by Jim Fossell

St. Charles, MO

For the second season in a row, a member of the St. Louis Ambush has garnered the Rookie of the Year Award. Ambush forward Gordy Gurson was named Rookie of the Year today by the Major Arena Soccer League for the 2014-15 season. Another Ambush forward, Odaine Sinclair, won the Major Indoor Soccer League’s Rookie of the Year honor last year. The MASL announced the MVP, Goakeeper of the Year, Defender of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year in a press conference held in Baltimore earlier today. Each MASL team, along with members of the league front office, cast votes for each award.

In his rookie season, Gurson ranked second in the league in both goals and points, with 46 and 64, respectively. He was acquired by the Ambush in a January 12 trade after starting the season with the Seattle Impact. Among other accomplishments during Gurson’s stellar rookie campaign were a seven goal game, a five goal game, seven hat tricks, 18 assists and 11 power play goals. Because of the trade and the difference in schedules between St. Louis and Seattle, Gurson appeared in a record 23 games during the 20-game season.

The Rookie of the Year trophy is the third post-season honor Gurson has earned. He was named to the All-Rookie Team on March 5 and the All-Second Team on March 9. Gurson was also recently named to the US National Arena Soccer Team that will compete in the World Mini-Football World Cup, slated for March 21-29 in cities across the country.

Missouri Comets forward Leo Gibson was the overwhelming selection for Most Valuable Player. Gibson scored a record 93 points to lead the Comets to a perfect 20-0 regular season. Gibson also set records for assists (45), power play goals (15) and points in a single game (12).

Baltimore Blast goalkeeper William Vanzela was named Goalkeeper of the Year. Vanzela, who also won the same award in the MISL last year, went 14-2 with a MASL-record 2.83 GAA. The Brazilian also set a record with four shutouts, leading the Blast to the Eastern Division title.

Baltimore Blast defender Pat Healey won a close race for Defender of the Year. Healey led the MASL with 53 blocks while scoring seven goals and a team-high 22 assists. The Blast’s captain finished third in points among MASL defenders and helped lead the Blast to an 18-2 record.

Comets Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski won the league’s Coach of the Year award with little opposition. Andonovski’s Comets went 20-0 and won their games by an average margin of over seven goals per game. The Comets have won their last 25 regular season games.

The Baltimore Blast and Monterrey Flash battle for the MASL championship as they compete this week in the Ron Newman Cup Finals. The two teams have never played each other, but Baltimore defeated the Monterrey La Raza, the Flash’s predecessors, in the 2007-08 MISL championship. Baltimore is gunning for the city’s eighth indoor soccer championship, while Monterrey is looking for title number five. Game 1 is Friday, March 20 in Baltimore and Game 2 (and tie-breaking mini-game, if necessary) will be played on Sunday March 22 in Monterrey.