MASL Nation, it has been quite a while since you’ve heard from the erstwhile Knight Writer. The last time I wrote anything was right after I found out about the Silver Knights moving to Utica. At that point, I was on board with the decision and the move. Have I changed my mind since? Absolutely not.

In summers past, a Syracuse Silver Knights fan would be waiting on player information for months. There wasn’t a lot of hype for the season until a few weeks before it started. That is not the case in Utica. I’ve received numerous press releases about player signings, and other pertinent information regarding the team (a big thank you to Lindsay Mogle for keeping me in the loop). I also receive weekly texts from General Manager Tommy Tanner about anything and everything Utica City FC related, with the latest text regarding all of the merchandise options that the team has available, which will be discussed later in this post. The number of Twitter and Facebook posts have been substantially higher than in previous years with Syracuse, which is showing me that the staff in Utica are all in with this team.

The most crucial update is season ticket sales. As of right now, Utica City FC has sold at least 1,000 season tickets. You read correctly; one thousand. In Syracuse, that amount would take two or three years to achieve. Tommy, the entire staff at Utica City FC, and even the players have been out promoting this team, and it’s paying dividends. The people of Utica are ready to #fillthebank, and that starts with December 2nd against the Baltimore Blast.

As I mentioned earlier, player signings have been taking place all summer. If you were a Syracuse fan, a lot of these names will be awfully familiar. If you are from Utica, and are reading this for the first time, I plan on doing a video sometime in the near future going over all of the players that have signed. For the most part, GM Tommy Tanner and Coach Ryan Hall have been trying to “put the band back together” to make a run at the 2018-2019 Ron Newman Cup. Currently, three key pieces from last years team have yet to sign: Joey Tavernese, Jake Schindler, and Slavisa Ubiparipovic. Joey played a huge role when it came to offense, setting a single season record with 54 points (28G, 26A). Slavisa has been with Syracuse since Day One, and last year was one of his best, compiling 23 goals and 16 assists, good for 2nd on the team with 39 points. On the defensive side of the ball, Jake was in the top 10 of the MASL in blocks, with 23 (tied for 10th), and also contributed seven goals and nine assists. If Utica brings these three players on, there’s no reason why Utica can’t beat Baltimore, and win the Ron Newman Cup.  In the past few weeks, we’ve also learned that Mohamed Kenawy has signed with the team. An MASL All-Rookie Team honorable mention, Kenawy brings youth and speed to the table, two things that Utica will use to its advantage.

Season Tickets? Check. Player updates? Check. Now onto merchandise. Utica City FC has teamed up with Herb Phillipson’s, and they will be carrying an array of Utica City FC gear. When I went on the website today, they had 12 different items, including hats, tees, and hoodies. And from what I’ve seen, the response has been great! Also, Utica City FC is now a part of the merchandise area at Adirondack Bank Center. I mentioned earlier how Tommy Tanner sent me a text letting me know that they would be selling merchandise at the arena, but what I didn’t mention is the amount of merchandise is actually there. He sent me around 10 to 15 pictures of various items, including backpacks, jerseys, and even lip balm. Variety is the spice of life, and it looks like they have got quite the spice blend going on!

As I write this, we are 54 days away from the home opener against Baltimore. I hope everyone is as excited as I am. MASL Nation, I cannot wait to interact with you, with predictions, both weekly and overall, and give you updates from Utica, as well as from other venues in the MASL.

Until next time, you can follow me on Twitter @FC_Fanatic.