TAMPA, Fla. (Press Release) – The Major Arena Soccer League 2 will kick off its 2021 campaign this weekend in Wichita as the Wings host the “Heartland Invitational”, laying the groundwork for a season that will conclude this summer with the crowning of a league champion. The Wings will host the Colorado Inferno, Amarillo Bombers, and Omaha Kings FC.
Commissioner Chris Economides said the goal is for active teams to play from 10 to 12 regular season games, with a roster of teams committed to playing in 2021 expected to be finalized in the coming weeks and months leading up to the April 1st cut off date.
“We have a good plan in place to bring the excitement of professional indoor soccer back to the M2 markets that are committed to and able to safely field teams this season,” Economides said. “I know fans are anxious to have their teams back on the floor, but I also know they are appreciative of the challenges putting a season together is presenting with local and state restrictions literally changing on a weekly basis.”
The league’s front office, and teams throughout the country, will use the time to lay a strong foundation that will carry the sport well beyond 2021.
“While we certainly understand that some M2 teams may not be able to play until pandemic conditions begin to significantly improve, our teams and the league won’t be sitting idly by. We will aggressively be using this time in the coming months to not only conduct a regular season, but to explore a number of new franchises that have expressed strong interest in being part of the new indoor soccer pyramid now in place for the sport for the first time ever.”
In addition to the Wings, the Amarillo Bombers, Colorado Inferno and Omaha Kings FC will all play three games this weekend, starting with a 4:05 (CST) kickoff featuring Omaha meeting Amarillo, followed by a 7:05 p.m. kickoff between the Wings and Inferno. Saturday’s schedule will feature Omaha against Colorado in a 3:05 start and Wichita matching up against Amarillo at 7:05 p.m. Sunday’s finale will see the Inferno and Bombers squaring off in a 12 noon start followed by the Wings and Kings at 3:05 p.m.
Due to Covid-19 safety measures, only fans will be allowed at the three Wichita games. Ticket details can be found HERE.
With the current MASL schedule evolving month-to-month the Wichita Wings are not yet selling season tickets. All games will be sold on an individual basis meanwhile, with a prorated season ticket special expected to be available for the summer games, once those dates are set.
All six games will count towards M2’s regular season standings. Those standings will be based on a team’s winning percentage, a model similar to what the Major Arena Soccer League and other sports leagues are using in the short term since not all teams will be able to play the same number of games.
Additional teams are expected to come online in the coming weeks and months, with teams having until April 1st to opt-in for the 2021 season. Teams will have to complete regular season play by early July. The official playoff structure will be announced after the April 1st cutoff date, however fans can expect the top 3-4 teams to compete, as the league office works through multiple scenarios to crown a champion for 2021.
MASL 2’s Deputy Commissioner Andrew Ross is optimistic about the season and future of the league.
“While we had explored holding off on the start of the regular season until later in the year, it made sense while teams are competing to start counting games towards the season standings and go off a month-to-month schedule basis,” Ross said. “We understand some teams are still unable to play, which is reason for the extended window for teams to opt-in for the season if and when conditions improve”.
He also is bullish on the expansion possibilities already identified by the league office.
“We already have applications from new markets that will significantly expand the M2 footprint, and we expect to make announcements in the coming weeks and year that will excite fans in those markets to have teams returning to the sport,” Ross added. “It is extremely encouraging that so many markets want to be part of our plans, even in these difficult times. It completely reinforces and validates our vision that with our partners we can unify the sport and everyone’s collective goal to help it grow and prosper the indoor game for many seasons to come.”