By Michael Lewis
The Rochester Lancers are back in indoor soccer.
Lancers patriarch Soccer Sam Fantauzzo made the announced on his Saturday radio show, Kick This!
Fantauzzo said that the MASL’s board of directors have approved the team returning to the fold.
“Thank you for welcoming us back into the Major Arena Soccer League,” Fantauzzo told Kevin Milliken, the MASL vice president of business development and one of the league’s founders. “I can’t wait to get this thing started.”
Milliken said he was looking forward to the Lancers’ return.
“I am excited about the zaniness that will be created by you in Rochester, everything you are going to do there is very exciting and all marketing,” he said.
“We really excited to have all your enthusiasm and energy back. It’s a good shot in the arm for the league. I wish you the best of luck.”
Fantauzzo said that he will cut back on that craziness.
“I’m going to tone back the zaniness because I think soccer has really gone to the next level,” he said. “It’s really gotten bigger in America.”
He did not elaborate on what he will cut back on.
The Lancers will kick off their latest venture Friday, Jan. 4, against a team to be announced.
On Nov. 13, the Lancers will make an official announcement that they will play at the Dome Arena in suburban Henrietta, N.Y. The announcement will take play at IDE Volkswagen in East Rochester, N.Y., one of the two title sponsors of the team.
The Lancers will name a coach and players soon, some of which have played in the western New York city before, Fantauzzo said.
The team will be run by Lancers Inc., a not-for-profit organization that is locally owned and operated by Fantauzzo Family Brands, Inc.
Rochester last played in the MASL during the 2014-15 season before going into hibernation for four seasons.
MASL 2, the second division of the indoor league, has expanded from 10 to 15 teams. Milliken said that he hoped to have team No. 16 — out west — ready to join the league soon.
“We have some good stuff on slate to really make the M@ exciting for the fans in the markets,” he said. “The expansion of the M2 I’m really bullish on. I think we’re going to go from the 16 we’ve got this year to 24 or 30 next year. We’ve got expansion going on all over the place. So very, very excited about it.”