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Indoor news: USL will operate MISL, league expands to seven teams in '11-'12

The United Soccer League has entered into an agreement with Major Indoor Soccer League and will operate the North American indoor soccer league starting in the 2011-12 season. The Missouri Comets, who play at the Independence Events Center, are part of the MISL.

The league, with teams in Baltimore, Chicago, Kansas City, Milwaukee and Wichita, will add franchises in Norfolk, Rochester and Syracuse. (The Omaha franchise is moving to the Professional Arena Soccer League.)

The League will be led by Chris Economides, senior director of USL’s professional leagues. Scheduling, competition and playoff format and rules for the MISL will be determined by the league’s Board of Governors.

"We are obviously pleased to bring the top indoor soccer league in North America into the USL family," USL chief executive officer Alec Papadakis said. "We announced several months back that we would be operating a professional indoor soccer league in November of 2011, and this agreement with the MISL allows us to move forward with our plans. Combining the experience and tradition of the MISL with USL’s team services and league management resources will ensure the MISL reaches new levels of success."

The MISL will follow a financial model that is viable for team owners. USL intends to seek affiliation under the U.S. Soccer Federation umbrella, consistent with its other league properties.

"This is a great day for the Comets and the Major Indoor Soccer League," said Comets president Brian Budzinski. “"USL’s footprint is all over the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. The ability to promote the MISL and the exciting game of professional indoor soccer to millions more soccer fans through this partnership only helps to strengthen our brand."

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