Obscure Leagues: Major Arena Soccer League

I have always enjoyed watching indoor soccer.  Actually, I have to admit, it was always more interesting than outdoor soccer. For me, it was a lot like the human version of Foosball.  The first professional indoor league was the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) which played from 1978-1992. Today’s version of indoor soccer is the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) which traces it roots to the former MISL but was formed when the Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL) merged with another MISL league in 2014.

If you’ve never heard of “arena” or “indoor” soccer, it is basically soccer played on a hockey rink on artificial turf instead of ice. Games are higher scoring than in outdoor soccer with scores of 5-3, 8-4 or 7-5 more common in the indoor game. There is also no offsides in the indoor version.

The MASL currently plays in 17 cities across the United States and Mexico.  The teams are:

  • Baltimore Blast
  • Dallas Sidekicks
  • Florida Tropics (Lakeland)
  • Harrisburg Heat
  • Kansas City Comets
  • Mesquite Outlaws
  • Milwaukee Wave
  • Monterrey Flash
  • Ontario (California) Fury
  • Orlando SeaWolves
  • Rochester Lancers
  • St. Louis Ambush
  • San Diego Sockers
  • Sonora Suns
  • Tacoma Stars
  • Turlock (California) Express
  • Utica City FC

Baltimore, Dallas, San Diego and Tacoma had franchises in the original MISL.  

The San Diego Sockers have won four titles while the Baltimore Blast have won three.  

The MASL is an obscure sports league and rarely gets any press or television coverage outside of their local markets. The league does offer viewing of games through their pay-per-view package available on their website. You can find that and more details on the league at www.maslsoccer.com 

Due to COVID issues, six teams opted out of playing in the current season.  The Florida Tropics are presently sitting in first place at 5-0.

Ian Bennett of the Florida Tropics is the league’s leading scorer with nine goals. Not surprisingly, Florida also has the league’s best goalkeeper – Hugo Silva with five wins and a goals against average of 3.34.

MASL teams that have chosen to participate in the 2020-2021 season have committed to playing 12-24 games in the regular season which will run through April 18th followed by the post-season.  

Baltimore Blast Rallies To Win MASL Title

blast

Trailing 6-3 in the third quarter of Game Two of the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) championship and already trailing the series 1-0 playing on Soles de Sonora’s home turf, the Blast made an amazing comeback when Adriano Dos Santos tied the game with 11 seconds left.  Juan Pereira scored the game-winning goal in overtime, 9-8, to tie the series.

The teams then played the series-deciding 15-minute mini-game where Vini Dantas clinched the winner in front of over 8,000 fans at El Centro de Usos Multiples in Mexico.

Goalkeeper William Vanzela was tough for the Blast in both games and made a huge save in the mini-game on a shot from Sole de Sonora’s Gustavo Rosales with 1:08 left.

With their second consecutive MASL title, the Blast have now won nine championships in franchise history.  After losing to Harrisburg at home in the first game of the playoffs, they went to Harrisburg and rallied from a 3-0 deficit in Game Two before winning in a mini-game.  Against the Milwaukee Wave in the Eastern Conference final, the Blast also won in a mini-game to advance to the Ron Newman Cup final.

Baltimore Blast Championships:

  • 1984:  Defeated St. Louis Steamers, 4 games to 1.
  • 2003: Defeated Milwaukee Wave 2 games to 1
  • 2004: Defeated Milwaukee Wave 3 games to 0
  • 2006: Defeated St. Louis Steamers 2 games to 1
  • 2008: Defeated Monterrey La Raza 14-11 (One-game final)
  • 2009: Defeated Rockford Rampage 13-10  (One-game final)
  • 2013: Defeated Missouri Comets, 2 games to 0
  • 2016: Defeated Soles de Sonora, 2 games to 0
  • 2017: Defeated Soles de Sonora, 2 games to 1