Date of Birth: 05/05/1972
Height: 5' 10" Weight: 190 lbs
College Experience: St. Joseph's University
Birthplace: Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia KiXX Player/Coach Don D’Ambra was born and raised in the City of Brotherly Love. He attended North Catholic High School, before continuing his education at St. Joseph’s University. He graduated from St. Joe’s with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in food marketing. During college, D’Ambra was an active athlete, playing all four-years on the school’s soccer team. He received numerous honors including Atlantic-10 Most Valuable Player, Soccer seven MVP and All-American. He currently holds the school record for points and goals.
In 1994, D’Ambra began his indoor soccer career with the Milwaukee Wave of the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL). After two seasons, he returned home to Philadelphia to continue his career with the Philadelphia KiXX. The KiXX were in their inaugural season, and D’Ambra was a welcomed addition. In 38 games, he tallied 83 points. From there, his career blossomed with Philadelphia. In the next 12 seasons with the club, he has amassed nearly 900 points, including a career-high 121 points during the 1997-98 season. In his 14-year career to date, he has reached the 100-point plateau three times and tallied 1,020 points.
On October 24, 2002, just four games into the 2002-03 campaign, D’Ambra was appointed the interim head coach of the KiXX after Omid Namazi stepped away from the team to pursue other endeavors. On December 3, he was officially named the third head coach of the Philadelphia KiXX in team history. The club finished the regular season atop the Eastern Conference standings with a 24-12 overall record, including a League-best 16-2 record at the First Union Spectrum (now known as the Wachovia Spectrum). With the first-place finish, the KiXX secured a first-round bye and home-field advantage in the Eastern Conference Finals, where they were upset by the visiting Baltimore Blast, 8-6. On the field, D’Ambra finished the season with a team-high 67 points and six game-winning goals. The two-time all-star then led the club to a 20-16 overall record in 2003-04 and a 22-17 mark in 2004-05. He finished with 44 points (2nd team) and a team-high 48 points, respectively, while leading the club to their ninth consecutive playoff appearance. With a myriad of injuries in 2005-06, the club posted a 10-20 overall record and failed to qualify for the postseason for the first time in the franchise’s 10-year history.
Philadelphia rebounded to 17-13 overall record in 2006-07 to qualify as the third seed in the 2007 MISL Championship Series thanks in large-part to a team-best 85-point performance from D’Ambra. After defeating the Chicago Storm in the Golden Goal game of the MISL Semifinals, Philadelphia defeated the expansion Detroit Ignition, 13-8, in front of a nationally-televised audience on VERSUS to claim the club’s second League championship. D’Ambra sealed the KiXX victory with a three-point goal in the opening minutes of the fourth and final period and finished the postseason with a team-best nine points. The 2007-08 season marked just the second time in club history that the KiXX did not reach the postseason, after posting a 12-18 record. D’Ambra led the team with 21 goals, and 22 assists for 64 points. D’Ambra also scored the 1,000th point of his career on February 2, 2008 vs. the Orlando Sharks.
With the KiXX, the veteran forward has served as team captain, assistant coach and now head coach. D’Ambra, his wife Leslie and their three daughters, Samantha, Kylie, and Milana currently reside in Sewell, NJ.