April 30 - Historic first ever game played at snowy Hart Park in Wauwatosa in front of 214 brave fans. The Rampage defeated the Detroit Wheels, 6-0. Brian Dawson scored the first goal in the 10th minute off an assist from Scott Kreitmeir. Forward Brian McBride paced the attack with 2 goals and 2 assists, while forward Tony Sanneh added a goal and 2 assists. The Rampage's lineup that day: Gerard Averill, Steve Rose (Brian Blaschka 56), Tag Gambatese, Scott Kreitmeir, Steve Provan, Kris Kelderman, Michael Collins, Tony Sanneh, Brian Dawson (Derek Bylsma 56), Joey Kirk, Brian McBride...May 7 - First ever road game played in Sioux City, Iowa. The Rampage beat the Breeze 5-1, led by McBride and Kirk (2 goals each)...The Rampage reeled off 15 straight victories to open the season, before losing to the Minnesota Thunder twice during the last two weeks of the season...The team defeated the Columbus Xoggz 1-0 in overtime in the first round of the playoffs, before losing two straight to the Thunder (3-2 and 3-1) in the division final...The Rampage moved its home games to Brown Deer High School midway through the season...Forward Brian McBride misses the end of the season when he signs a contract to play professionally in Germany with Wolfsburg, a second division team...Milwaukee outscored its opponents 81-18 during the regular season.
Coach: Boro Sucevic
Leading Scorer: Joey Kirk, 60 points (24 goals, 12 assists)
Most Goals: Joey Kirk, 24
Most Assists: Brian McBride, 17
Top Goalkeeper: Gerard Averill (16-2, 0.99 GAA, 7 Shutouts)
HISTORY OF THE RAMPAGE
THE 1995 SEASON
The Rampage makes Uihlein Soccer Park its permanent home, as Cacho Cordoba takes over as the team's new head coach...Chenequa native Dan Green signs with the team and wins a franchise record 13 games during the season...Milwaukeeans Dan Stebbins, Jon Szczepanski and Jason Willan also begin their pro outdoor careers with the Rampage. Midfielder Quinn Ross joins the team after spending a season playing with the Columbus Xoggz...The Rampage loses its first game of the season to the Xoggz (3-0), but then reels off seven straight wins and 15 of its next 16 games. During that stretch, Milwaukee defeats Minnesota 2-1 in overtime, for its first even win against the Thunder...The Rampage defeat the Xoggz 2-0 in the best-of-three division semifinals, and advances to the division finals against the Thunder. Milwaukee shocks the Thunder 2-0 at Uihlein Soccer Park, only to drop two straight on the road in the final two games of the series. Minnesota rallies for a 3-2 overtime win in Game 2, and wins the "mini-game" 1-0...The Rampage still winds the wild card spot in the USISL's "Sizzlin' Nine" national tournament. The Rampage heads to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where it defeats the Tampa Bay Cyclones 3-2 in its first game, before a season-ending 4-2 loss to the hometown Myrtle Beach Boyz.
Coach: Carlos "Cacho" Cordoba
Leading Scorer: Dan Stebbins, 43 points (20 goals, 3 assists)
Most Goals: Dan Stebbins, 20
Most Assists: Jon Szczepanski, 9
Top Goalkeeper: Dan Green (13-0, 1.05 GAA, 6 Shutouts)
THE 1996 SEASON
Former U.S. National Team head coach Bob Gansler takes over as coach, when Cacho Cordoba accepts an assistant coaching position with the Dallas Burn of Major League Soccer...Neenah native Kris Kelderman and former teammates Brian McBride and Tony Sanneh also sign contracts for MLS's inaugural season. Kelderman and Sanneh would end up playing together with D.C. United, who wins the first MLS championship. McBride instantly becomes an all-star player for the Columbus Crew...Former University of Wisconsin standout players Travis Roy and Mike Gentile sign with the Rampage, as well as former Canadian National Team goalkeeper, Carmine Isacco, and defender Casey Sweeney. All four players have superb first seasons in Milwaukee, while helping lead the team to the most wins in a single season (19)...The Rampage opens the season with five straight wins, but then loses two straight games for the first time in team history. The team rebounds and wins 13 of its next 14 games en route to its first outright division championship...Once again, however, the team meets the Minnesota Thunder in the divisional playoff final. The Rampage would drop a 3-1 decision to the Thunder in Game 1 of the series in Minnesota, before returning home to finish the series. Goalkeeper Carmine Isacco shuts down the Thunder attack in Game 2, as Milwaukee blanks the Thunder. 2-0. Minnesota rallies in the "mini-game", however, and ends the Rampage's season with a 1-0 victory...The Rampage begins playing its home games on the new stadium field at Uihlein Soccer Park this season.
Coach: Bob Gansler
Leading Scorer: Dan Stebbins, 50 points (21 goals, 8 assists)
Most Goals: Dan Stebbins, 21
Most Assists: Jon Szczepanski, 9
Top Goalkeeper: Carmine Isacco (17-5, .078 GAA, 11 Shutouts)
THE 1997 SEASON
The 1997 team featured several newcomers like former D.C. United midfielder and Milwaukee native Mike Huwiler, former UW-Milwaukee standout forward David Marshall, former Columbus Xoggz speedster Nick Igel and former Wake Forest University midfielder Josh Timbers. The season also marked the beginning of a cooperative effort by both the Rampage and indoor Wave to share players. Defender David Moxom became the first player to play with both teams, and midfielder Steve Morris joined the team late in the season...The Rampage opened the season losing 8 of its first 11 games, but then rebounded and won 10 of its next 13 games...August 31 - The Rampage defeated the Colorado Foxes 2-1 in overtime, to earn the last spot in the playoffs on the final day of the season. Milwaukee then stunned Nashville and New Orleans with improbable series sweeps, and then outlasted the Vancouver 86ers two games to one in the best-of-three conference final to advance to the championship game. The title game sold out in five days, and on September 27, an atmospheric crowd of 6,381 packed Uihlein Soccer Park to watch the Rampage defeat the Carolina Dynamo 2-1 in a shootout to end its "Cinderella Season." The championship gave Milwaukee its first pro sports title since the 1971 Milwaukee Bucks...The 1997 season also marked the team's first ever exhibition game against an MLS team, as the Columbus Crew visited Uihlein Soccer Park on July 6...The seating capacity increased to 7,500 at Uihlein Soccer Park during the season, as more bleacher seating was added behind the south goal and on the east side of the field...May 9 - the team's Home Opener against the Minnesota Thunder was rained out, as flood-like conditions cause delays throughout the City of Milwaukee.
Coach: Bob Gansler
Leading Scorer: Jon Szczepanski, 20 points (6 goals, 8 assists)
Most Goals: Jon Szczepanski, 6
Most Assists: Jon Szczepanski, 8
Top Goalkeeper: Carmine Isacco (14-14, 1.24 GAA, 6 Shutouts)
THE 1998 SEASON
Milwaukee would pick up where it left off following the 1997 title run, by racing out to an 8-2 start. The Rampage qualified for its first U.S. Open Cup berth after its strong start, but then suffered a disappointing home loss to the Orlando Nighthawks in the first round of the tournament. The loss set the tone for the next 15 league games, as Milwaukee would go 6-9 in those contests. Three solid wins to close out the season gave the Rampage some momentum as it qualified for its fifth consecutive playoff spot. But the team's final win - a 6-0 win at Raleigh - was a costly victory. Defender Mike Huwiler broke his leg in the game, and would eventually end up missing the entire 1999 season. Obviously rattled by Huwiler's loss, the Rampage suffered its worst playoff loss in team history - a 5-1 shellacking in Minnesota...Off the field, however, the Rampage set all-time attendance records for the fifth straight year, averaging 3,175 fans per game...The Rampage organization was ranked first in a survey that rated the best A-League franchises. A-League team owners and front office staffs did the voting, which included criteria such as overall professionalism, stadium facilities and competitiveness on the field...Also, the teams "Reading with the Rampage" literacy program won a national award from Sports Business International magazine...Fans enjoy two new major additions at Uihlein Soccer Park during the season - a new scoreboard and public address system highlight the changes.
Coach: Bob Gansler
Leading Scorer: Jon Szczepanski, 30 points (8 goals, 14 assists)
Most Goals: David Marshall, 10
Most Assists: Jon Szczepanski, 14
Top Goalkeeper: Carmine Isacco (16-2, 0.99 GAA, 7 Shutouts)
Dan Green (4-1, 0.74 GAA, 2 Shutouts)
THE 1999 SEASON
Cacho Cordoba returned to the Rampage sideline following a three-year stint coaching in Major League Soccer. Cacho and the team opened the season with a promising 4-0 start, but it was quickly forgotten as the team went on to lose four out of the next five games...Similar to the 1997 season, the Rampage had a roller-coaster kind of year, but still managed to put itself in position for another run at the playoffs. Like the 1997 regular season finale, the Rampage was faced with a "do-or-die" home game to earn a spot in the playoffs. The opponent, however, was the team's all-time nemesis, the Minnesota Thunder. The Rampage wouldn't be so lucky in this final match, however, as the team dropped a 2-1 decision to the Thunder...Once again, the Rampage set all-time attendance records, and its summer soccer camp participation saw a dramatic 59% increase...May 21 - the team won its 100th all-time game with a 2-1 victory over the San Francisco Bay Seals. The Rampage's all-time overall record through the 1999 season is now 109-59...June 22 - a Tuesday night crowd of 5,429 are entertained when the Rampage hosts the defending champions of Major League Soccer, the Chicago Fire. It marks just the second exhibition game against an MLS team...August 21 - the Rampage honored U.S. World Cup gold-medalist and starting defender Kate Sobrero at halftime of the game against U.S. Pro-40. The game drew a single-game attendance record of 6,392 fans, as the Rampage defeated U.S. Pro-40, 3-2.
Coach: Carlos "Cacho" Cordoba
Leading Scorer: Dan Stebbins, 32 points (10 goals, 12 assists)
Most Goals: Dan Stebbins, 20
Most Assists: Dan Stebbins and Jason Willan, 10
Top Goalkeeper: Dan Green (9-12, 1.80 GAA, 3 Shutouts)
THE 2000 SEASON
The Milwaukee Rampage completed its eighth season in 2000, and once again thrilled soccer fans fromall over Wisconsin by advancing all the way to the A-League's "Final Four" for the second time in club history. After failing to reach the playoffs for the first time in 1999, A-League "Coach of the Year" candidate Boro Sucevic guided the Rampage to another scintillating run to the league semi-finals. Led on the field by the reigning A-League MVP Digital Takawira, the explosive Rampage qualified for the playoffs and knocked off the Nashville Metros and the top-seeded Richmond Kickers en route to its third "Final Four" appearance. Rampage head coach Boro Sucevic guided the Rampage to a complete turnaround in 2000, as the team finished the regular season with a regular season franchise-record 18 wins. After a disappointing 13-15 season last year, the Rampage won more home games than any other team in the league that year (14), including a team-record 13 straight victories at Uihlein Soccer Park. Forwards Digital Takawira (16 goals) and Brian Loftin (10 goals) helped lead the team's highly explosive offense to 69 goals, second only to the Minnesota Thunder (74). Milwaukee's 69 goals were the most since the 1994 inaugural season, when the Rampage tallied an unbelievable 81 goals. Forward Digital Takawira ended the season tied for the A-League scoring title, as he accumulated 42 points on 16 goals and 10 assists. It marked the first time ever that a Rampage player won the scoring title. The two-time Major League Soccer All-Star amassed his 42 points in just 21 games, while Charleston Battery forward Paul Conway needed 26 games to score his 42 points...The Rampage set several franchise records in 2000, including most wins in a season (18), most home wins (14), longest home winning streak (13) and highest average attendance (3,654). The Rampage also led the A-League by scoring three or more goals in 16 of its 28 regular season games, and a league-record 13 players scored at least two goals this year...Rookie goalkeeper Dan Popik picked up his franchise-record 17th win of the season against Tennessee, and finished the season with a 17-8-1 record and a 1.60 goals-against average. The former U.S. Under-20 National Team 'keeper finished the year tied for second among A-League goalkeepers with his 17 wins. The 21-year old native of Long Island, New York, is the youngest goalkeeper ever to play for the Rampage...Defender Chris Jahr missed only two games during the season, after being invited to play with the Chicago Fire of the MLS. Despite missing the two road games, Jahr logged more minutes than any other field player in 2000, with 2,188 (Bernal was just three minutes behind at 2,185, and midfielder Nate Houser was third at 2,104). Popik led the team by playing in 2,306 out of a possible 2,540 minutes...Midfielder Jason Willan finished third in team scoring with 19 points (6 goals, 7 assists). The veteran from Menomonee Falls became the team's all-time leader in games played with 136...Forward Todd Dusosky continued his impressive play and notched a goal and an assist in the first half of the game against Indiana...Defenders Alen Soso, David Marshall and Josh Provan logged every minute of every game during a weekend series. Provan was one of just six players to appear in a team-leading 26 games in 2000.
Coach: Boro Sucevic
Leading Scorer: Digital Takawira, 42 points (16 goals, 10 assists)
Most Goals: Digital Takawira, 16
Most Assists: Steve Bernal, 11
Top Goalkeeper: Dan Popik (17-8-1, 1.60 GAA)
THE 2001 SEASON
It took two champions to knock the Rampage out of two of the biggest soccer competitions in the country in 2001. The Rampage suffered a tough two-game series loss to the eventual league champion Rochester Rhinos in the A-League semi-finals in October. Earlier in the season, Milwaukee battled the powerful San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer to a 0-0 tie in the "Sweet 16" round of the prestigious Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tournament. The Earthquakes, who went on to win the 2001 MLS title, eventually defeated the Rampage 7-6 in penalty kicks. The winning tradition continued as the Rampage won at least 20 games for the second straight season - it marked the first time in team history that a Rampage team had back-to-back 20-win seasons. The Rampage advanced all the way to the A-League's "Final Four" en route to an impressive 20-13-5 record. Milwaukee continued its dominance at home by putting up a solid 12-3 record at the Milwaukee Rampage Sports Complex...The team's national award-winning "Reading with the Rampage" literacy program expanded to reach more than 1,200 children in the Milwaukee area. The program, initiated by the team in 1994, motivates children to read more and helps pre-readers develop a positive attitude toward learning to read. Rampage players and coaches encourage and motivate students to reach their individual reading goals by visiting their classrooms and reading to the students. The team was recognized with a national award in 1999, when Soccer Business International named the program the "Best Ongoing Community Program"...The team's preeminent summer camp, clinics and volunteer programs served more than 11,500 children throughout Wisconsin during the summer months, a new record! The programs were the most successful and best attended in the state...May 6, 2001 - Fans attending the first-ever game at the Milwaukee Rampage Sports Complex were not disappointed, as the Rampage defeated the Indiana Blast 3-1 behind two goals from newcomer David Hayes. The Rampage has never lost a home opener and this win gave the team its eighth consecutive victory on opening night...May 30, 2001 - The Rampage knocked off its long-time nemesis, the Minnesota Thunder, on the road (1-0) to qualify for the prestigious Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup...May, 2001 - Hertha Berlin representative Falko Gotz paid a visit to the Rampage to continue talks with the organization of a possible working agreement. Hertha Berlin is a member of the world-renowned German Bundesliga...June 15, 2001 - The Rampage hosted the defending MLS-Champion Chicago Fire in its first MLS game at its new home in Franklin. A crowd of 3,217 is treated to an exciting 3-1 Fire victory on a cool and breezy night. Rampage forward Digital Takawira gave the home team the lead early, but two late goals by the Fire spoiled the upset bid. Former U.S. National Team star Eric Wynalda, MLS All-Star Peter Nowak and Racine native Jesse Marsch all played the entire 90 minutes. Rampage Head Coach Boro Sucevic was able to give his entire team a chance to experience playing against the top team in MLS, including 17-year-old youngsters David Henning and Sam Sucevic...June 27, 2001 - Milwaukee hosted a momentous U.S. Open Cup double-header, as the Rampage defeated the eventual U.S. Division III champion Utah Blitzz (2-0) and the Chicago Fire beat the San Diego Flash (3-0) in the second round of the tournament. It marked the first-ever Cup win for the Rampage...July 11, 2001 - A record crowd of 5,407 witnessed the Rampage's historic U.S. Open Cup "Sweet 16" round game against the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer. The Rampage and Earthquakes battled to a 0-0 tie after 120 minutes of thrilling end-to-end action in arguably the most exciting game in team history since Milwaukee's 1997 title match. San Jose went on to defeat the Rampage in penalty kicks, 7-6, and later captured the 2001 MLS Cup. It was the first-ever meaningful game for the Rampage against an MLS team...July 13, 2001 - The Rampage hosted its first international exhibition game against a Mexican team, when Chivas de Guadalajara Reservos visited Milwaukee...September 30, 2001 - Exactly four years and three days after the Rampage brought Milwaukee its first-ever professional soccer title, the home team pulled off another thrilling win in Virginia. Rampage defender Alen Soso scored an overtime goal, as the team defeated the top-seeded Richmond Kickers 2-1 in the quarter-final round of the A-League playoffs. Richmond, the top team in the league during the regular season, had not lost a home game in 2001...October 6, 2001 - The Rampage's season ended with a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to the defending A-League Champion Rochester Rhinos in New York. The Rhinos went on to capture their second consecutive A-League title...Rampage midfielder Phillippe Godoy and forward Digital Takawira were named to the All-League Team at the conclusion of the season. Takawira, the A-League's Most Valuable Player in 2001, finished fourth in league scoring with 30 points on 13 goals and 4 assists in just 20 games...Milwaukee's all -time overall record through eight years stands at 146-83-4 (128-69-3) regular season)...The Milwaukee Rampage U-18 team was launched successfully, and the team advanced all the way to the Super Y-League national finals in North Carolina...The talented Rampage roster was filled once again with players with ties to Wisconsin, including: Dennis Fadeski (Brookfield), Peter Henning (Brookfield), David Henning (Brookfield), Sam Sucevic (Sussex), Brian Doherty (Univ. of Wisconsin), Ollie Ellsworth (Mequon), Scott Dombrowski (West Allis), Josh Provan (Cudahy) and David Marshall (Milwaukee).
Coach: Boro Sucevic
Leading Scorer: Digital Takawira, 30 points (13 goals, 4 assists)
Most Goals: Digital Takawira, 13
Most Assists: David Hayes, 6
Top Goalkeeper: Dan Popik (13-7-1, 1.08 GAA)
THE 2002 SEASON
The Milwaukee Rampage completed their ninth season of professional soccer on September 28, 2002, when they defeated the Richmond Kickers, 2-1, in the A-League National Championship game at the Rampage Sports Complex in Franklin, WI. An enthused crowd of 6,189 witnessed the team win its second national title in the past five years. Thousands of fans streamed onto the field seconds after Sinisa Angelovski scored the game-winning goals one minute into the second overtime period. Fans from around the world watched the game on a worldwide television broadcast shown on Fox Sports World, Fox Sports World Canada, Fox Sports World Espanol and other affiliate networks. After failing to reach the playoffs for the first time in the team's history in 1999, two-time A-League Coach of the Year candidate Boro Sucevic led the Rampage to their third consecutive "Final Four" appearance in 2002. the winning tradition continued as the Rampage won at least 20 games for the third straight season. The Rampage advanced all the way to the A-League's "Final Four" en route to an impressive 21-8-7 record. Milwaukee continued its dominance at home by putting up a solid 14-3-3 record at the Milwaukee Rampage Sports Complex in Franklin...The team's national award-winning "Reading with the Rampage" literacy program expanded to reach more that 2,500 children in the Milwaukee area...The team's preeminent summer camp, clinics and volunteer programs served more than 13,500 children throughout Wisconsin during the summer months, a new record! The programs were the most successful and best attended in the state...May 20, 2002 -The Rampage fought back from a two-goal deficit in the second half to tie FC Nurnberg of the German Bundesliga, 3-3. John Wolyniec scored a pair of goals, then Digital Takawira struck from the penalty spot in the 86th minute to cap the scoring. The Bundesliga has long been considered one of the top leagues in the world...May 23, 2002 - A then franchise-record crowd of 6,487 packed the Rampage Sports Complex for the team's First Annual "School Day Game". Thousands of Milwaukee area students took part in the educational field trip to Franklin...June 17, 2002 - Yugoslavian newcomers Ranko Golinjanin and Sinisa Angelovski each scored to lift the Rampage to a 2-0 victory over the Dallas Burn, their first win in history against an opponent from the Division I Major League Soccer. Jeff Richey earned the shutout, making seven saves and shutting down MLS All-Star Ronald Cerritos...July 17, 2002 - The Rampage upset the two-time champion Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, with a 1-0 victory on the strength of Ranko Golinjanin's second-half goal in front of 5,323 fans at the MRSC...August 2, 2002 - During a 1-1 draw against the Indiana Blast, the Rampage saw several record-setting streaks come to an end. The goal by Indiana, scored in the 56th minute, stopped a stretch of 784 minutes since Milwaukee was last scored on at the MRSC that included two Open Cup wins and an exhibition victory against the Dallas Burn of MLS. In A-League action, the team had blanked opponents for 503 minutes since a 1-1 draw at Minnesota on July 13, while goalkeeper Dan Popik had a personal shutout string of 475 minutes snapped...August 10, 2002 - The league-leading Seattle Sounders scored twice early to knock off the Rampage in Seattle. The loss of Milwaukee was just its second in nearly three months. Since an exhibition loss to German Bundesliga powerhouse 1860 Munich on May 12, the Rampage lost one game in their next 24 outings, including matchups against two Major League Soccer opponents. Milwaukee built league unbeaten streaks of nine games and eight games around a June 29 loss to El Paso to solidify their hold on first place in the Central Division...August 24, 2002 - Having become the A-League team to advance the furthest in the U.S. Open Cup in 2002, the Rampage moved to the Quarterfinals of the tournament against former coach Bob Gansler and the Kansas City Wizards. Prior to the match, the Rampage honored Gansler by making him the inaugural induction into the club's Hall of Fame. A franchise-record crowd of 6,576 fans cheered on the Rampage, who saw their Cinderella run ended by the Wizards, 2-0...August 31, 2002 - After experiencing terrible travel difficulties on their return trip to Milwaukee following a 1-0 loss in Minnesota, the Rampage returned to the Brew City only three hours before they were scheduled to kick off against the A-League's Regular Season Champion Seattle Sounders. Throw in the loss of leading scorer Digital Takawira to a broken ankle against the Thunder and a 51st minute ejection of midfielder Miguel Saavedra and the division title that once seemed a certainty was now almost considered a far-fetched dream. But as the Rampage persevered and knocked off the Sounders behind two John Wolyniec penalty kicks to set off a wild celebration and claim their first division title since 1996...September 17, 2002 - Having already been named to the A-League's All-League First Team, Rampage defender Destin Makumbu was honored as the inaugural winner of the A-League Young Defender of the Year award. Given to the player age 23 and under at the start of the season, Makumbu's dominating performance in the back, helped Milwaukee tie for fourth in the A-League in goals allowed in 2002...September 28, 2002 - The Rampage defeats the Richmond Kickers 2-1 in overtime, and become the 2002 A-League Champions!
Coach: Boro Sucevic
Leading Scorer: John Wolyniec 28 points (11 goals, 6 assists)