The Rochester Lancers will play in a modified 2020-21 Major Arena Soccer League season.

The team will be one of 11 teams that will participate during the regular season, joining the Baltimore Blast, Dallas Sidekicks, Florida Tropics, Harrisburg Heat, Kansas City Comets, Ontario Fury, San Diego Sockers, St. Louis Ambush, Tacoma Stars and Utica City FC.

Clubs can start as soon as Dec. 31, according to a league press release.

It was not immediately known when the Lancers will begin their season due to COVID-19 protocols. The club wants to play somewhere between 12-24 games.

“It is important for fans of the Rochester Lancers to understand that, due to the aforementioned regulations, we do not anticipate starting quite as soon as other teams that are not located in the Northeast,” Lancers owner Salvatore “SoccerSam” Fantauzzo said in a statement.

“We are working on a plan that will allow for the allotted 12-24 games, and our ultimate hope is that we will be able to have some capacity of fans for our modified season. We appreciate your patience as we navigate through COVID protocols and we thank you for all of your continued support.”

While not mentioned in the press release, the Lancers likely will play a regional schedule in which they will bus to games. That means they probably will take on Baltimore, Harrisburg and Utica City in most of their games.

Teams will play a regular season of between 12 and 24 matches in order to be considered eligible for playoff participation. A playoff format will be revealed at a later date.

Mesquite and Turlock have joined Milwaukee Wave, Monterrey Flash and Soles de Sonora as members unable to participate in the 2020-21 campaign due to restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These teams remain active members in good standing in the MASL.

The 2020-21 MASL season begins with the first MASL all-star game, to be played Saturday at Cable Dahmer Arena in Independence, Missouri, featuring the West facing the East in an 8 p.m. kickoff.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at