Friday, November 8, 2013
Coach: Keith Tozer
2012-13 Record: 21-5
Playoffs: Semifinals – Missouri, L 2-1
The Lowdown: After falling in dramatic fashion to the Missouri Comets in last season’s semifinals, Keith Tozer’s veteran squad will have its sights firmly fixed on a return to the championship series. +The Milwaukee Wave put together a remarkable 16-game winning streak last season, and with the strong goalkeeping tandem of Nick Vorberg and Marcel Feenstra returning the Wave will likely remain one of the stingiest sides in the league.
Key Losses: The biggest absence from last season’s roster is that of defender Josh Rife, who departed to become the new head coach of the Rochester Lancers. A metronomic presence at the back, Rife had 33 blocked shots and 14 points a season ago as he led the side with three power-play goals.
Key Returnees: The Wave locked up most of their key players from a season ago, with leading scorers Luan Oliveira, an All-MISL selection, Ian Bennett and Hewerton all returning. As previously mentioned, Vorberg and Feenstra are back to split time in goal, but the player to watch could be Marcio Leite, who was hampered by injury a year ago and will look for a big bounce-back season.
Key Additions: Milwaukee bolstered its attack with the addition of Carlos Munoz, who had a breakout season in Chicago as he finished with 62 points, which tied him with Bennett for 10th in the league. Also arriving is Judson McKinney, who looked bright for the Soul before a broken arm brought his season to a premature end, and Victor Quiroz, who can provide creativity from defense after recording nine assists last season.
Outlook: Alongside Baltimore, the Wave have set the gold standard in indoor soccer, with this season marking their 30th anniversary. That standard is unlikely to change with the veteran presences they have that understand what it takes to win consistently. The disappointment of their playoff exit will likely provide added motivation as they look to add another title to their trophy case.