His team might not be playing this Major Arena Soccer League season, but defender Jake Schindler is.
The Rochester Lancers defender has signed a contract with the Florida Tropics for the remainder of the season.
A Rochester, N.Y. native, Schindler played the last two years with Utica City FC. He signed this past offseason with the Lancers, who retain his rights going forward once the current season ends.
Schindler, 31, was a second team MASL all-star defender last season.
“Though I’m saddened by the covid restrictions that resulted in the loss of a season for Rochester, I’m looking forward to a new challenge and opportunity in Florida,” Schindler said. “I’m thankful for the Lancers and Tropics ownership groups for being able to negotiate a loan deal that allows me to join a very competitive squad and compete daily for a championship.”
Recently, Utica City FC, Baltimore Blast, Harrisburg Heat and Rochester announced they would be unable to play this year due to ongoing pandemic restrictions in the northeast. The Lancers home arena is being used as a mass vaccination site for COVID-19.
“Jake is the best defender in the league,” Lancers owner Salvatore “SoccerSam” Fantauzzo said. “I’m happy he has the opportunity to reunite with his former teammate and the other Lancer legend, Joey Tavernese and quite possibly win an MASL championship.”
Schindler, a big, physical defender, has appeared in 178 career pro indoor games. He has 165 shots blocked. He also has 37 goals and 55 assists in that time with Utica, Rochester and Syracuse Silver Knights.
Last year with Utica, Schindler set career highs with 10 goals and nine assists. He was an honorable mention All-MASL pick following the 2018-19 season and had a career-best 23 blocked shots the season prior to that. He made his debut with the Lancers in the 2011-12 season.
“He’s an extremely hard worker, very talented and very smart, he understands the game at both ends of the floor very well,” Tropics head coach Clay Roberts said in a statement. “He will have an immediate positive impact on our team in any number of ways.”
Florida, the defending Eastern Conference champions, sits in second place with a 6-1 mark, and next will play in Dallas when it takes on the Sidekicks in an 8:35 p.m. ET start.