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Ultimate Guide on Major Arena Soccer League

Major Arena Soccer League – Ultimate Guide

Since its founding in 2014, the Major Arena Sports League has garnered several fans in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. It is a league worth exploring if you are interested in professional indoor soccer or want to make money from indoor sports. In this article, we furnish you with everything worth knowing about the Major Arena Soccer League by looking in-depth at its history, structure, governance, talent development, season format, fan engagement, sponsorships, and challenges. Let’s get started!

What is the Major Arena Soccer League?

The Major Arena Soccer League can be described as the highest level of professional indoor soccer. Incorporated as a 501(c)(6), not-for-profit corporation promoting indoor soccer, it has players from 15+ countries and teams from all over the United States and Mexico.

History of Major Arena Soccer League

Let’s look back at the Major Arena Soccer League’s founding and inaugural season and trace its expansion and growth over the years.

Founding and Inaugural Season (2008-2009)

The Major Arena Soccer League traces its roots to the Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL), founded on May 18, 2008. PASL was an off-shoot of the Premier Arena Soccer League, the biggest and most renowned amateur soccer league in the United States. It was nicknamed “PASL-Pro ” to prevent people from confusing it with PASL-Premier. PASL’s inaugural game was played on October 25, 2008, at the Stockton Arena, attracting 3,000+ onlookers: the California Cougars emerged winners after thrashing Colorado Lighting 10-5. 

On May 18, 2014, the Professional Arena Soccer League merged with the Major Indoor Soccer League to form the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL), setting in motion a chain of events that led to the Major Arena Soccer League’s growth and expansion.

MASL’s Inaugural Season

The MASL’s 2014-2015 season was iconic. It marked the merging of two major indoor soccer leagues and brought 23 teams from different leagues together, making arena soccer stronger and more streamlined. By pooling resources, talents and diverse fan bases, it laid the foundation for arena soccer to grow and become sustainable.

MASL's Expansion and Growth Over the Years

The following events have enhanced the Major Arena Soccer League’s growth over the years:

The 2016 Split

In 2016, Baltimore Blast’s owner, Ed Hale, left the  MASL and formed the Indoor Professional League, which he later chaired. Fantauzzo became the league’s first commissioner. Shortly after his exit, St. Louis Ambush, Harrisburg Heat, and Baltimore Blast joined the new league.

The Re-Merge

The split didn’t last long, as the teams that had left the MASL for the new league made a return. The Florida Tropics SC also joined the MASL as an extension team.

The Major Arena Soccer League 2 and 3

The Major Arena Soccer League 2 (M2) was formed in 2017, attracting the Chicago Mustangs, Waza Flo, San Diego, former PASL clubs, new expansion teams, and Ontario Fury’s reserve teams.

Three years later, MASL announced a new amateur developmental league, the Major Arena Soccer League 3 (M3), which is currently its tier-3 league.

Remarkable Seasons

Besides MASL’s inaugural season, its 2018-19 season was also remarkable as several players with past MLS experience joined the league. Landon Donovan joined the San Diego Sockers; Jermain Jones, the Ontario Fury; and Dwayne De Rosario, the Mississauga MetroStars.

League Structure and Teams

MASL’s unique divisional league structure promotes competition and enhanced team engagement. The league groups teams based on geographical location to promote rivalry, reduce travel-related inconveniences, and promote fair play. It also ensures teams in every division face each other multiple times, creating a dynamic season narrative and allowing fans to enjoy intense matchups. 

Here is an example of MASL’s divisional structure: In the 2018-2019 season, MASL’s Eastern Conference’s South Central Division had teams like Florida Tropics and Milwaukee Wave, while the Eastern Division had Utica City FC and Mississauga (among others). The Western Conference’s Pacific Division had, among others, the San Diego Sockers and Tacoma Stars, while the Southwest Division had  RGV Barracudas and El Paso Coyotes.

Notable Teams and Rivalries

Every professional sport has notable teams,  and MASL is no exception. These include the San Diego Sockers, which has won fourteen league titles; a record attributed to, among others,  a well-balanced team and skilled players, and the Baltimore Blast, widely known for its defensive solidity and tactical flexibility that has won ten championships. Other notable teams include St. Louis Ambush, Utica City FC, Kansas City Comets, and Harrisburg Heat.

Note that the MASL’s team rivalries are usually grounded on geographic proximity and historical matchups, but mostly the former due to its divisional structure. Players showcase their highest skill levels and determination when facing rival teams, creating captivating storylines for audiences. Notable rivalries since the league’s formation include Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers, LA Galaxy vs. LAFC, Toronto FC vs. CF Montreal, Columbus Crew vs. FC Cincinnati, and FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo.

MASL Governance and Administration

With a commissioner at the helm, MASL has a solid administration structure to ensure fair play, operational efficiency,  professionalism, stability and increased fan engagement. Let’s explore its governance and administration.


According to the Major Arena Soccer League’s website, the commissioner’s main role is to drive long-term growth and success, from which arises different responsibilities, such as managing the league’s operational and financial performance, marketing the league, overseeing league-defined player contract (and conduct) rules, and ensuring sustainable development.

Other major roles include setting strategic direction, expansion, and growth initiatives for different league phases, driving league-wide development efforts, managing public relations, developing and implementing digital league strategies, collaborating with the board of directors for successful goal and strategy execution, and maintaining and growing the league’s relationship with the second and third divisions (M2 and M3).

The Office of the Commissioner

The commissioner’s office comprises the league’s chairman, who chairs its executive board, and different departmental heads such as the director of communications/team services, president of communications/media, vice president of operations, chief financial advisor, video production manager, content director, and operations manager. Other members include the social media statistician and Spanish content manager.

The MASL Executive Board

The MASL’s executive board is central to the soccer league’s governance. It is chosen annually and comprises influential professionals with in-depth knowledge of arena soccer. Under the chairman’s leadership and oversight, the board oversees league operations and drives strategic goal-setting and execution. It has a president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, and two “at-large” members who contribute valuable expertise, skills, and perspectives for smooth governance and decision-making.

It also works with the league’s chairman to formulate policies, manage finances, oversee expansion efforts, and negotiate partnerships and sponsorships. For example, in 2021, it entered into a deal with SCCG Management to introduce MASL events to the US sports betting industry, allowing millions of arena soccer fans to make money from the game. The league dictates that the board prioritizes enhancing its sustainability and position in the sports industry when making decisions.

Committees within MASL

The MASL committees ensure operational efficiency. Here are some:

The Disciplinary Committee

The Major Arena Sports League’s disciplinary committee handles on-field incidents and sensitive game aspects that warrant attention, such as violent conduct, above-the-shoulder contact, players leaving the bench following an altercation, embellishment,  mass confrontation, and obvious referee error.

Player Development Committee

MASL’s player development committee designs and implements the league’s player development programs and initiatives, such as training protocols and talent identification strategies, to enhance the players’ skills, professionalism, and career progression. The committee, which comprises coaches, team representatives and the head of operations, accounts for every player’s strength and skill level when designing programs

The Competition Committee

Like in any other competitive game, the MASL competition committee ensures the league’s rules, regulations, and overall competitive framework promote fair gameplay and reflect the sport’s evolving nature. It comprises league officials, arena soccer experts, and team representatives committed to enhancing the league’s integrity and entertainment value.

Players and Talent Development

The Major Arena Sports League’s investment in player and talent development is easily noticeable. It offers players in its second and third-tier leagues(MASL2 and MASL3) equal opportunities to showcase their skills and game proficiency for a chance to join the main league. It’s also noteworthy that the league’s player development begins as early as the recruitment process. Let’s find out more in the next paragraphs.

Player Recruitment and Draft Process

The Major Arena Soccer League’s thorough player recruitment and draft process ensures it only attracts the best indoor soccer talents. In 2022, the league created the MASL College Draft, the first indoor soccer college draft since the Major Indoor Soccer League’s 2008 draft. It consists of five rounds (the first two being territorial). It is open to college players from the NAIA, NCAA, and Division 1, 2, and 3, ensuring a consistent flow of young and exciting professional indoor soccer players. When announcing the draft, the league reiterated that a pool of talented players is the greatest asset any league can have. 

Ongoing Player Development

Arena soccer players’ development is essential due to the game’s unique rules and dynamics, i.e., they need advanced skills and strategies to stay fast in confined spaces. MASL’s specialized training focuses on helping players further their skills and remain competitive. Coaches lead training sessions, helping players improve their technical skills, physical fitness, tactical understanding, and game-related mental aspects. More often than not, they have to tailor their coaching methods to meet unique indoor soccer challenges.

Player Progression

Successful player development requires clear career pathways and progression. MASL allows players in its lower-tier leagues to prove themselves at every level for a chance to play in the main league.

Notable Players and Their Contributions

MASL’s investment in player and talent development hasn’t been in vain. Here are some of the greatest talents the league has raised and their contributions:

Ian Bennet

Seasoned Milwaukee Wave player Ian Bennet is undoubtedly one of the greatest talents in MASL. The former Canadian Professional Soccer League player joined the Major Indoor Soccer League (which later merged with the PASL to form the MASL) in the fall of 2007 and has had an impressive career ever since, signified by multiple personal honors and a team championship. He’s been a two-time MVP, a one-time All-Star team member, and a seven-time member of the MASL’s first team. One of his most successful seasons was 2019-2020, where he topped the chart with 53 goals.

Franck Tayou

Franck Tayou of Utica City has also had an impressive indoor soccer career. The Four-time MASL MVP had his first MVP vote in the 2015/2016 season after an impressive run with Soles de Sonora, which he led to the Ron Newman Cup. He’s made the All-MASL first team four times and the second team once. Additionally, he won the Ed Tepper Humanitarian of the Year award in the 2018-2019 season.

Nick Pereira

Thanks to his excellent offense and defense skills, Tacoma Stars’ Nick Pereira is widely recognized as one of the most versatile MASL players in history. He has created several opportunities for his team, topping charts severally in assists. Seasoned MASL lovers appreciate his ability to read the game and make an impressive play based on it.

Season Format and Schedule

MASL has regular seasons, playoffs, special matches, and all-star events to keep fans entertained year-wide. Let’s first discuss the regular season and playoffs before exploring its all-star events and special games.

Regular Season and Playoffs

MASL has annual seasons where teams play a set number of games against each other. The teams are grouped into Eastern and Western conferences (further divided into divisions) based on their geographical proximity to enhance regional rivalry and minimize travel costs. For example, the 2023-2024 season’s Western conference has the Chihuahua Savage, San Diego Sockers, Dallas Sidekicks, Tacoma Stars, Empire Strykers, and the Texas Outlaws,  while the Eastern Conference has Baltimore Blast, Milwaukee Wave, Kansas City Comets, St. Louis Ambush, Utica City FC and Monterrey Flash.

These regular annual seasons help determine team standings and playoff seeding. A win attracts three points, while a draw has one, and the cumulative score determines a team’s standing. If two teams have the same points, the league uses tiebreakers, such as goal difference, to determine the winner.


MASL playoffs are based on the teams’ regular-season standings. Teams that excel during the regular season often earn higher playoff seeds and get a home-field advantage in the playoffs. Only the top four teams in each conference advance to the playoffs, where they engage in single-elimination or best-of-series rounds. Each division’s top team advances to the MASL championship.

All-Star Events and Special Matches

MASL all-star events bring together the league’s top players, allowing them to impress fans with their skills. They may compete on, among others, the fastest shot, dribbling challenges, and shooting accuracy. However, such specifics vary annually as the league usually introduces new elements and changes based on its evolving vision. Players are selected through different means, including fan votes, coaching staff opinions, and, occasionally, peer or media voting. These events allow fans to choose the player to represent their conference or division.

All-star events usually create a festive atmosphere and allow fans to meet their favorite players. Although they are generally hosted at neutral venues, locations change regularly. They also have a specific timing, i.e., they mostly occur during season breaks, allowing players to wow fans without disrupting their commitments.

The main event is the all-star game, a friendly but competitive match between the league’s best players. It often takes the traditional soccer format, where rival teams compete against each other if the league doesn’t pick a specific format based on its preferences.

Fan Engagement and Community Involvement

The Major Arena Soccer League values its fans and strives to keep them engaged through different avenues and programs, most notably by maintaining a strong social media presence and community outreach programs.

Social Media Presence

The Major Arena Soccer League’s official accounts on platforms such as Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram have real-time updates, highlights, interactive posts, and engaging content for millions of fans worldwide. The league directly engages with fans through these accounts, allowing them to showcase their enthusiasm. A strong social media presence also facilitates sharing experiences, enhancing fan loyalty, and marketing the league. The MLAS regularly uses social media to promote events, showcase player personalities, and build a reasonable brand identity for its growth and sustainability.

Community Outreach Programs

MASL community programs and initiatives help the league foster connections with local communities and promote at the grassroots level. For example, the MASL podcast features conversations with players, coaches, and everybody who keeps MASL running so the community can know who is behind the league. It also recaps matches during regular seasons and discusses upcoming matchups, keeping fans informed. 

The league also has a regular annual recruitment drive where the local community is highly advised to participate. This gives experienced players in the surrounding communities a chance to join the league and make a career from their skills.

Media Coverage and Broadcasting

MASL has partnered with different media companies and streaming platforms, giving a wider audience access to its games. These media and broadcasting partnerships also create opportunities for team and player interviews, guarantee consistent coverage, help MASL market itself, and maintain a digital presence.

Television and Online Broadcasting

In 2022, MASL entered into a deal with Canela Media, a renowned minority-owned technology-driven company, to stream its soccer league games in Spanish for its South American audience. It also announced a 10-game regular-season broadcast package with SiriusXM on January 17, 2023. Games aired every Friday night from January 20 through March 24. 

Note that the league’s communications director helps curate and release communications and media for a smooth television and online broadcasting process. At the same time, the creative manager assists in producing the league’s Primetime and individual game broadcasts. MASL also streams on Twitch, allowing several online streamers to access its games. Its 2023  mid-season tilt between the San Diego Sockers and the Kansas City Comets had 300,000+ streams on Twitch.

Merchandising and Branding

Professional sports apparel allows fans to display their allegiance proudly. On top of creating revenue, MASL gets widespread marketing whenever fans wear its teams’ branded merchandise. This is especially enhanced when one of its merchandise causes a social media buzz, resulting in organic visibility and league-centered discussions. Like other professional leagues, MASL has also managed to attract younger audiences as branded merchandise heavily appeals to the youth.

Sponsorships and Financial Stability

We’ve discussed almost all the Major Arena Soccer League aspects but haven’t answered one main question: what keeps the league afloat? MASL has several corporate partnerships and revenue streams that contribute to its financial stability. Let’s explore them.

Corporate Partnerships

Partnering with different brands has significantly boosted MASL’s revenue and reduced expenses. For example, Puma SE made the league its official ball game in the 2016-2017 season. The league also entered into a long-term partnership with Mitre at the beginning of its 2017-2018 season. Mitre provided the official match ball of the first and second league, which first became available in team stores before being distributed to different retail stores nationwide. The partnership also stipulated that Mitre would work with MASL and its member teams to market and distribute the league to several fans and develop revenue-generating league-branded items.

Chills Brands, an international consumer packaged goods manufacturer, partnered with MASL in 2021. According to the agreement, Chills Brands was to make its CBD products available to the league’s team members and, with MASL’s help, create an athlete club to explore and implement CBD’s use in athlete recovery. Another partnership worth mentioning is the SI Tickets collaboration with the Major Arena Soccer League, making it the league’s official ticketing partner for its 2022-2023 season. SI Tickets and MASL received mutual marketing and sponsorship benefits through, among others,  introducing several on-site consumer events.

Apart from these four, MASL also entered into beneficial partnerships with Sportuf International in its 2017-2018 season. Sportuf provided the league with its patented FastGrass product, described as the most advanced indoor artificial turf system available, earning the synthetic turf industry leader huge marketing benefits.

Revenue Streams

Here is how MASL earns its indoor sports income: 

Ticket Sales

Ticket sales comprise a significant percentage of MASL’s revenue as most of its teams charge fans $15-$20 in ticket fees, a considerable amount when pooled, considering MALS has about 14 teams in different geographical locations. Teams such as Milwaukee Wave and Chihuahua Savage have also amassed several fans over the years owing to their impressive performances and, therefore, have consistently high attendance rates. Common ticket options include single-game tickets, premium seats, and season passes.

Fans attending MALS games also pay parking fees, an extra source of revenue for the league. For example, the Harrisburg Heat charges $10 for parking, a fee applicable to other stadium events, not just its games.

Broadcast Rights

MASL also makes money from its broadcasting deals with television networks, media platforms, and streaming services. For example, in its 2018-2019 season deal with Eleven Sports US, the league allowed the network to broadcast selected games in its US television and OTT networks, earning revenue on top of marketing benefits.

Merchandise Sales

MASL makes money by selling team jerseys, apparel, and other branded products in its online and physical stores. It also supplies them to other retailers. As seen above, it has partnered with Puma SE and Mitre to produce, market, and distribute its branded merchandise.

Player Transfer Fees

Part of MASL revenue comes from negotiating player transfer fees and obtaining a portion of their registration fees.

Local and National Corporate Partners and Sponsors

As we’ve seen, the Major Arena Soccer League has entered into several deals with different corporate brands, resulting in increased marketing, revenue gain, or expense reduction.

Additional Avenues

MASL also makes money from hosting special events, tournaments, and playoffs, monetized online presence, and community engagement programs.

Challenges and Overcoming Adversities

Every league has its challenges. Despite being a prominent indoor soccer league worldwide, MASL has been rocked by several setbacks and adversities. Let’s start with the historical challenges.

Historical Challenges

 Consolidating the League

Although MASL traces its roots to the Professional Soccer Arena League of 2008, it wasn’t until the merging of the  Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) and the Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL) in 2014 that it became official. Several challenges arose from aligning both teams’ structures, management, and play style differences.

The 2016 Split

Shortly after its consolidation in 2014, Baltimore Blast’s owner, Ed Hale, announced that he was starting his league (Indoor Professional League). He was joined by MILS teams such as Baltimore Blast, St. Louis Ambush, and Hamburg Heat, while the Florida Tropics SC joined as an extension team. Although the split didn’t last, as Hale’s IPL re-merged with the MASL shortly, the uncertainty it had caused couldn’t be undone.

Additional Challenges


Although the Major Arena Sports League is fairly navigating the competitive landscape of professional sports, its mainstream soccer leagues, such as the English Premier League (EPL), still enjoy global fanbases, widespread media coverage, and numerous sponsorship deals.

Team Stability and Longevity Issues

The MASL has encountered team stability and longevity issues ever since its formation owing to, among others, franchise relocations, expansions, and contractions, which negatively affect its competitiveness.

Financial Stability

Some MASL teams have faced financial issues due to low match attendance, few sponsorship deals, and reduced revenue generation, negatively affecting the league’s overall financial health.

Facilities and Infrastructure

There are relatively fewer quality indoor facilities for arena soccer, making it hard for the league to schedule arena soccer games in certain parts of regions.

Future Outlook and Growth Strategies

Despite the above challenges, MASL’s future looks bright as the league has proven its adaptability and innovativeness. For example, its 2022 decision to divide teams into Eastern and Western conferences was an excellent idea, significantly enhancing the league’s competitiveness. With the 2026 World Cup fast approaching, we can expect the league to make significant changes and improvements to enhance its global appeal and rival games such as Futsal.

Away from the speculations, one thing is for sure: MALS’s market reach is set to expand rapidly in the next few years as it has started laying out plans. For example, in early 2023, officials announced that Guadalajara, a new Mexican expansion team, was joining the league, signifying its commitment to widening its reach into diverse markets. MASL 2023 partnership with  Spanish media giant Canela Media guarantees Hispanic fans constant access to the league’s matches and events. There are just a few indicators of MASL’s bright features.


We cannot ignore the Major Arena Soccer League’s impact on indoor soccer. Besides professionalizing it and increasing its visibility, the MASL (Major Arena Soccer League) offers players from different regions a high-competition platform, ensuring the growth and sustainability of the sport formation also unified and streamlined indoor soccer as the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) merged with the Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL) also gave indoor soccer a unified. Check out NXTbets for real-time action, data, insights, and picks on Major Arena Soccer League games.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

MASL’s arena soccer is a fast-paced, high-scoring traditional soccer variant played in small enclosed spaces for quick transitions and increased player engagement. Each team has six players, including the goalkeeper. Unlike traditional soccer, the arena’s walls contribute to the gameplay as the league allows unique off-the-wall passes and shots. Its frequent goal-scoring opportunities and shot clock help maintain pace intensity.

By including international players, MASL enhances its overall talent pool, boosts global appeal, and fosters an inclusive culture. Players from different regions and countries bring unique skills, playing styles, and cultural influences, creating an environment that celebrates the fine geographic-based distinctions of soccer.

Despite MASL having established rules and regulations known to every player, disputes and controversies still emerge. Most match-related disputes are addressed by referees whose decisions are mostly final unless a video review confirms otherwise. The league also allows post-match reviews for disputes and controversies. However, for severe cases, the league has a well-constituted disciplinary committee. Check out this article’s governance and administration section above to learn more about the roles of the league’s disciplinary committee.

The MASL does not restrict its players from participating in their national Futsal teams. However, they may need to navigate scheduling conflicts and their national team commitments well to avoid hampering their MASL availability.

MASL emphasizes integrity and professionalism, which subsequently promotes fair play. Besides that, it employs the following strategies:

  • Clear and standardized rules and regulations geared toward fair play.
  • Trained professional referees who make impartial decisions when solving game-related issues.
  • Installed video review systems for accurate reviews
  • Post-match reviews to address match-related issues.
  • A competition committee that shapes rules and regulations towards fair play
  • Penalties, fines, and suspensions for rule violations and unsportsmanlike behavior.
  • Encouraging communication between players, teams, and officials
  • Cultivating an atmosphere of integrity and professionalism

The MASL frequently collaborates with international soccer organizations through partnerships, exchanges, and international tournament participation. Such partnerships encourage the league’s growth and enhance arena soccer’s global appeal.

Soccer players (18 years or older) aspiring to join MASL should take advantage of the league’s pro-player combine draft, usually open to domestic and international applicants. It attracts a $25 nonrefundable application fee. Once the league reviews their application, successful applicants receive an official invitation detailing the next steps. MASL also has a college draft program that scouts talents from different colleges and introduces them to the MASL. 

Major Arena soccer league teams are usually grouped into East and West conferences. The east conference comprises St. Louis Ambush, Baltimore Blast, Utica City FC, Kansas City Comets, Monterrey Flash, Harrisburg Heat, and Milwaukee Wave. In contrast, the West Conference has Texas Outlaws, Chihuahua Savage, Dallas Sidekicks, San Diego Sockers, Tacoma Stars, and Empire Strykers.

Here are the prerequisites of the MASL player-pro combine draft:

  • 18 years or more of age
  • A $25 nonrefundable application fee
  • High caliber, top-tier skills and strategies

Teams with impressive histories and effective promotional strategies mostly enjoy a wide fan base across all leagues and sports. This makes the Baltimore Blast, Harrisburg Heat, Dallas Sidekicks, Milwaukee Wave, and Chihuahua Savage the most supported teams in the MASL.

To make it easy for fans to watch their favorite teams and special events, the MASL live streams some of its games and events on Twitch, a popular online video streaming platform that attracts millions of eSports and gaming fans.

Here are a few of MASL’s several iconic moments:

  • The 2014-2015 inaugural season which brought together 23 teams from two major leagues
  • The 2019-20 season which forced the league to suspend its operations due to the Covid-19 crisis.
  • The 2022-23 season which saw a significant increase in the league’s attendance.

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