by Austin David

ORLANDO: Heading into this weeks match against the Baltimore Blast, goalkeeper Rainer Hauss knew that he would be the man minding the net on Friday night. Starting keeper and assistant coach Piotr Sliwa went down with a hamstring injury with just three minutes left in the second quarter and the team trailing 3-1. Hauss was called in, immediately having to get into the flow of the game and keep the score manageable as the team headed for halftime.

Not only did Hauss keep it close, he only allowed one goal through the entire second half, allowing the offense to come back from the deficit and tie the game, eventually sending it to overtime. Unfortunately, the keeper's efforts did not come with a favorable result as the SeaWolves would fall in the penalty shootout to the St. Louis Ambush.

“It's always hard for a keeper when you come in the middle of a game because everybody's already game speed and you’re still getting into it,” Hauss said at practice on Wednesday, “But the mind needs to be ready so that's what I always try doing, try to get my mind ready and then if needed and ready to jump in and help out the team.”

Hauss was in a similar situation last season in MASL in Cedar Rapids. When the starting Rampage goalkeeper was suspended indefinitely, the Belo Horizonte native took his opportunity by the horns, starting 11 games and amassing a 6-5 record, helping the team into the playoffs. 

The Brazil national also built off his opportunities by getting a chance with the national team, appearing for the Brazil National Minifootball team in two recent tournaments, earning the best goalkeeper award in the Pan-American games in Guatemala this year.

With all his patience paying off in the last 12 months, Hauss has a simple philosophy to help him continue to get better as a goalkeeper and to be the best keeper that he can possibly be. 

“My goal is to beat myself every day,” Hauss said, “If I was number nine yesterday, I need to be number 10 today and number 11 tomorrow. I'm not fighting against someone, I'm fighting against myself, so that I can improve on a daily basis to help out the team.

Once Sliwa is back healthy from his hamstring injury, the goalkeeper competition will heat up again and Hauss will have to fight to keep his job. Despite the pressure that is sure to come in the future, Hauss embraces it and looks forward to the challenge.  

“Competition is always good. I always tell everybody, competition is good because I don't wanna lose and Piotr doesn't want to lose, so we keep fighting more and more, getting better and better and that's just like a big benefit for the team.”

The SeaWolves will host the 2017 Major Arena Soccer League champions Baltimore Blast on Friday, December 14th. Kickoff at Silver Spurs Arena is set for 7:35pm. Tickets start at just $15 and are on sale now at the Silver Spurs Arena Box Office or online at