MASL Season Begins This Weekend, Utica City Opts In For Modified 2020-21 Season
The Major Arena Soccer League's Board of Directors has voted to proceed with a modified 2020-21 season, and Utica City FC is among 11 teams who have opted to participate.
The MASL will actually kickoff its season this weekend, holding its first ever MASL All-Star Game. It's scheduled for Saturday in Independence, Missouri.
Regular season action could begin as early as December 31st, and conclude as late as April 18th, the MASL said. However, UCFC officials caution local fans that because of the pandemic and associated restrictions, Utica likely won't begin play that early, and may not play as many games as some other teams. And, they might be forced to play without spectators at the Adirondack Bank Center.
“It is important for fans of Utica City FC to understand that, due to the aforementioned regulations, we do not anticipate starting quite as soon as other teams that are not located in the Northeast,” said Tommy Tanner, General Manager of Utica City FC, a new release from the club. “We are working on a plan that will allow for the allotted 12-24 games, and our ultimate hope is that we will be able to have some capacity of fans for our modified season.”
Currently fans aren't permitted at any pro or college sporting events in New York because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many similar restrictions are in place in other states, and MASL officials noted as much as they announced details for the modified season:
Local and state regulations will be a determining factor in start dates, capacity, and number of games played. Teams that are allowed arena capacity, and have dates will have the ability to schedule and fulfill games as allowed. Standings will be based on winning percentage, since teams will potentially play an unbalanced number of games.
The 11 teams who have opted-in for the MASL modified 2020-21 season are: Utica, Baltimore, Dallas, Florida, Harrisburg, Kansas City, Ontario, Rochester, San Diego, St. Louis and Tacoma.
The league says to be eligible for playoffs, a team would need to play between 12-24 games. What the playoff format is, and how many teams might be included in it, is something the MASL will announce at a later date.
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