Baltimore Arsenal joins MASL 2 as official affiliate of Baltimore Blast
Baltimore Arsenal will join Major Arena Soccer League 2 for the 2023-24 season, making the Charm City the first metropolitan area in the United States to have teams represented at all levels of the MASL’s indoor soccer league pyramid.
The Arsenal will be the official affiliate of the Baltimore Blast, one of the most iconic franchises in the history of the sport. Both will be owned by long-time owner Ed Hale. The Baltimore Kings, who have had several players dress for the Blast in the MASL in recent seasons, are members of Major Arena Soccer League 3.
"IT'S ONLY APPROPRIATE THAT THE FIRST MARKET TO HAVE TEAMS ON ALL LEVELS OF THE MAJOR ARENA SOCCER LEAGUE PYRAMID IS BALTIMORE. THEIR HISTORY OF GREAT TEAMS, CHAMPIONSHIPS, FAN SUPPORT AND UNPARALLELED OWNERSHIP MAKE THE ARSENAL A GREAT FIT FOR M2." -- COMMISSIONER CHRIS ECONOMIDES
“It’s only appropriate that the first market to have teams on all levels of the Major Arena Soccer League three-tiers is Baltimore,” MASL 2 Commissioner Chris Economides said. “Their history of great teams, championships, fan support and unparalleled ownership make the Arsenal a great fit for M2.”
The Blast played for the MASL championship last spring, falling in the finals to the Chihuahua Savage. Starting in 1980-81 when the Blast debuted in the original Major Indoor Soccer League, Baltimore has had pro indoor soccer every single season since then. The Blast have won a total of 10 indoor soccer championships, including a run of four straight between 20115-2018.
“Myself at the Baltimore Blast organization are pleased to join Commissioner Chris Economides and M2,” Hale said. “This has been a long-time idea, to have an affiliate team to work with the Blast. We looking forward to competing against SoccerSam Fantauzzo and the Lancers2 among others this season.”
MASL 2 will have a record number of teams on board for the 2023-24 season. All 15 teams from last year return, with the St. Louis Ambush 2 and Orlando Atletico having already been announced to join the league this fall. At least one additional northeast region team has been approved for the coming season, with that announcement coming in just a few days.
“We said when the Rochester Lancers 2 joined us last year that it would set the foundation for expansion in the northeast and Atlantic regions, and with the addition of the Baltimore Arsenal and one more team in that part of the country to come, M2 is fulfilling that promise,” Economides added.
Economides said a controlled, professional, financially prudent approach to become the leader of the second tier of pro indoor soccer in the United States serves as the cornerstones for all league decisions.
“It’s testimony to the great owners and markets we’ve established – and to raising the standards on everything we do every year -- that everyone returns for our seventh season. It goes without saying that the Arsenal fits all those criteria and standards and then some,” Economides said. “We’ve also announced and approved Santa Fe and Central Wisconsin as approved franchises for 2024-25, and have several other excellent applications for teams to start that season which will continue to brand the MASL, MASL 2 and MASL 3 as the places to play pro indoor soccer.”
The Arsenal will play their home games at SECU Arena on the campus of Towson State University, the current home of the Blast. They will be part of the four-team east division along with the Lancers2 and Orlando. Because Orlando is currently in the process of building its own playing facility, they will play all 12 of their regular season games on the road this year, meaning the Arsenal will have eight home dates. A full East Division schedule is expected to be announced in the next few weeks.