SoccerSam Fantauzzo feels soccer players need more security. (Photo courtesy of the Lancers)

Since 2011, SoccerSam Fantauzzo has owned and operated several incarnations of the Rochester Lancers – the men’s indoor and outdoor teams – and the Lady Lancers

By SoccerSam Fantauzzo
Special to

This is our really, really OFF … offseason!

Let’s face it; 2020 will be the year we all remember for centuries and maybe the year that changed the world of soccer.

I’m more of a fan than a team owner and it concerns me how players are surviving in the off-season with no coaching and training kids.

MLS is in a league of its own and I doubt other leagues will be in that category in my lifetime.

I’ve been preaching the importance of having a steady secure career outside of soccer to my players for years.

I’ve used the National Lacrosse League as a guide. Get that secure dream job with benefits, start your family and let’s have fun entertaining families on the weekends.

Over the past 40 years I’ve seen so many great players get used and abused by the business of soccer.

Cross country moves, teams fold, coaches change or change direction, promises forgotten, big offers with big expectations with quick exits.

Some of the greatest North American Soccer League legends had jobs. Even Pele, Giorgio Chinaglia and Franz Beckenbauer had aggressive outside jobs in the business world during the greatest era of the game.

In my world there’s 16 work hours in a day. Practice is usually 2 hours a day. That’s 14 hours left for something secure.

So many great players retired early for love or for the love of a secure job and city to live in. I think both is possible and owners need to adjust.

It’s so difficult for talented players to continue playing and start a family with no security in the game.

I know several great owners in the Major Arena Soccer League, United Women’s Soccer and National Premier Soccer League but there are several knucklehead ego maniacs owners in this game that don’t respect the players and their personal lives.

I wish everyone the best and I hope we use 2020 as the year to reflect on the needed financial security in soccer outside of soccer!