilavois, who is currently a player/coach for the Stockton Cougars, is one of five players on the roster who come from the 2007/08 Cougars. Three Cincinnati Excite players also made the team along with former Detroit Rockers midfielder Dominic Scicluna.
"This is a very young team, and we are very excited to give them their first opportunity of international competition," said Lilavois. "These players all sacrificed and came to one of our two tryouts, Las Vegas or Cincinnati. They are all hungry and eager to show their stuff, and we are excited about the energy they will bring to the team. I feel everyone of these players will run through a brick wall and give a full effort for team USA."
Additional players from the Cincinnati tryout were named to the US National Team Pool, and posted at http://www.arenaleague.com/.
USNAST Roster for Circuito Mundial June 28-July 1 Montreal, Canada
Bernie Lilavois - Forward / Head Coach
Birthdate
08/31/1970
Hometown
Stockton, CA
Experience
San Jose Grizzlies, Anaheim Splash (CISL); Cincinnati Silverbacks, Buffalo Blizzard, Harrisburg Heat (NPSL); Portland Pythons (WISL); Cleveland Force, California Cougars (MISL); Stockton Cougars (PASL-Pro)
Brian Farber - Midfielder
Birthdate
04/15/1982
Hometown
Sandpoint, ID
Experience
California Cougars (MISL); Stockton Cougars (PASL-Pro); Minnesota Thunder (USL Division 1); Houston Dynamo Reserves (MLS)
Darrel Quinn - Midfielder
Birthdate
Hometown
Fowlerville, MI
Experience
Waza FC (PASL-Premier)
Derik van Gessel - Midfielder / Forward
Birthdate
Hometown
Las Vegas, NV
Experience
Las Vegas Knights (PASL-Premier)
Dominic Scicluna - Midfielder
Birthdate
Hometown
Detroit, MI
Experience
Detroit Rockers (NPSL); Detroit/Windsor Border Stars (CPSL); Estacio De Se (Brazil DII) Hamrun, Orange Hill Lions (Jamaica); Michigan Bucks (PDL); Waza FC (PASL-Premier)
Garth Archibald - Forward
Birthdate
06/13/1984
Hometown
Chico, CA
Experience
California Cougars (MISL); Chico Bigfoot (PASL-Premier)
Jack Cummings - Midfielder
Birthdate
Hometown
Cincinnati, OH
Experience
Cincinnati Excite (AISL); Cincinnati Kings (PDL); Cleveland City Stars (USL Division 2)
Sam Fiore - Defender
Birthdate
Hometown
Huber Heights, OH
Experience
Cincinnati Kings (USL Division 2); Cincinnati Excite (AISL)
Shawn Rockey - Midfielder
Birthdate
Hometown
West Chester, OH
Experience
Cincinnati Riverhawks (USL); Columbus Crew (MLS); Cincinnati Excite (AISL)
Jesus Molina - Goalkeeper
Birthdate
Hometown
Experience
Santa Rosa, Stockton Pumas (PASL-Premier); Sonoma Sol (NPSL); Club Deportivo Toluca, Athletico Celaya Div.1A and Acambaro (Mexican 3rd Division)
Aaron Bonser - Defender
Birthdate
01/29/1985
Hometown
Rochester, NY
Experience
CNY United (PASL-Premier); California Cougars (MISL)
Evan McNeley - Defender
Birthdate
12/03/1982
Hometown
Everett, WA
Experience
California Cougars (MISL)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

LAS VEGAS KNIGHTS: Playing in the pros

Soccer team celebrates two years of success
By JAN HOGAN VIEW STAFF WRITER
Break out the bubbly. Light up the candles on the cake. One of Las Vegas' newest sports teams, the Knights, will soon be celebrating its second anniversary.
The team is part of the Premiere Arena Soccer League and competes regionally. Head coach Travis Norberg said although it's a new team, its members are not lacking in ability.
"We have a lot of talent and a lot of speed," he said.
That talent and speed came into play just last year, when the Knights rose through the ranks against established teams out of Phoenix and San Diego. The Knights qualified for the 2007 nationals, taking fourth place. About 15 teams were at the national competition, which was held in Tijuana, Mexico.
The Knights team was formed in the spring of 2006. It has 20 players, ages 19-30. The team is based out of the Las Vegas Sportspark, 1400 N. Rampart Blvd.
They practice Mondays and Wednesdays at the Sportspark, taking the field about 10 p.m. until nearly midnight. The late hours are to accommodate recreational soccer leagues. The late practice can make for a long day for Knights team members, many of whom have day jobs in the hotel-casino industry.
"Obviously, we'd like a better time slot, but we appreciate the opportunity to use the facility for free," Norberg said.
The Knights play home games on Saturday evenings at earlier hours, usually 6:45 p.m.
Phil Webb, 34, is one of the team members. The former U.S. Marine has played the sport since age 7 and now spends his spare time as a youth coach. When he first learned Las Vegas would have a semi-pro team, he saw it as a great step for the sport and the city.
"Actually, my first thought was, 'It's about time,' " Webb said.
Word of mouth is helping to increase the team's fan base. Some games see about 400 attendees. One drew as many as 1,200. Still, they'd like to see more bodies in the stands, members said. Games are held indoors, so inclement weather and the summer heat are not factors.
"People are distracted in this city," Norberg said. "That's probably why professional sports traditionally don't make it here. But the potential (for garnering large support) is there."
One way the team is trying to drum up interest is by offering free admission to home games, an effort that will continue indefinitely as a fan base is built.
Norberg said the plan was to make the Knights a professional team in a few years.
Norberg, 34, played professionally for seven years for the Continental Indoor Soccer League and the National Professional Soccer League, both now defunct. A few of the team members also played professionally before joining the Knights.
"They bring experience, they show the others how to act on the field mentally, as well as physically," Norberg said. "In professional sports, you have to have the talent, but a lot of it is also mental."
For more information, visit www.lasvegasindoorsoccer.com

Friday, March 2, 2007

Las Vegas Knights are heading to Mexico

March 2, 2007
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On Saturday, February 24th, The Las Vegas Knights made it past the semi-final round of playoffs in the Southwest Division of Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL) by defeating the Arizona Inferno (7-4).
Las Vegas Knights are categorized as semi-pro and are the highest level of any indoor soccer team playing out of Las Vegas. The Knights play in the Southwest Division of the PASL.
Las Vegas Knights finished second in the Southwest Division behind San Diego Fusion with a record of (7-3). The winning season qualified them for finals by wildcard.“This is a good start for our first season” said General Manager of LV Knights, Meir Cohen. “We just wanted to build a fan base this first year by playing hard and putting on a good show. I think we did that and next year we’ll be even better.” The International PASL Championships are being held on March 8-10 in Tijuana, Mexico. Look for the Las Vegas Knights finals results on lvsportsmagazine.com and be sure to catch the Knights in action next season.
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For more information about the PASL, go to: http://www.arenaleague.com/ z
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Link below to original web site at the Las Vegas Sports Magazine
http://lvsportsmagazine.com/content/view/364/477/

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Las Vegas Knights Ranked Second After Victory

Left, Las Vegas Knights' Derik VanGessel, right, scores a goal against San Diego Crew's Brian Thames, left, and Bryan Louzil during their Feb. 3 game at Las Vegas Indoor Soccer.

Right, Las Vegas Knights' Dustin Sitar, right, kicks the ball away from San Diego Crew's Daniel Callies.

The Knights' 9-5 win leaves them in second place in the Premier Arena Soccer League Southwest division.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Las Vegas Knights - Semi-pro team to compete at Las Vegas Indoor Soccer

By David Hilario and Photos by Bennie Palmore
Goalkeepers Phil Webb and Ezequiel Sanchez took their turns kicking and defending the goal. They paid no mind to the cold weather hovering just above freezing. It could be their passion and dedication to the game of soccer, but it can also be the fact that they were practicing indoors as part of Las Vegas’ inaugural semipro indoor soccer team.
Called the Las Vegas Knights, the team plans to make a statement in the Southwest Division of the Premier Arena Soccer League. As part of the nation’s largest indoor soccer league, the Knights are confident in taking the division and the city by storm.
"My goal is to have a couple of good seasons and create a good relationship with the community to go to the next level," team president Meir Cohen said. "We want to create a good fan base for indoor soccer."
Cohen, owner of Las Vegas Indoor Soccer Summerlin, founded and funds the team, while providing the practice facility at his establishment. A soccer player himself, Cohen, came to Las Vegas with the idea of introducing arena soccer to the valley.
"The demand for indoor soccer is here," he said. "We have so many great players in town, but once they finish high school or college, how will they continue to play? That’s why we give them the opportunity to keep playing."
The opportunity has interested players from many different backgrounds that now call Las Vegas home and represent the team. In addition to the United States; players from Bulgaria, Mexico, Argentina, and Ethiopia make up the team. Even Cohen, himself, brings another foreign element to the team as he was born in Israel. The players also come from all walks of life: from coaching future soccer stars to attending dental school to working at a mortuary. Yet one thing remains the same: they all want to win and they want this team to progress in this league and beyond.
"We’ve got some really good players on our team," defender and, Palo Verde alum, BJ Freeman said. "I can’t imagine anything but a good season."

"Everytime I step on the field, I want to win," Lamb said. "I know this is going to be a trial run, but I think we have the best shot to succeed." Although the Knights have the confidence to win in the competitive 6-on-6 league, they know that having the community behind them is key.
"If we get all the support we need from people in Las Vegas and if everyone works hard, we’ll do fine," goalkeeper and Argentinean Ezequiel Sanchez said. "We just want to start by winning the first game and get off on the right foot."
Taking charge of the team is head coach John Kennedy, born in Scotland, who’s experience includes serving as a referee in numerous collegiate games such as the 1984 NCAA final between UCLA and America University, still the longest game in NCAA history. He has also moved up the ranks as a coach, serving as an assistant for the 1994 world champion soccer team the Las Vegas Dustdevils. His assistant coach will be Joe Mendoza, a former San Jose State University soccer player who also coached the Spartans after he graduated.
The Knights play their first game against the Phoenix Inferno on December 9th. Come out and support your new team as they embark on an inaugural journey where the walls are in play, the pace is fast, and the action is nonstop.