USL NEWS RELEASE: Monday, May 16, 2011
League to feature at least seven teams for 2011-12
TAMPA, Fla. – United Soccer Leagues is pleased to announce it has entered into an agreement with the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) and will operate North America’s most storied and tradition-rich professional indoor soccer league beginning with the 2011-12 season.
The MISL represents the top level of professional indoor soccer in North America and currently consists of seven franchises for 2011-12, with additional announcements expected in the coming weeks. The league roster includes existing MISL franchises in Baltimore, Milwaukee, Kansas City and Wichita. They will be joined in the MISL by a trio of first-year USL indoor franchises in Norfolk, Rochester and Syracuse.
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 CEO 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.
“We are all pleased to join USL which has many strong leagues and numerous franchises,” MISL Chairman Ed Hale said. “This will give us a platform for future expansion of our indoor game throughout the country.”
MISL indoor soccer was developed to appeal to sports fans around the world. The fast-paced, fiercely competitive game is played on artificial turf on a hockey-rink-sized field surrounded by dasher boards and Plexiglas with eight-foot high by 14-foot wide goals receded into the end boards. Creative dribbling, pinpoint passing, acrobatic goalkeeping and rugged defensive play are all skills demonstrated by MISL players.
A typical MISL game features end-to-end-action resulting in approximately 60 shots and 11 goals per game. Each game includes four 15-minute quarters and a popular feature is multi-point scoring, with goals from long distance worth more. Other unique characteristics of the MISL include action-packed power plays and free substitution of players while play continues.
United Soccer Leagues
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, United Soccer Leagues has become the largest organization of elite-level soccer leagues in North America by building on the vision, commitment, and passion of players, fans and investors. Now in its third decade of operation, USL continues to be a driving force in the growth of soccer in the United States, Canada and Caribbean. USL provides a clearly defined path for the progression of male and female soccer players beginning at the youth level (USL Super Y-League/USL Super-20 League), continuing up through the amateur level (USL Premier Development League/USL W-League) and on to the professional level (USL PRO, MISL). A platform for countless players to reach for their dreams each year, USL is devoted to developing the sport at the grassroots level in every community across the region.