Introducing Xtreme Soccer League and the New Jersey Ironmen

Indoor soccer, a variation of professional soccer, creates a face-paced version of the traditional style. Being that it takes place in a more compact area, the accelerating tempo is what generates the intensity within the game itself. It produces more controlled plays and more precision in the player’s move requiring much exertion from the players. There are constant substitutions with only a few players permitted on the field and little time to recuperate in between the four quarters. The demands of quick reaction put pressure on the players, physically and mentally. However, in addition to their teammates, the ball could be kicked to the walls which acts as a rebound or an extra defense.

A particular team that faces the challenges of indoor soccer are the New Jersey Ironmen. The NJ Ironmen are based at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.. and under the ownership group of Jeff Vanderbeek and Michael Gilfillan of the NHL New Jersey Devils. They are members of the Xtreme Soccer League and are coached by Omid Namazi and their General Manager is Tony Novo.

One of the teammates, who was the assistant coach as well as midfielder during the latest season, is Serbian-born Goran Vasic. Last year, he scored 53 points and 10 goals. He distinguishes the relevance of indoor soccer’s field, (the NJ Ironmen share the same arena as the NJ Devils), stating “it has many similarities to hockey in that it is a very demanding sport, both physically and mentally. Playing on a field the size of a hockey rink makes indoor soccer move at a much quicker pace than outdoor soccer, and it requires you to make split second decisions that will have immediate consequences.” Accurate moves depend on rational thinking and the players instantaneous reflexes are a necessity. Less recovery time from the compelling game between plays leads to ligament injuries and sprained ankles. The size of the field also influences the effort amongst the team, as Vasic describes the effects of “players take the field in short shifts, subs are made on the fly and teams take man advantages via the power play like hockey.”

With the multi-point scoring system and on account of there being limited range on the field, their Director of Communications, John Archibald says that “indoor soccer is a much more aggressive version of the sport, complete with high scoring and a winner is determined with every game played.”

With the the penalty location near the goal, Vasic recounts the critical impact of the scoring, “there are a lot of goals scored with the scoring system having two -pointers and three-pointers like basketball. One wrong move at any point in the game, and it can cost your team a goal.”

A player whom advanced the NJ Ironmen their past season was forward Lucio Gonzaga. He has displayed great technique in dribbling, passing and shooting and has been recently recognized as the Offensive Player of The Year by XSL, with an overall of 23 goals, cumulatively scoring 62 points in 19 games for the season.

The NJ Ironmen possess a great deal of appreciation for their fans, and run a summer camp program that permits the children to work directly with the coaches and players.. They also appoint honorary captains for their opening ceremony games. Such notable captains of the past include five-time MLS Cup Champion Jeff Agoos, as well as Super Bowl Champion and former New York Giants captain George Martin.

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