While it's not as poetic as Tinkers to Evers to Chance or the well-recited double-play combination for the 1910 Chicago Cubs, the 2009-10 Philadelphia KiXX do subscribe to the age-old belief that being strong up the middle wins championships.
The 2009-10 roster for the two-time Major Indoor Soccer League champion Philadelphia KiXX continues to take its form, with the team making official the signings of five midfielders today.
Returning to the team this season is Ricardinho, Angel Rivillo, Sandre Naumoski and Ryan Heins, while Villanova product Joe Taylor is set to make his professional indoor soccer debut this year.
"I am very excited that we were able to keep all of our veteran midfielders back for the upcoming season," player/head coach Don D'Ambra commented about the signings. "Ricardinho was among the league leaders in points last year, and I hope that he will continue to produce in the offensive end. Rivillo, Naumoski and Heins are very skillful veterans who do a great job of bringing consistency and leadership to the field."
D'Ambra also took a moment to introduce Taylor, a local product from Southampton, Penn. who is making his rookie debut with the KiXX this season.
"Joe Taylor is a young local player who graduated from Villanova University," he said. "He has worked his way onto the roster, and I look forward to working with Joe. I feel he has the potential to be a very good indoor player."
Ricardinho began his professional indoor soccer career with the Dallas Sidekicks in 2003 and has made stops with the Milwaukee Wave, California Cougars and Detroit Ignition before finding his home in Philadelphia.
He won an MISL title with current KiXX teammate Rivillo in 2005 with Milwaukee, and he again played in the 2007 championship game with Detroit, falling to Philadelphia.
The Sao Paulo, Brazil native had a very successful season last year with the KiXX, and he finished second on the team behind Pat Morris with 49 points on 13 goals and 22 assists.
Rivillo began his professional indoor career in 2003 with the Wave, remaining with them until coming to Philadelphia in 2007. A winner of the 2005 MISL crown alongside Ricardinho in Milwaukee, Rivillo turned in 15 points on four goals and seven assists last season with the KiXX.
The French native attended Creighton University and has also played professional outdoor soccer with Deportivo Tachira of the Venezuela First Division and the Dallas Burn of Major League Soccer. While playing outdoors for the Milwaukee Rampage in 2003, he also won a USL-1 championship.
Naumoski returns to the KiXX after finishing last season with the club. He played an integral role on the 2007 MISL championship squad in Philadelphia. The playmaking midfielder was born in the Republic of Macedonia and played college soccer at Southern Nazarene University, receiving All-Conference First Team accolades.
He first played professional indoor soccer with the Kansas City Comets in 2003-04 and has since made stops with the St. Louis Steamers, Chicago Storm and New Jersey Ironmen. For his indoor career, Naumoski has registered 108 points and 61 blocks.
Heins returns to the KiXX for his third consecutive season after tallying 14 points on six goals and an assist last year. The Medford, N.J. native also turned in 11 points on four goals and a pair of assists during his 2007-08 rookie season to give him 25 points thus far in his indoor career.
While playing his college soccer at Temple University, where the KiXX will play their home games this year at the Liacouras Center, Heins started all four seasons and served as team captain his senior year.
The versatile midfielder suits up for the Rochester Rhinos of USL-1 during the outdoor season. He also spent time with the Harrisburg City Islanders of USL-2 during 2008 and the Ocean City Barons of the USL Premier Development League in 2007.
Making his professional indoor soccer debut with Philadelphia this season will be Taylor, who is a product of Villanova University. He was a four-year starter for the Wildcats and served as team captain during his senior year in 2008.
Prior to heading to college, Taylor was a standout at Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster, Penn. and was named MVP of the Philadelphia Catholic League as a senior in 2004.
The Philadelphia KiXX will open their 2009-10 season Sunday, Nov. 15 with a road contest against La Raza de Monterrey. The team will play their historic first game at the Liacouras Center on Saturday, Jan. 9 when they host the Rockford Rampage at 7:00 p.m. Season and group ticket packages for the KiXX are available now by calling 1-888-888-KiXX.
The previous story is excerpted from a press release by the Philadelphia KiXX of the MISL. Todd Civin is a freelance writer for Bleacher Report , Sports, Then and Now , and Seamheads . He is a supporter of the children’s book A Glove of Their Own. A Glove of Their Own is the award winning book which teaches pay it forward through sports. Please visit the site and purchase the book under today’s donor code, COV 113 Covenant House as $3.00 from each sale will help this worthwhile charity.