It’s 12:30 in the morning, around three hours after an epic battle between two Eastern Division rivals, the Baltimore Blast and Utica City FC. Unfortunately for the home team, the Blast came in with a game plan, and executed it to near perfection. Did the better team win? Maybe. Injuries riddled both teams this season, with Utica having key players out towards the end of the season.
But, I’m not here to analyze last night’s games. I’m here to say thank you. So, here it goes.
First and foremost, I want to thank Rob Esche, owner of Utica City, for taking a shot on indoor soccer. I would say that finishing third in attendance, only behind Milwaukee and San Diego (post Landon Donovan), two longtime franchises in this league, is impressive enough, but they could have finished even higher if they had more seats to sell. From the minute you walk into the Adirondack Bank Center, until the minute you leave, the experience is second to none.
Thank you to Tommy Tanner, for putting together a who’s who of indoor soccer talent. In the eight years of the franchise’s existence in Syracuse, and now Utica, this was the most talented team top to bottom. Also, I love being able to text you at any given moment and just talk shop. Next year, I hope the outcome is better than this year. My phone is always on for you!
Thank you to the players. Every single one of you. It all started at the beginning of the season, when I asked some of the players to answer a few questions, about soccer and life itself, so the new fans at Utica could find out a little bit about them. They were willing to answer any questions I had with no issues whatsoever. Some of them gave me their cell numbers as well. During the season, I got the chance to meet all of the new players that Tommy brought on board. Every player took the time out to come over and say hi, or give my kids a high five. This is something I will always remember. I’m going to individually thank all of the players myself, but wanted to make sure I mentioned them in this article.
Finally, I want to thank the fans. This was a special season for all of us. Yeah, it’s not the result we were hoping for. But, just think: Only six more months until we start this all over again. I’m sure the team at Utica will make next season bigger and better.
Over the next few weeks, as the playoffs wind down, and a winner is determined, I’m going to share some of the memories from the 2018-2019 season. In the meantime, I’m going to go to bed, as it has been a long night and a long season.
Let me know if there’s any articles you’d like me to write in the offseason. I’m always up to talk about the sport I love. Until then MASL Nation, good night…or in this case…good morning!