by Jim Fossell

St. Charles, MO

St. Louis Ambush forward Gordy Gurson has been named to the All-Rookie Team by the Major Arena Soccer League for the 2014-15 season.

Gurson started the season with the Seattle Impact and registered a hat trick in just his second game. He followed that with a seven goal game and a five goal game and challenged for the league lead in goals and points throughout the season. The Buffalo Grove, Illinois native was acquired by the Ambush in a January 12 trade and quickly became a fan favorite. He finished the season second in the league in goals with 46 and second in points with 64. In ten games played with the Ambush, Gurson registered ten goals and six assists.

The MASL All-League voting took place last week. Each team and members of the MASL league office were provided one ballot for voting on All-League Teams, All-Rookie Teams, and the Regular Season Individual Awards. Rookies who received the most votes at each position were placed on the All-Rookie Team. Because of a tie in the voting, seven players qualified instead of six.

The All-Rookie forwards were Gordy Gurson (St. Louis Ambush) and Lucas Totti (Oxford City FC of Texas). The midfielders were Vini Dantas (Baltimore Blast) and Ney Almeida (San Diego Sockers). The defenders were Onua Obasi (Baltimore Blast) and Alain Matingou (Missouri Comets) and the goalkeeper was Diego Reynoso (Monterrey Flash).

This year’s rookie class represents a banner crop of new talent the likes of which indoor soccer has not seen in many years. In addition to Gurson, other rookies named to the team are:

Mardney “Ney” Almeida, 27, was a difference maker for the Sockers this season. Ney finished with only 12 games played after visa problems and a midseason injury, but the Sockers went 10-2 in those games. A former professional futsal player in his native Brazil, Ney finished tied for third on the Sockers in goals (16) and sixth in points (22).

Vini Dantas, 25, is one of eight Brazilians on the Blast. Despite missing five games he finished third on the Blast with 16 goals and sixth with 20 points, gradually earning a solid spot on the veteran laden Blast roster. Prior to joining the Blast, Dantas played outdoors for the Ottawa Fury of the NASL.

Alain Matingou, 30, is the elder statesman of the All-Rookie Team. The French-born Matingou came to the US seven years ago to attend Park University. The Comets defender was sixth in the league among defensemen with 33 points in 20 games and led the MASL with 45 fouls.

Onua Obasi, 26, came to the Blast from the outdoor Rochester Rhinos. The English defender used his physical 6’4″ frame and tremendous foot skills to impose his will on both ends of the floor. Obasi led the Blast with 29 fouls and scored nine goals and 10 assists in 19 games.

Diego Reynoso, 26, went 4-0 last year as Jose Bontti’s backup in Monterrey, barely retaining his rookie status. He signed midseason this year with the Saltillo Rancho Seco, but was released after one game and rejoined the Flash when Bontti had to return to Argentina to deal with a family illness. Reynoso took the reins and went 8-1 with a 2.88 GAA with Monterrey, including a shutout of Saltillo on January 18.

Lucas Totti, 22, was born in Brazil, but starred in futsal in England, where he played for Oxford City Futsal before coming to the US. Totti helped lead Oxford City of Texas to an 11 win improvement by scoring 35 goals and 20 assists. His 55 points were 6th best in the MASL.

Among the standout rookies who were edged out in voting, Lucas Bunster Almeida of the Tulsa Revolution finished 13th in the league with 42 points. Brownsville’s Moises Gonzalez was right behind with 30 goals and 41 points. Cameron Brown, who missed all of last year with an injury, was second on the Dallas Sidekicks this season with 31 points in 20 games.

Former MLS player Josh Gardner made his indoor debut with the Comets and scored 17 points in nine games. Slick handling Daniel Martini Mattos was third on the Detroit Waza Flo with 23 points in 18 games. Abel “Shadow” Sebele had 21 points in 14 games for the Wichita B-52s. Hiram Ruiz had 18 points in eight games for the Las Vegas Legends. Cuban forward Yakiel Perez had 22 points in 18 games for the Rochester Lancers.

Among rookie goalkeepers Rick Pflasterer of the Syracuse Silver Knights was 5-1 with a 5.03 GAA. Ontario’s Alexis Apodaca led all rookies in wins and finished 9-6 with a 7.15 GAA. Oxford City’s Kyle Renfro was 7-3 with a 5.85 GAA. Marcelo Moreira of Rochester was 3-5 with a 5.88 GAA.

The league will announce the All-League Teams on March 9. The finalists for Most Valuable Player, Goalkeeper of the Year, Defender of the Year, Coach of the Year, and Rookie of the Year will be announced on March 12. The final award winners will be announced at a time and location during the week of the Ron Newman Cup Finals.

For the latest Ambush news, watch the Ambush official website, and the team’s Facebook page, Season tickets for the 2015-16 season are now on sale. Call the Ambush office at 636-477-6363 for more information.