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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Jobe in, Moojen out for Wichita Wings

By JEFFREY LUTZ
The Wichita Eagle

The Wings will likely get a scoring threat back from injury tonight against Milwaukee, only to see another one go out.

Alargie Jobe, who has been out since Jan. 7 with a strained hamstring, should be back in the lineup tonight as Wichita plays the Wave for the third straight time.

But the Wings will be without second-leading scorer Freddie Moojen, who will probably miss a significant amount of time with a knee injury. Moojen was injured against Milwaukee on Saturday. Holimon said he has a deep bone bruise and a partially dislocated knee cap.

Wichita has struggled to score for most of the last month. The Wings released Carlos Farias in late December, losing his precision passing ability. Now they’re without Moojen, another player who took pressure off top scorer Jamar Beasley.

Bryan Perez and Victor Quiroz have played well recently for the shorthanded Wings, but they have been unable to lead the team to consistency. Wichita still has several scoring options, a fact coach LeBaron Hollimon cites in offering approval for the offense.

"You take a look at our team, we now have a more balanced attack," Hollimon said after Saturday’s 9-6 loss. "Guys work hard. We can come in this locker room with our heads held high."

The Wings have signed a pair of players in the past week, rookies Kareem Yearwood and Max Touloute. They give the team depth, but an escape from last place in the MISL Central will most likely be led by the holdovers.

Wichita trails Missouri by 2½ games for the second playoff spot in the three-team Central with nine games to play. The Wings’ best hope to make up ground rests on the ability of Jobe, who has six goals, to return to productivity and for Quiroz, Perez and Kevin Ten Eyck to emerge as leaders offensively.

Ten Eyck had game-winning goals in Wichita victories over Missouri and Milwaukee the past two weekends and Quiroz and Perez have taken advantage of more playing time.

But the Wings still haven’t put together an extended stretch of high-output games. A night after defeating Milwaukee 18-16, they scored six points. In five of their last seven games, they have scored 10 points or fewer.

Milwaukee leads the league with a 12-2 record, including four wins over Wichita. Three of those were decided by three points or fewer, but watching the Wave’s fluid offense gave Hollimon something to shoot for.

"When you compare the two teams, that’s the difference -- the little things," Hollimon said. "That’s where experience can get you through. I hope that that’s where we are in the next year or two."

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