The St. Louis Ambush and Cedar Rapids Rampage will square off this Friday, December 22 at the US Cellular Arena in Cedar Rapids. The two teams staged in an intense duel on Sunday at the Family Arena, with the Ambush grinding out a 6-5 win in overtime. If that game was any indication, another fierce battle looms on Friday.
After going 0-8 to start the season, the Ambush held a one-goal lead in Sunday’s game going into the final three minutes. Cedar Rapids midfielder Taylor Bond scored the equalizer with 2:41remaining. Neither team managed another tally during regulation play, sending the game into sudden-death overtime. Ambush midfielder Clayton “Pedaleira” Matheus took a pass from Ambush player/coach Hewerton and scored the game winner at 1:45. That goal earned Pedaleira an honorable mention from the Major Arena Soccer League in their weekly Team of the Week awards and earned the Ambush their first win of the season.
The Ambush and Rampage both compete in the MASL Central Division, but the rivalry extends beyond that. A handful of players on each team have played for the other team, making for an interesting and often heated matchup whenever these two teams clash. Ambush player/head coach Hewerton was head coach of the Rampage last season and a player for them the past two seasons. Ambush midfielder Corey Adamson played with the Rampage during the 2015-16 season. Ambush defender Rob Acosta spent the past two seasons with the Rampage. Rampage midfielder Victor France came from the Ambush in the December 1 trade that sent Pablo Da Silva and Tony Aguilar to the Ambush. Rampage midfielder Gordy Gurson wore Ambush teal for parts of the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. Rampage midfielder Bobby Hurwitz was with St. Louis for the 2015-16 season.
Sunday’s win by the Ambush also closed the door on a five-game winning streak by the Rampage, giving Cedar Rapids one more reason to be hungry for revenge when these two teams butt heads on Friday.
Friday’s game will be webcast live at masl.tv, with the first kick slated for 7:35 p.m. CT. AfterFriday’s match in Cedar Rapids, the Ambush will be back in action at home when they host the Florida Tropics on New Year’s Eve, December 31 at 2:05 p.m. CT.