By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After going 2-1 to start the season, with all three games being played on the road, the Philadelphia Soul finally play their home opener on Saturday night as they welcome the Cleveland Gladiators to town.
“We’re real excited (to be home), honestly,” Soul head coach Clint Dolezel tells KYW Newsradio. “We don’t mind playing on the road, but three in a row, that is really rough. So we’re happy to come home and get our home crowd behind us.”
After opening the season with a loss in Arizona, the Soul have defeated Orlando and Iowa the last two weeks. It’s been all about the defense during those two wins, that unit holding the Predators to just 33 points and the Barnstormers to 43.
“They’ve basically carried us the last two weeks, no question about it,” Dolezel says. “Anytime we can get four to five stops, we should win the football game pretty handily. This week we’re hoping to get all three of our phases going so we can maybe put some big numbers up there.”
Cleveland comes to town struggling, but Dolezel isn’t focused on their record.
“It says they’re 0-3, but they are a good football team,” Dolezel says. “We’ve got to make sure and come out and not take them for granted. They’re going to come out and play hard.”
Dolezel adds that the Gladiators will also be rested.
“They had a bye week to prepare for us,” Dolezel says. “So we’re expecting them to come out with guns blazing and hopefully our defense can step up and play like they did and kind of shut them down. Defensive side for them, we think we can take advantage of a lot of things they’re doing, so I feel good about the week.”
The Soul and Gladiators will get underway at 7:05pm on Saturday night at the Center.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.