MASL star Gordy Gurson will lead Cedar Rapids back to pro indoor soccer in M2 next fall
TAMPA, Fla. – Major Arena Soccer League 2 is returning professional indoor soccer next season to Cedar Rapids.
The Iowa Raptors will join M2 for the upcoming 2022-23 season, team officials and league Commissioner Chris Economides have announced. A press conference to officially introduce the franchise was held May 23.
Indoor soccer star Gordy Gurson will serve as the team’s general manager. He has appeared in 127 regular season Major Arena Soccer League games, including 51 with the former Cedar Rapids Rampage which played in the MASL from 2016-19. Gurson has 174 goals and 88 assists in his nine years in the league.
The franchise owners are Ron and Patricia Hurwitz, with the club planning on playing at U.S. Cellular Arena, where the Rampage also played.
Gurson played all three seasons the Rampage were in Cedar Rapids, amassing 70 goals and 31 assists.
By joining M2, the Raptors will have a year-round presence in Cedar Rapids. Their outdoor side plays in the United Premier Soccer League’s Premier Division, a set up similar to the Florida Tropics of the MASL who advanced to last season’s indoor championship and won the UPSL national title in 2019.
Hewerton Moreira, who was just named head coach of the MASL’s Utica City FC, is the Raptors outdoor coach. Iowa made it to the national round of 16 in the UPSL playoffs last year. They recently signed MASL stars Drew Ruggles and Zach Reget to play this summer outdoors.
Gurson started his career with the St. Louis Ambush, making stops with the Tacoma Stars, Tropics. Orlando SeaWolves and San Diego Sockers as well. He serves as general manager of the Raptors’ outdoor side as well.
“I am very excited to start this venture again, this time on the management side,” Gurson said. “There was a lot of support for the game when I played here, and we can’t wait to see those fans come back this coming season. Soccer in the United States and this community is growing and another outlet over the winter has been this organization’s goal from the beginning. I would like to thank M2 for trusting us with this opportunity and we can’t wait to make this the most packed house in the league.”
Economides siad the league is thrilled to bring back a city that got a taste of the sport a few years ago.
“Cedar Rapids is a perfect spot for M2 to have a franchise, and we’re thrilled to welcome a quality and established franchise to the fold like the Raptors,” he added. “It fits our midwestern geographic footprint perfectly, and we know with the people involved and their passion for the game and for winning that it will be a very successful, competitive and representative franchise right from the start.”
The now 14-team league which plays a 12-game regular season will kick off its fifth season of play as the official second tier of the professional indoor soccer pyramid in the U.S. late this fall. The San Diego Sockers 2 recently defeated the Cleveland Crunch for the 2021-22 M2 title. More information on the league can be found at m2soccer.com, and on the Raptors and Iowaraptorsfc.com.