The Expansion Lancers
Last year, the Milwaukee Wave, the oldest continuously operating indoor professional soccer team in the United States, beat the Monterrey Flash 5-2 to win the Ron Newman Cup in the MASL.
After the game, the 17 team MASL re-grouped and came back in the fall of 2019 with 17 teams. Not the same 17 teams, mind you, just mostly the same 17 teams.
The league expanded into Mesquite....
Mesquite? Where in the world is Mesquite? Apparently it's a remote suburb of Las Vegas. Population 30 years ago? 2,000. (Yes, 2,000.) Population today? 20,000. Most famous resident? Serial Killer Stephen Paddock.
The Mississauga MetroStars folded after a 4-20 season.
The El Paso Coyotes (3-21) and the RGV Barracudas FC (16-8) dropped down to MASL 2. Not relegated to MASL 2, but voluntarily moved to a league with less games. (Less games, less overhead costs.)
And, after taking a year off, the Sonora Suns were back (without Frank Tayou). Also returning were the Rochester Lancers. Returning? Returning from where?
"The indoor Rochester Lancers began play in the Fall of 2011 at their home field the Blue Cross Arena at the Rochester Community War Memorial and played three seasons in the USL owned MISL and one season in the MASL." - RochesterLancers.com
Okay. So the Lancers folded in 2015? Also on the Rochester Lancers site, it states that there are multiple Lancer teams. There's the indoor team. There's the Women Lancers in the UWS. The UWS?
Apparently the UWS is a minor league women's soccer division. And then there's the Rochester Lancers of the NPSL. The NPSL? Apparently the NPSL is a minor league men's soccer division below the MLS. The Lancers play in the Rust Belt Conference.
Cleveland has a soccer team? Research tells me I live about 20 minutes away from their home stadium, that's news to me.
Alright, let's stop here and re-focus. The new, indoor, Rochester Lancers, are playing in the MASL, right now. Last night they played the St. Louis Ambush in Rochester. Let me google that real quick....
No, not the Rochester Lancers from the NASL from 1967-1980, the Rochester Lancers on YouTube from last night.
After watching Rochester get drilled 16-8, I've got to admit, I'm kind of rooting for them. None of those guys were on the 2015 team. This Rochester Lancers squad is an expansion team in a struggling league. At 0-11, the league did them no favors with their new, unbalanced schedule. 6 of Rochester's first 9 games were against the same team, the Harrisburg Heat. 10 of their remaining 11 games are against teams over .500. Rochester plays no games against the weaker, re-structured Western Conference.
The Lancers seem to be building a nice, family brand in Rochester. Here's hoping that they survive for a second season and get an infusion of talent....
Hell, I hope the MASL on a whole survives another season.