Monday, March 17, 2014

Comets Set to Leave the MISL?

The Missouri Comets have been champions for barely 24 hours, but it looks right now that they won't be defending their title in 2014-2015. At least not in the MISL. Stories out today have the Missouri Comets leaving the MISL, potentially joining the PASL for the next season.

There'd been some rumors of some unrest among teams over the past few weeks, but nothing really newsworthy had come out, until today. The team hadn't even left Baltimore this morning before the USL/MISL dropped the first news of the day, releasing a statement about changes that were upcoming. The league stated that they have started to review "all aspects of the property(MISL)."

As a result of this and the expected changes coming with it, the league said this: "several teams that possess a different philosophy on how to structure and operate an indoor professional soccer league will not be returning to the MISL."

Speculation as to who the teams were started, the Rochester Lancers' owner, Sam Fantauzzo, confirmed that they were one of the four teams. Shortly later, The Post-Standard in Syracuse confirmed the other three teams, Syracuse, Baltimore, and Missouri. The four teams had all fulfilled their three season franchise commitment to the MISL making them free to leave the league if they wanted to.

Those four teams leaving would leave the MISL with just three teams, Milwaukee, St. Louis, and Pennsylvania, not enough for them to field a league, which would open those teams up to leave as well. In response to the news, Milwaukee released a statement that they would be "exploring all options in an attempt to keep Professional Indoor Soccer alive in Milwaukee."

St. Louis as well is looking at their options if the four teams do leave, saying they won't play in a three team league. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania has had no comment after their one win season and them being around next year in any form would be surprising.

A move to the PASL would be an interesting one for the Comets. They'd likely move into the league's Central Division where they'd have trips to Wichita, Dallas, and Tulsa. Would be some closer travel than their trips to the East Coast. Certainly a situation for fans of indoor soccer to keep an eye on. The sport has been struggling to keep a consistent footing since the heydays of the original MISL. Since then there's been a number of other leagues, the NPSL, the XSL, and even another incarnation of the MISL. Getting consistency has been something indoor soccer has lacked.

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