Professional Indoor Soccer Comes to Newark
newjerseydevils.com - Jeff Vanderbeek and Michael Gilfillan of the Down Neck Soccer Club, LLC, the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL), and Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker, unveiled Thursday at Newark City Hall the birth of the New Jersey Ironmen professional indoor soccer team to commence play in the 2007-08 MISL season. In addition to unveiling the team name and logo, the organization also introduced a 20-year banking and business executive, Tony Novo as its General Manager and Vice President of Business Operations. Additionally, two-time MISL Coach of the Year Omid Namazi was introduced as the Ironmen's Head Coach and Vice President of Soccer Operations. The team will play a 15-game home schedule at Prudential Center in the Downtown Core Redevelopment District of Newark.
“We are welcoming another piece of Newark's transformation and a new resident to our city in welcoming the New Jersey Ironmen to Prudential Center,” Mayor Booker said. “They will bring visitors to our downtown, excitement and luster to our soccer fans, and strength to our economy. The New Jersey Ironmen will kick a winning goal for Newark.”
The team identity for the New Jersey Ironmen results from an online team naming campaign waged during the month of February. The interactive online campaign, supported by the Newark Star-Ledger
, solicited feedback from soccer fans from Newark, all across the state of New Jersey, as well as throughout cyberspace. Fans were asked to select from a compilation of five names, or fans could submit their own nicknames. Among the 4,500 responses, the nickname Ironmen, symbolic of the industrial origins of the Ironbound neighborhood, was, by far, the leading vote getter. Representative of its community, the steely-looking, hard-edged logo depicts the tough attitude of the predominantly Portuguese-speaking community, made up by Brazilian and Portuguese ethnicities.
The New Jersey Ironmen will join the Baltimore Blast, California Cougars, Chicago Storm, Detroit Ignition, Milwaukee Wave, MISL Monterrey Club, Orlando Sharks, and the Philadelphia KiXX in the 2007-08 MISL regular season, scheduled to commence in mid-October and conclude at the end of March.
Prudential Center, managed by AEG, is the first major sports and entertainment venue to open its doors in the nation's top media market in over 25 years, and will showcase 76 luxury suites, 2,330 club seats, and an array of amenities and conveniences for fans. Prudential Center will seat 17,500 people for soccer games, 17,625 for hockey games, 18,500 for basketball games and 19,500 for concerts.
Earlier this year, the New Jersey Ironmen selected five players in the MISL College Draft. The Ironmen will continue to fill out their player roster when they participate in the League's expansion draft and supplemental draft in July. The League will release details regarding these drafts as they are finalized.
For information regarding the New Jersey Ironmen, please log on to www.NJIronmen.com. Fans can get their season ticket information by calling (973) 273-9100 (Ext. 104). The MISL League schedule for the 2007-08 season will be released in early August.
The Major Indoor Soccer League, a single-entity organization with a coast-to-coast presence, represents the major league of professional indoor soccer, featuring the finest indoor soccer players from 32 countries around the world. The 2006-07 MISL season featured six teams, including the Baltimore Blast, California Cougars, Chicago Storm, Milwaukee Wave, Philadelphia KiXX, and the expansion Detroit Ignition. The MISL Monterrey (Mexico) Club, the New Jersey Ironmen (under NHL New Jersey Devils ownership) and the Orlando Sharks are set to join for competition in the 2007-08 season. For more information on the MISL, visit the League's official website www.MISL.net