Welcome to Kick-ins, a summary of the week’s arena soccer news.
6/5/18 Perera Stays a Star – The Tacoma Stars have re-signed their offensive savior Nick Perera. Perera woke up the moribund Stars offense last year by quickly taking over the team scoring lead once acquired from the Syracuse Silver Knights in late December. Perera scored 20 times with 10 assists in just 12 games with Tacoma. The Stars next leading scorer was Raphael Cox who had eight less points in 10 more games played.
6/6/18 Don’t Make Me Angry Mr. Magui – While the St. Louis Ambush have foundered in MASL free agency, the team took a page out of the Milwaukee Wave and Baltimore Blast team-building manual and signed an as-yet-unknown-to-us futsal star from Brazil. St. Louis announced the signing of defender Magui Souza from Sao Paulo. Ambush coach Hewerton Moreira dipped into the Brazilian futsal market with moderate success last year signing Clayton Matheus and goalkeeper Paulo Nascimento. Hewerton is not finished as he is currently in Brazil for open tryouts looking for the next Hewerton or Marcio Leite to try to improve a team that has gone 4-38 the last two seasons.
6/8/18 Players Council Launched – As the MASL operation continues to evolve and become more sophisticated, the league has decided to give a voice to the players. It’s both a generous development and one fraught with potential conflict. On the one hand it’s a magnanimous gesture by the league to include the players as partners and give them a voice, but on the other hand the league has such little resources that they are not in a position to accommodate many of the players’ suggestions, which could cause friction. It should help improve communication, however, as both sides get a chance to walk in each other’s shoes.
6/7-6/12/18 – US Loses but Qualifies – The US National Minifootball Team had another rough go of it in their second minifootball tournament, bowing out in the quarterfinals of the Pan American Minifootball Cup with yet another loss to Mexico. The US got routed by host Guatemala, 7-2, on opening night, but eked out a 3-2 win over Colombia to advance to the quarterfinals where they got knocked out by Mexico, 7-2. However, with the generous qualification process, the US will be heading to the 2019 WMF World Cup, which is expected to be held in Perth, Australia. The top seven of nine nations that competed from the region in the tournament qualified for the World Cup. Guatemala made it all the way to the finals by upsetting Mexico, but dropped a convincing 9-2 decision to Chile, who took home the Cup.
6/11/18 Kim, the Little Rocket Man Signs an Agreement – It won’t lead to world peace, but the Kansas City Comets have signed a two-year agreement to retain Kim “Rocket” Roentved for two more seasons as Head Coach. The Comets went a disappointing 7-15 last year, but Roentved’s hands were tied by a mass evacuation of talent, due to the team’s uncertain financial position. But now with new owners, Roentved has been given carte blanche to assemble his own roster. “I have a budget, a very generous budget, and it is going to be my responsibility to build the roster and I am very excited about that,” Roentved said to Bill Althaus of The Examiner.
6/13/18 This is Our F*C**** City! – It was great when David Ortiz defiantly made this declaration to a mourning Boston after the marathon bombing, but the Syracuse Silver Knights hopping in Mayflower vans and turning up today in Utica, NY as the newly rechristened Utica City FC is not as great. On the plus side, the MASL stabilizes an ownership that had continuously lost money and the AHL’s Utica Comets, who will co-own the team are a hot ticket. On the downside, the Adirondack Bank Center at Utica Memorial Auditorium has well under 4,000 seats and the team didn’t draw well in Syracuse where the Crunch are also a hot AHL ticket. Utica is a smaller market than Syracuse and the MASL is losing one of its longest-running teams as the Silver Knights exit after seven years in the market.