MASL2 expanding geographic footprint with addition of Atletico Orlando
Major Arena Soccer League 2 – which will begin its seventh season of play late this fall – is expanding its geographic footprint to the Southeast United States with the addition of Atletico Orlando for the 2023-24 campaign.
It is the first MASL 2 team to play in that part of the country. Atletico will play all its games next season on the road while it builds its own indoor facility to accommodate the club program’s growth in the coming years.
“Adding Orlando fits perfectly with our long-term plans for growing the sport in a professional, positive direction and we welcome them to the league,” Commissioner Chris Economides said. “Atletico has long been a top club soccer program in Central Florida with much success outdoors so we know they will bring quality and passion to M2.”
Owner Alex Flores said the club has been impressed with how MASL 2 has continued to grow and flourish over the last few seasons – especially in light of the league’s close working relationship and affiliation with the Major Arena Soccer League – and did not want to wait any longer before joining M2.
“The reason we want to get going this coming season is because I believe it is the right time,” Flores said. “We’ve already waited a couple of years and now it’s the right time. We have the right support in terms of the the fans and in terms of new ownership, so it’s time to get the venture started.”
Atletico has plenty of indoor experience having served as a pre-season opponent of the MASL Florida Tropics for the last four seasons, so Flores said joining M2 was a natural extension of those efforts.
“The long-term plan is we will build our own facility. We’ve already found the property so we are now working with the city to give the green light and we already have it funded,” Flores added. “Those are the two hardest things and they are all coming together now.”
Outdoors, Orlando was the 2022 UPSL Central Florida champions, as well as state runners up. In 2021. They won the UPSL state championship in 2021. There are over 30 UPSL teams in Florida alone.
Next up for M2 are owners meetings in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the first weekend in June, held in conjunction for the second straight off season with the MASL owners meetings.
Economides added that Orlando will be the first of several new franchises set to join MASL 2 in 2023-24, with announcements of those teams coming later this spring and summer.
“We are in position to strengthen some existing geographic regions which will be exciting for our existing teams, and continue to explore expanding our base like we are with Atletico Orlando,” Economides added. “Interest in M2 has never been stronger or more advanced than it is right now.”