There will be no indoor soccer in Rochester for the 2021-22 Major Arena Soccer League season.
Citing business reasons, the Rochester Lancers and Mesquite Outlaws will sit out the season, the league announced Friday.
The Lancers said that they plan to return for the 2022-23 campaign.
“Indoor soccer is the greatest game on turf and I cannot wait for the Lancers return next January,” Lancers owner Salvatore “SoccerSam” Fantauzzo said.
“With New York State COVID mandates changing daily creates amazing stress for my staff that handles all our brands. I’m hoping everything is back to normal in 2023!
Fantauzzo added that he hoped that MASL teams sign several Lancers players for this season.
The Lancers returned to professional soccer, competing in the Major Indoor Soccer League during the 2011-12 season.
“Since 2011 it’s been a wild and fun roller coaster ride,” Fantauzzo said. “We led the league in attendance at the Blue Cross Arena.”
The team played through the 2014-15 MASL campaign was forced on hiatus due to high costs of the New York State Insurance Fund.
“I was excited when Governor Cuomo resigned,” Fantauzzo said. “I hope someone investigates the NYS Insurance Fund, where the monies have gone and what businesses and sports teams have been effected by the mismanagement for years.”
The Lancers returned to the great indoors for the 2018-19 M2 season, playing at the Dome Arena in Henrietta, N.Y.
“We then turned the Dome Arena into a sports venue by bringing in video board, audio, seating and more,” Fantauzzo said. “Again, we sold out most games in our two seasons at the Dome. Fans loved the coziness of this venue.”
Rochester returned to the MASL first tier for the 2019-20 season, which was cut short by the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. The Lancers did not play during an abbreviated 2021 season, due to the Dome Arena being used as a vaccination center.
Fantauzzo said he was convinced that the new leadership triumvirate of Keith Tozer, Shep Messing and JP Dellacamera “will do an amazing job.”
In other MASL developments, the league also announced that the Turlock Express will move to MASL2 for this season, while working on a business plan to bring them back to the Major Arena Soccer League in the near future.
The MASL said that it was working on its fall/winter season schedule and hopes to have an announcement on that schedule in the near future. The league is expected to begin their eighth season in late November.