By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –– This is week #6 in the Arena Football League, but on Saturday night the Philadelphia Soul will play at home for the first time this season.
Philadelphia opened with four straight games on the road with a bye sandwiched in the middle. The Soul went 1-3 in those four road games. On Saturday night they will welcome Jacksonville to the Center. Needless to say, everyone is looking forward to finally playing a game in South Philadelphia
“We were just talking about that (Tuesday), the coaching staff,” Soul head coach Clint Dolezel tells KYW Newsradio. “It’s basically been almost eight weeks since training camp started and we’re having our first home game.”
While 1-3 is not what the Soul had in mind for a start, they do bring momentum into this home opener with the Sharks. Last Friday they picked up that first win of the season down in Orlando, beating the Predators, 69-56.
“We just played solid football, all the way around,” Dolezel says. “We didn’t do anything super special. The defense was really aggressive, they made a lot of plays happen for us. Guys made plays. We hadn’t been making a lot of plays. Our stars really stepped up and played well in the Orlando game.”
Dolezel is really looking forward to having that home field advantage.
“Crowd makes a big difference,” Dolezel says. “There’s several times on the road where their crowds eliminate our hard counts and, vice-versa, we’re jumping offsides when they’re on offense. Be nice to have that in our advantage for once.”
Jacksonville brings a 2-2 record to town.
“Good football team,” Dolezel says. “Like us, they’ve kept the nucleus of their team around from last year and year’s past. They’ve got two good veteran quarterbacks, they brought Aaron Garcia back, we’re not sure who is going to play, (R.J.) Archer’s been the starter and he’s done a really good job for them. Secondary is one of the best in the league, they’ve played together for a couple of years now, too. And their pass rush is really good. It’s going to be a tough football game.”
Philadelphia and Jacksonville will kick-off at 6:00pm on Saturday night at the Center.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.