by Jim Fossell

St. Charles, MO

It may be the off-season for the St. Louis Ambush, but it’s been a busy one for team owner Andrew Haines. Haines announced today that the team has signed Rookie of the Year Gordy Gurson and Anthony Arico to return for the 2015-16 season. The signing of Gurson and Arico brings to ten the number of players re-signed by the Ambush since the season ended on February 21. Other players signed are forwards Odaine Sinclair, Kory Dowell, Blake Ordell, Ross MacGregor and Adnan Gabeljic and defenders Chris Mattingly, Richard Schmermund and Axel Duarte.

Within days after the season ended, Haines and Head Coach Daryl Doran met to identify team needs for the upcoming season including which players to bring back and how to fill any holes in the roster. Doran was also signed to an extension and will be coaching the team next season.

Haines said, “We feel we’ve identified the core players that can contribute to our future success and the group we’ve signed thus far are a key part of that dynamic.” Haines added that he is still negotiating with other players the club wants to bring back.

Gurson (right) came to the Ambush in a January 12 trade after starting the season with the Seattle Impact. His rookie season in the Major Arena Soccer League was nothing short of phenomenal. Among his accomplishments during the recently completed season are:

Named to the US team that won the WMF Arena Soccer World Cup Championship. Tallied two goals and three assists in six appearances.

Won the MASL Rookie of the Year award.

Named to the MASL All-Second Team.

Named to the MASL All-Rookie Team.

Finished second in the league in goals scored with 46.

Finished second in the league in points with 64.

A seven goal game.

A five goal game.

Seven hat tricks.

18 assists.

11 power play goals.

Two game-winning goals.

Odaine Sinclair (left) has been with the Ambush since the start of the 2013-14 season. He finished that campaign with 12 goals and 12 assists; a performance good enough to garner the MISL Rookie of the Year honor. In the recently completed 2014-15 season, Sinclair turned in a similar performance with 13 goals and 12 assists. The Jamaican native played collegiate soccer at Baker University for Baker’s Director of Soccer, former St. Louis Steamer and Kansas City Attack star Nate Houser. Sinclair was named to the Heart of America 2012 All-Conference Men’s Soccer Team. He also played for Meadhaven United (PDL) in Kingston, Jamaica and the Kansas City Brass (PDL). His prep soccer career was spent at Calabar High School in Kingston.  As a child, Odaine enjoyed playing soccer, cricket and basketball.

The 2015-16 season will be Mattingly’s third with the Ambush. Chris (right) played one season with the St. Louis Illusion (2009-10, PASL) and three seasons with Illinois Piasa (2010-13) before joining the Ambush for the 2013-14 season. He has emerged as one of the league’s premier defenders. Mattingly led the team and was second in the league in blocks with 41. Chris is also a team leader and was selected by his teammates to be team captain last season.

Last season was Blake Ordell’s (left) first with the Ambush. Prior to coming to St. Louis, Ordell played for the Wichita B-52s (PASL), Illinois Piasa (PASL), Edsbyns IF (Sweden Division 3), U.S. National Arena Soccer Team, Toronto Italia Shooters (CPSL), Detroit Waza Flo (PASL), Detroit Ignition (MISL), Windsor Border Stars (CPSL), and Cincinnati Kings (USL Second Division). Ordell tallied 15 goals, seven assists and six blocks with the Ambush in 2014-15.

St. Louis native Kory Dowell (right) enters his third season with the Ambush next season. In 2014-15, Dowell contributed 14 goals, 7 assists and five blocks. Kory played high school soccer at Bayless High School, where he finished with the school records in most career goals (117), assists (78) and points (312). Dowell was a recipient of All-State first team, All-Metro honorable mention, All-Conference first team, All-Conference Most Valuable Player, first team all-District as team captain his senior year. His junior year, Dowell added St. Louis Post-Dispatch Player of the Week honors to all-Metro honorable mention, all-Conference and all-District first teams. In 2006, Dowell helped his team to a district title and an appearance in the Final 8 at state. Kory played collegiate soccer at Missouri State University, St. Louis Community College at Meramec and at Maryville.

The 2014-15 season was Ross MacGregor’s (left) second professional indoor season and first with the Ambush. He registered six goals, eight assists and four blocks last season. Ross hails from Brayton, England in the United Kingdom. Growing up, he played for the Youth Academies of two professional clubs; Leeds United and York City, along with several other youth clubs. Professionally, MacGregor played for the Illinois Piasa (PASL) prior to joining the Ambush. He is also an accomplished bowler who was ranked number one in England at the U18 level for a season. Ross currently is a graduate assistant coach for the National Champion Lindenwood bowling team.

Richard Schmermund (right) is a St. Louis area native who grew up in Ferguson. He played prep soccer at McCluer High School and club soccer for Scott Gallagher and Lou Fusz. Schmermund’s collegiate career was spent at St. Louis Community College, where he was awarded First Team All Conference. Prior to joining the Ambush, Rich played professionally with the Illinois Piasa (PASL). Schmermund appeared in 14 games for the Ambush in 2013-14. In 15 appearances last season, Richard tallied seven goals, two assists and 17 blocks.

Axel Duarte (left) is a native of Caracas, Venezuela, where he played youth soccer for Caracas FC. Duarte spent his collegiate career at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, where he started in 53 of the 64 games he appeared in. Among his accomplishments as a member of the Lions were being elected team captain (2012-13), All MIAA Conference second team (2012), All MIAA Honorable Mention (2013) and NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer All Central Regional second team (2013). Duarte played professionally for FC Bordo (NPSL) early in 2014. In his rookie season with the Ambush, Duarte blocked 15 shots and contributed to team offense with two goals and four assists.

The 2014-15 season Adnan Gabeljic’s (right) rookie year in the MASL. He appeared in eight games and scored nine goals and two assists. Gabeljic was born in Croatia in 1992 and moved with his family to St. Louis in 1999. He grew up in St. Louis and played four years of prep soccer at Mehlville High School, before spending his collegiate soccer career at St. Louis University. In his collegiate career, Gabeljic was named Academic All-District and earned a spot on the A-10 All-Academic squad for two consecutive seasons. His prep career at Mehlville included earning Gatorade Missouri Boys Soccer Player of the Year, NSCAA All-American, Missouri Class 3 Offensive Player of the Year and first-team All-State selection.

Anthony Arico (left) came to the Ambush on February 1 in a trade with the Milwaukee Wave. In 13 games with Milwaukee, Arico tallied two goals, three assists and five blocks. In three games with the Ambush, he contributed five goals, two assists and two blocks. Arico played high school soccer at Crystal Lake High School in Crystal Lake, Illinois before moving to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he played at Charlotte Catholic High School. At Crystal Lake, he was the all-time leading scorer. At Charlotte Catholic, he earned All-Conference honors in his sophomore through senior seasons. Arico spent his collegiate career at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. During his collegiate career, he was Second Team All-SSC and Daktronics All-South Region Second Team.The Ambush play in the Major Arena Soccer League and will begin their 2015-16 campaign this fall, with the schedule expected to be released by the league in late summer. Season tickets for next season are on sale. Call the Ambush office at 636-477-6363 for more information. Keep up with Ambush news anytime by visiting the team’s official web site, , the Ambush Facebook page, , or on Twitter,