The St. Louis Ambush have hired former Cedar Rapids Rampage coach Hewerton Moreira to be their new Head Coach for the 2017/18 season the team announced Monday night.
Hewerton took over as Rampage coach in August of last year and went 12-8 with a team that had only finished 5-15 during their expansion season, but he and the team announced they were parting ways on August 11.
Fixing the Ambush will pose an even bigger challenge. St. Louis is coming off four straight losing seasons, culminating in last year’s 1-19 nadir. The franchise is only 18-62 overall since the Ambush name was revamped in 2013.
“I would like to thank the Ambush organization and ownership for their trust in me,” said Hewerton. “I’m very honored to be part of such a professional group and looking forward to helping the Ambush have a very successful season.”
Tuesday’s introductory press conference was canceled because Hewerton was delayed in returning from Honduras, where lost in the finals of an international futsal tournament while playing for Utah Elite.
Part of Hewerton’s success in Cedar Rapids derived from collaborating with Rampage GM Chris Kokalis in signing several of his former Milwaukee Wave teammates. Of those players, Pablo Da Silva and Tony Walls have re-signed in Cedar Rapids and Jonatan Santos returned to the Wave this offseason. Jonathan Greenfield is a free agent and could follow Hewerton to St. Louis.
The 38-year old Brazilian will likely be able to provide his own talent upgrade to the Ambush roster. Hewerton played the last two seasons for Cedar Rapids, leading the MASL in assists in 2015/16 and producing a team-leading 36 points in 20 games last year.
The Ambush are a team without any stars, so Hewerton will have to decide which pieces to keep and which to replace. Two pieces that will remain in place from last year’s worst ranked offense are Lucas Almeida and Victor France, who signed contract extensions through 2019/20, the team announced. Almeida has struggled since signing with the Ambush following a huge 2014/15 season with the Tulsa Revolution, while France has shown glimpses of becoming a potent midfielder.
Hewerton’s hiring will make the Central Division even more competitive and he will now be able to count three division rivals as former teams, having played for the Wave, the Chicago Mustangs, and the Rampage.