SoccerSam Fantauzzo, his wife Linda, and Ed Hale. (Photo courtesy of the Rochester Lancers)
The Rochester Lancers have become the farm team affiliate with the Baltimore Blast, the Major Arena Soccer League 2 team announced on Friday.
The Lancers hope to help develop future Blast players for the MASL team.
Lancers head coach Jake Schindler will join the Blast after the M2 season ends on April 1.
“Ed Hale is the best owner in the business,” Lancers general manager and president of soccer operations Kayla Kent-Moreira said in a statement. “The Lancers staff traveled to Baltimore in 2011 to learn from the best.“ said Kent-Moreira.
The Blast has won 10 indoor championships, nine won during Hale ownership era from 1998. Hale is the longest running continuous owner in American professional soccer.
“It is my pleasure to announce our Lancer/Baltimore Blast relationship,” Hale said in a statement. “I have always admired Sam [SoccerSam Fantauzzo, the Lancers owner] and his staff with how they ran their operations on and off the field. They are seasoned veterans that care deeply about their team and league. We are excited about the synergies that this arrangement gives us with marketing and player development.”
Lancers president of business operations Ashley Maria King had similar compliments for the Blast.
“They do everything right, from the game day experience, merchandise sales, camps, clinics to putting together a championship caliber team year after year,” King said in a statement.
The Blast are in second place in the Eastern Conference with a 10-6-3 record and 32 point. Baltimore has two home games this weekend, hosting Utica City FC on Saturday and the Kansas City Comets on Sunday.
“I am very excited to be a part of the Blast-Lancers partnership,” Blast vice president and GM Gianni Tumminello said in a statement. “Both Ed Hale and SoccerSam are two of the most passionate people I’ve ever been around. The Rochester staff work extremely hard for an incredible game-day experience and this is an exciting time for both organizations and for the game of indoor soccer.”
Hale is also known as “The Godfather of Indoor Soccer.” He is responsible for keeping the great game of indoor soccer alive since his involvement began in 1998. The Blast has led whatever league it has participated in, in attendance, merchandise and concession sales on a regular basis.
“I’m extremely excited for our players to have this affiliation,” Fantauzzo said. “Ed and his Blast team, staff and arena is what every team should emulate, duplicate and simulate.”