9th Man Nation

GAME PREVIEW: WEEK 1

Courtesy: Philadelphia Soul Media Relations

Soul to open season at Albany Empire on Saturday, April 14

PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Philadelphia Soul kick off their 13th season and defense of their back-to-back Championships this Saturday, April 14. The Soul (0-0) will travel to Albany to face the Empire (0-0) at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY at 7 p.m. This is the first meeting between the Soul and the AFL’s newest franchise. The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network and fans in the Philadelphia area can listen live on 97.5 FM “The Fanatic”.

The Soul will start their journey on the road to a “3-peat” after winning ArenaBowl XXX over the Tampa Bay Storm, 44-40. Many star playmakers from last season’s championship team are back to compete for another ring, including former AFL MVP QB Dan Raudabaugh, ArenaBowl Defensive Player of the Game DB James Romain, ArenaBowl MVP WR Darius Prince, AFL Kicker of the Year Adrian Trevino and AFL Offensive Lineman of the Year Wayne Tribue.

“It’s a great feeling being able to have some of our veteran players back for another season,” said Soul General Manager and Assistant Head Coach Phil Bogle. “Not every team is able to bring so many returners back and not only does that make us unique but it also makes us a pretty powerful team.”

This game will be the first in Albany Empire history, as the team begins its 2018 Inaugural Season presented by CDPHP. Empire Head Coach Rob Keefe was a member of the Philadelphia Soul 2008 championship team as a defensive back. The Empire recently announced that former All-Arena, veteran quarterback Tommy Grady has been assigned to the team. Grady finds himself, similar to Radabaugh, among the Top 10 in AFL history in passing yards, passing touchdowns, pass attempts, and pass completions. Grady, along with defensive back Varmah Sonie and defensive lineman Trumaine “Joe” Sykes are all strong players to watch this week.

Sonie had stints with the Portland Thunder, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, Orlando Predators, and Baltimore Brigade. Sonie received First Team All-Arena honors during his time with the Thunder in 2014 and the Predators in 2016. Sykes brings a decorated career & several awards to Albany, including three-time First Team All-Arena honors, three-time AFL Defensive Lineman of the Year and two-time AFL Defensive Player of the Year.

“It’s going to be a competitive year this year,” said Soul Head Coach Clint Dolezel. “There are All-Star talents on all four team rosters so it’s going to make for some fun ball games.”

Coming Up Next: In Week 2, the Soul will play their home opener against the Baltimore Brigade on Saturday, April 21 at the Wells Fargo Center with a kick-off time of 7 p.m.

ABOUT THE PHILADELPHIA SOUL
The 2017 ArenaBowl Champion Philadelphia Soul are entering their 13th season in the Arena Football League. In the first 12 seasons, the Soul have won four Division Championships, four Conference Championships and three ArenaBowl Championships. Since the inaugural season in 2004, the Soul are the winningest professional sports team in Philadelphia. Season memberships and group tickets for the Soul’s upcoming 2017 season are on sale now. For tickets, contact the Soul sales department at (215) 253-4900 ext. 3, or request contact from a Soul representative by filling out the form on philadelphiasoul.com. Follow the Soul on Facebook at facebook.com/soul, on Twitter at twitter.com/soulfootball, on Instagram at instagram.com/philadelphia_soul, on YouTube at youtube.com/phillysooulfootball, and SnapChat at snapchat.com/add/soulfootball

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