Missouri Comets to compete in new Major Arena Soccer League

05/19/2014 4:12 PM

06/03/2014 10:17 AM

The Major Arena Soccer League unveiled plans Monday for its inaugural season, and the Missouri Comets are one of 24 teams set to take part in the newly-formed project.

The 24 teams — three of which are from Mexico — will be split into four six-team divisions. The Comets will compete in the Midwest Division, along with St. Louis, Chicago, Tulsa, Milwaukee and Wichita.

The Comets won the Major Indoor Soccer League championship earlier this year. They announced their intentions to depart the league only one week later, citing its lack of growth over the last few years.

“This is an exciting time for professional indoor soccer,” team president and part owner Brian Budzinski said in a release. “The MASL is going to give indoor soccer fans, especially Comets fans and MISL fans, the stability and growth they have been craving for years.”

The Comets will kick off the new league when they travel to face the Dallas Sidekicks on Oct. 25 at Allen Events Center. Their full schedule will be released in September, along with the MASL playoff format. Each team will play 20 matches.

“The Comets organization is thrilled and honored to be selected to play in the league’s very first game this fall,” Budzinski said.

The MASL, which includes a host of teams from the Professional Arena Soccer League, plans to further discuss league regulations, including its scoring rules, and it will release that information next month.

The Comets’ ownership group — which also owns FC Kansas City, the women’s professional outdoor soccer team — partnered with the owners from the San Diego Sockers and Baltimore Blast to form the new league. Each group owns one-fourth of the league. The former PASL ownership owns the other fourth.

The East division will feature Syracuse, N.Y.; Rochester, N.Y.; Harrisburg, Pa.; Baltimore; Detroit; and Cincinnati. The Southwest division includes four teams from Texas —Dallas, Texas (Beaumont), Hidalgo and Brownsville — and Mexican-based teams Saltillo and Monterrey. The West division will consist of Tacoma, Wash.; Turlock, Calif.; Las Vegas; Ontario, Calif.; San Diego; and Mexico (Tijuana).

To reach Sam McDowell, call 816-234-4869 or send email to smcdowell@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/SamMcDowell11.

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