America’s Oldest Soccer Brand Returns Indoors With A New 100% Player Focus
(Rochester, NY) Beginning in 2023, the Major Arena Soccer League’s second division, M2, will welcome the Indoor Rochester Lancers2. The original Rochester Lancers began play in 1967 in the American Soccer League. In 1970, the Lancers won the NASL championship. The Lancers began playing indoor professional soccer in 2011 with the MISL/MASL, and soon returned to outdoor soccer with the NPSL & UWS.
“Our 100% focus will be pro player development.” said Salvatore “SoccerSam” Fantauzzo, Lancers owner.
SoccerSam spent his entire adult life promoting soccer in the Monroe County area. He was part of the original Rochester Rhinos from 1996-2005. SoccerSam returned to the Rhinos as Team President in 2008 to help save the team at Marina Auto Stadium.
With the help of Chris Economides, SoccerSam brought indoor pro soccer to the Blue Cross Arena in 2011. The team continued with record crowds at the Dome Arena, until Covid shutdowns after the 2020 season.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Lancers to M2. The sport overall is better with franchises like the Lancers and owners like SoccerSam,” Economides said. “Sam’s passion for the sport, as well as his enthusiasm and knowledge of how franchises best operate, is truly unmatched. The Lancers2 will serve as the foundation for a major and exciting expansion of M2 in the coming seasons.”
The Lancers team of Ashley Maria King and Kayla Kent-Moreira helped launch the MASL and M2 Indoor Lancers plus the NPSL Outdoor Lancers and the UWS Lady Lancers. The Lady Lancers were crowned the UWS co-champions of their division in 2022 under the leadership of Kent-Moreira, President of Soccer Operations & Team Owner. Both King & Kent-Moreira will return with the new Indoor Lancers2.
“Our focus will be on player development, and not our usual soccer show.” said Ashley Maria King, President of Business Operations.
Several former Rochester Lancers players have become big stars in the indoor pro game throughout the country.
“We plan to help develop the next generation of indoor stars, and kick open doors of opportunity.” said SoccerSam.
The original Rhinos from 1996-2005 were under the leadership of current M2 Commissioner Chris Economides, and became the most successful team in the history of American outdoor soccer, with Indoor Pro players!
The Lancers2 will help local players fulfill their soccer dreams in the near future. There are several new outdoor leagues throughout the country with the MLS being the top level of outdoor soccer and the MASL being the top level of Indoor Pro soccer.
Major Arena Soccer League 2 will field 14-teams this year, with an emphasis on elevated standards for facilities, broadcasts and team and league operations. A final divisional alignment and 2022-23 season schedule will be announced later this month. Teams will play a 12-game schedule, six home and six away, leading up to the annual Championship Weekend in the spring. The San Diego Sockers 2 are the defending league champions.
The Lancers2 will develop players at Rochester Regional Health Total Sports Experience in East Rochester. The facility is owned by Rochester Business Icon Andy Gallina.
“Mr. Gallina and Director Jamie Hammond at TSE helped us introduce Indoor Pro soccer to Rochester in 2011, it’s great to be back to our home base.” said SoccerSam.
“We are happy the Lancers are back on the field and look forward to providing a great venue and experience for their games and training,” Hammond said.
All Lancers2 home games will stream live on LancersTV produced by Joel Balthaser and his returning team of Indoor soccer experts!
“Our broadcasts will be top notch with the hope to expose our local future star players worldwide.” said Kayla Klark Kent-Moreira.
The team will play six away games starting in January 2023 and six home games in Rochester starting at the end of February. The M2 league schedule will be announced soon.
“Lancers2 will create an indoor pro soccer environment at TSE with a unique 'boutique arena' feel for our exclusive invite-only season ticket holders, sponsors and community leaders.” said Kent-Moreira.
The Lancers2 will announce their coaching staff and key returning players and staff members in early November. The team hopes to work directly with nearby MASL Indoor Pro teams in Utica, Baltimore and Harrisburg.
“Nothing in soccer satisfies me more than seeing one of our local players going to the next level of this great game.” said SoccerSam.