The Missouri Comets might be the last MISL champions because the league is facing a cloudy future.
After the Comets downed the Baltimore Blast 6-4 in the nail-biting 15-minute mini-game in Baltimore, the Major Indoor Soccer League posted a statement regarding its future.
"The MISL is undertaking a process of comprehensively reviewing all aspects of the property including its membership, competitive product, and economic model. As a result, 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,'' the statement read.
"The MISL refuses to compromise or otherwise relax its standards as a shortcut to increasing its number of teams in the immediate term, and to the contrary believes that this is the proper time for the ownership standards to be increased in order to best position this league for long-term success.
“If that means it becomes necessary for us to not have a 2014-15 season schedule in order to ensure that we can fully complete a process of rebuilding a strong and committed membership of ambitious team owners, than that is a route we are prepared to pursue.''
The 2013-14 MISL had the league champion Comets, Baltimore Blast, Rochester Lancers, Syracuse Silver Knights, Milwaukee Wave, Pennsylvania Roar and St. Louis Ambush. But the Syracuse Post-Standard reports that the Comets, Rochester, Syracuse and Baltimore are leaving the league.
Calls to Comets president Brian Budzinksi throughout the day Wednesday were not returned. One person close to the team said that scenario could become reality.
At a recent appearance at Shocking Prices, a retail store in Independence, MISL Championship Series MVP Brian Harris brought the MISL Cup, his MVP Award and stacks of photos to sign for fans.
He also had a few questions – just like the folks who lined up to meet him on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
“We're talking about my job, my future,” Harris said when asked if he knew what was happening with the league. “I honestly don't know a thing. You probably know more about it than I do. I know we have a great team, a great organization and the best fans in the league.
“We've been told there will be indoor soccer next year in the Independence Events Center, but right now, none of us know if it will be MISL soccer.”
Carson Ambrose, the 6-year-old son of Grain Valley Chief of Police Aaron Ambrose, told Harris he hopes to watch him play next season.
Harris smiled and said, “Me too.”
There has been talk that the teams exiting the MISL might join the Professional Arena Soccer League.
PASL Commissioner Kevin Milliken told the Syracuse Post-Standard that he expects his league to add new teams.
“There's a great opportunity to have a united front for our sport. I'm very confident a deal is going to get done,” Milliken told the Post-Standard. “We're just in the infancy of it. Everybody is really motivated to get something done. I don't really see anything that will hold it up.”
There were 20 teams in the PASL last season. The teams in that league as of now are the Bay Area Rosal, Chicago Mustangs, Cincinnati Saints, Cleveland Freeze, Dallas Sidekicks, Detroit Waza Flo, Harrisburg Heat, Hidalgo La Fiera, Illinois Piasa, Las Vegas Legends, Ontario Fury, Sacramento Surge, San Diego Sockers, Texas Strikers, Tulsa Revolution, Turlock Express, Wichita B-52s and three teams in Mexico, the Mexico Toros, Monterrey Flash and Saltillo Rancho Seco.