Seventh M2 season kicks off with games in Des Moines, Baltimore and Muskegon this weekend
Major Arena Soccer League 2 will kick off its seventh season this coming weekend, with three MASL affiliate teams debuting with games in Baltimore and Muskegon, in addition to the renewal of one of the league’s most intense rivalries when MASL 2’s Iowa based teams square off in Des Moines.
The Baltimore Arsenal, affiliates of the MASL Baltimore Blast, will host Utica’s United Elite Krajisnik FC in a 2 p.m. start at Towson Arena on Saturday, December 9. The Blast and Utica City FC will meet in a MASL matchup that night at 6 p.m. providing Charm City fans with a pro indoor soccer doubleheader.
One of M2’s longest standing franchises, the Muskegon Risers, will host the St. Louis Ambush 2 on Saturday at Mercy Health Arena in Muskegon. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, all the action kicks off Friday in Des Moines at Buccaneer Arena, when the Demon Hawks meet the Iowa Raptors, who advanced all the way to the M2 Championship game last spring. The two teams shared a field at the Alliant Energy Powerhouse in Cedar Rapids last year, with the Demon Hawks moving back to their home city of Des Moines for 2023-24.
Calling it intense rivalry understates the fact, as the two teams split four games last season in the debut M2 season for both sides. And in those four games, there was just a cumulative goal differential of just one score. Kickoff Friday is at 7:30 p.m. CST.
“It’s a great first weekend, with the Iowa battle being renewed right out of the gate. Both teams have championship aspirations, and will be looking to get an early leg up in the North,” M2 Commissioner Chris Economides said. “And to have three new MASL teams – Baltimore, Utica and St. Louis – all debut on opening weekend just reaffirms our commitment to the growth of the sport.”
Each M2 team will play a 12-game regular season, with the league’s “Championship Weekend” featuring eight teams in the postseason set to play out April 4-7 at Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas, hosted by the Wichita Wings.
Also, Economides noted that arena matters will see the West go dark just for the 2023-24 season. San Diego’s attention is on finishing its brand new home – Frontwave Arena – in time for the 2024-25 season when both the Sockers and Sockers 2 will be primary tenants. In addition, RGV is using the down time to upgrade its facility as well.
“I know it’s disappointing for fans there and in our other western cities like Ontario (Empire) and Turlock, but all the teams have committed already to returning in 2024-25, along with the addition of Santa Fe and Central Wisconsin which have already been announced,” Economides said. “The future remains as bright as ever for M2.”