The MASL hot stove has gone from simmer to full boil. The Cedar Rapids Rampage today announced the most significant signing in team history with the addition of 28-year old Taylor Bond.
Bond, who signed a one-year contract, has been a shooting-star in the MASL since his rookie season in 2014/15. During his three years with the Chicago Mustangs, Bond has scored 10, 21 and 40 goals, respectively.
His 40 goals and 54 points placed him fourth in the MASL last year in each of those categories and earned him a spot on the MASL All-League Second Team.
Other season highlights include eight hat tricks, four power play goals, five game-winning goals, and three appearances on the league’s Team of the Week.
In four games against the Rampage, Bond had eight goals and six assists.
“We got to see Taylor Bond up close and personal four times last year and he is an immensely talented player,” said Rampage General Manager Chris Kokalis. “This signing affirms our commitment to our fans that we are here to win and we are all-in on our effort to bring a Newman Cup championship to Cedar Rapids.”
The signing of Bond, a young goal-scoring machine with poster-boy looks, just coming into his prime, shows that the Rampage are committed to entering the 2017/18 season as legitimate championship contenders.
After a 5-15 inaugural season, the Rampage revamped their roster and improved to 12-8 last year, just missing out on a playoff spot in the hyper-competitive Central Division. Cedar Rapids finished two games ahead of the 10-10 Mustangs so the Bond signing should widen the gap on Chicago and close the gap on the Milwaukee Wave and Kansas City Comets.
Bond is currently on call with the US National Arena Soccer Team, who have three games in California this weekend against the Mexican National Futbol Rapido Team. He will be joined by new Rampage teammates Gordy Gurson, Joshio Sandoval and Derek Huffman, and will be playing against Angel Curiel, who will suit up for Mexico.
Rampage player/coach Hewerton Moreira and defender Joshio Sandoval were teammates with Bond in Chicago.
“Taylor Bond is a fantastic player with a lot of strength, speed, and desire to win,” said Hewerton. “When we were teammates in 2014/15 I knew he would be one of the best target forwards in the league and I’m looking forward to working with him again.”
“Taylor is a great addition to the team,” said Sandoval. “He has come a long way from the first year we played together in Chicago. This organization is looking to put a championship team together. Taylor will definitely bring a lot to the table. He is a guy who will be the first one at practice and last one to leave, but will also put the ball in the net.”