The Board of Directors, team owners, and prospective team owners converged in Chicago for the first-ever Major League Indoor Soccer league meetings earlier this week.
The league will kick into gear this December and each team will play a 12-game schedule with six home and six road games.
Following the successful owners meetings, the league announced the first five teams who will be participating in the 2022-23 season, the Chicago Mustangs, Cleveland Crunch, Cincinnati Swerve, and two new teams located in northern Illinois and western Michigan.
The Chicago Mustangs were founded by Armando Gamboa in 2012, and have competed at various levels at the professional and amateur levels in both men's and women's soccer. Among their trophies, the Mustangs won the 2013-14 Ron Newman Cup title in the PASL, and the 2017-18 M2 league championship. Gamboa will serve on the league's board as Vice President.
The Cleveland Crunch, made famous by players such as Hector Marinaro, Zoran Karic, and Otto Orf, won three championships during their original 1989-2001 run. The brand was relaunched by Luciano Ruscitto in 2020 and the team competed in M2 the last two seasons, winning the 2020-21 league title and finishing last year's regular season with a 12-0 record.
The Cincinnati Swerve have been a mainstay in the PASL and M2 since 2014, founded by Craig Rhodis, who will also serve as an MLIS Senior Advisor. Rhodis, who began his professional indoor soccer career in Cincinnati in 1997, owns two indoor soccer facilities including Game Time Training Center, the Swerve's home venue.
The action on the field will be fiercely competitive with the announcement of a minimum $25,000 cash prize going to the 2022-23 league champion.
"We are excited to be involved with a League that is financially sound and that will attract the top players in the country. We evaluated all of the top tier national indoor leagues and felt MLIS and its ownership group gave us the best option for success," said Dr. Blondek who has plans to field a team from Scranton, PA for the 2023-24 season.
Additional teams, including existing teams and expansion teams, are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. The league schedule is expected to be released in early October. All games will be streamed online and the league will introduce its official partner platform in a future announcement.