Jeremy Ortiz: “I am beyond excited to bring indoor soccer back to the Philadelphia area.” (Photo courtesy of the Rochester Lancers)

Former Rochester Lancers midfielder Jeremy Ortiz has a new challenge.

He will be player-head coach of the Philadelphia Spartans, who will compete in the Major Arena Soccer League’s third division.

“Jeremy brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the Spartans,” Spartans director Anthony Cancelliere said. “With 12 years of playing, he has won a MASL championship with the Baltimore Blast, played with U.S. futsal national team, and was an all-star with the Rochester Lancers. We are excited to have Jeremy leading the Spartans in our inaugural season.”

Added Ortiz: “I am beyond excited to bring indoor soccer back to the Philadelphia area. My first two years playing pro indoor was with the Philadelphia KiXX. After they folded in 2010, it left a sour taste for me, and I’ve always felt that in some way, indoor soccer could make a return. I want to thank Chad Levine and Anthony Cancelliere for the opportunity to bring this to life. Being from Mount Laurel and bringing this sport back, I am looking forward to providing opportunities for local players and competing to win a championship this season.”

The Spartans’ home opener is set on Jan. 8 vs Northern VA FC at XL Sports World Mount Laurel (N.J.).

Ortiz has played professional soccer for 12 years. He first started his career with the KiXX from 2008-2010. After the Kixx, he performed for the Lancers from 2011-2015, 2018-2020. He also competed with the Baltimore Blast in 2015-2016 season, winning an MASL championship. Last season, Ortiz was selected to play in the 2020 MASL all-star game, representing the Lancers.

He also has played for the U.S. futsal national team (5 caps) and competed outdoor overseas in Australia for Dandenong City SC (2013) and played futsal with Fitzroy Tigers Futsal Club (2014).

A Mount Laurel, N.J. native, Ortiz was a Lenape High School Soccer standout as team MVP, All Olympic Conference, All South-Jersey and an All-State player in 2003. He went onto La Salle University where he was a three-time All Atlantic 10 selection, a three-time Philly Soccer 7 All Star and a regional All-American from 2004-2008.