WISL Kicks Off Season With Record Crowds
DALLAS, Texas (Tuesday, August 21, 2001) - The World Indoor Soccer League began its fourth season this past weekend, as three teams played host to large crowds in their home openers.
The Utah Freezz led by head coach Jeff Betts and Justin Labrum, edged Iain Fraser and the Sacramento Knights 5-4 at the E Center on Saturday. The Freezz packed the E Center with its third-highest crowd of 7,762. The St. Louis Steamers hosted the San Diego Sockers Saturday at Family Arena and a crowd of 5,564 but fell to the Sockers 8-2. This was the Steamers' second match up with San Diego. The two met previously in exhibition and the Sockers won 6-5.
On Sunday, August 19th, a record crowd of 17,710 were on hand to witness the Inaugural sporting event in the new American Airlines Center as the Dallas Sidekicks edged the San Diego Sockers 6-5 in overtime.
Jeff Betts scored one goal and had one assist, as did Shane Jones. Craig Rhodis, Justin Labrum and Brock Varoz each recorded one goal in the win and Nick Vorberg had 13 saves. The Knights came on strong with goals by Chris McDonald, Ben Stoian and Matt De Jong, but could not hold on as Labrum scored the tie-breaking goal at the 10:22 mark.
Marco Coria sealed the win with 6:48 left in overtime. The "Wild Thing" David Doyle led the Dallas squad with a hat trick, the last goal coming with: 54 left in regulation to bring the Sidekicks within one. Patrick Shamu scored the tying goal with 15 seconds remaining. The Sidekicks return to Reunion Arena next Saturday as they host the St. Louis Steamers at 7:05 p.m.
ST. LOUIS STEAMERS
St. Louis hosted its first home opener on August 18 at Family Arena. After a San Diego goal by Anthony Farace and a St. Louis goal by Jeff Davis, the Sockers broke the tie and scored the next seven out of eight goals. The Steamers travel to Reunion Arena in Dallas to take on the Sidekicks next Saturday, August 25.
The WISL, an affilated professional league of U.S. Soccer, enters their fourth season in 2001 with five indoor teams playing a 24-game schedule from August through early-December.