Here’s what the Lancers’ replica jersey looks like. (Photo courtesy of the Lancers)
While a guest on Soccer is a Kick in the Grass radio show Monday night, Lancers owner Salvatore “SoccerSam” Fantauzzo would not give any clues about the 21 players the team has signed for the 2020-21 Major Arena Soccer League season.
But that did not dent his enthusiasm about the day or the team.
“I’m really excited about this upcoming season and obviously the 50th anniversary,” Sept. 13 of the Lancers winning the NASL championship,” Fantauzzo told co-host Andrew Battisti. “We’re going to do some crazy things on the 13th.”
Such as announcing 21 signings at once. Fifty commercials will air throughout that Sunday on Rochester televisions, some during NFL games.
“It’s not just on NFL football,” he said on the radio show. “It’s all day long, all the TV stations, all the news channels. We just want to let our fans know who’s coming back.”
When SoccerSam says crazy, he wasn’t kidding.
The team will unveil its season ticket play for the upcoming indoor soccer season.
“We’re also going to be an aggressive, aggressive season ticket price,” Fantauzzo said. “We know a lot of people have been through some rough, rough times since the beginning of this COVID. A lot of people have lost their jobs, have been furloughed, lost their benefits. We’re going to do something really to make it easier to come to a game for people.”
In fact, the Lancers’ slogan for their current campaign is: No Soccer Future Without Our Past.
That’s because the Lancers also will honor several past Rochester pro soccer teams. They will wear throwback jerseys of the 1970 championship team and also will honor the 1981 Rochester Flash and 1996 Rochester Rhinos. The team will sell replica jerseys of players, coaches, owners and trainers from those teams. Fans will be able to purchase them on the 13th. Proceeds from the sale of the jersey will go to the players, coaches and owners, while the Lancers will make a charitable contribution for each shirt as well.
Yes, it will be a crazy 13th.
Asked by Battisti how he came up with it, SoccerSam replied, “I said that in my office and then I started to look it up to see if it was a quote from someone else. There was no quote. There is no future without our past. My whole thing since 2011 when we took back the Lancers is to not to forget about those guys. They gave their life to this sport, the owners, the player, coaches, everybody involved. We never wanted to let them down. And this year we want to definitely want to pay tribute to them.”
The Lancers added just a touch of red to their logo for this season.
“That is no disrespect to the original Lancers,” Fantauzzo said. “The color red represents passion and desire and obviously blood; blood sweat and tears that these guys put into keeping soccer alive since 1967 really. The sacrifices they made. We don’t want to forget the Flash. We don’t want to forget the original Rhinos team and original Rhinos owners, all three ownership groups of the Rhinos. Definitely, we don’t want to forget the 1970 championship team.”
Again, while Fantauzzo gave no clues as to which players the Lancers will sign, he said the club is considering holding a Joe Sirianni Night, honor the Lancers’ trainer who worked for the club for their entire 14-season tenure.
“Everyone gets a little bag with a little spray,” he said. “Stuff like that. It might be a hand spray. It’s going to be some kind of spray. That’s one of our ideas for this upcoming year. We’re also going to do some creative things, for giveaways that represent that past era.”