Brian Harris, the MVP of the MISL Championship Series, is one happy man.
That's because the Missouri Comets defender knows that he will be playing professional indoor soccer next season at the Independence Events Center.
Although the MISL disbanded after Missouri's championship season ended on March 16, management from the Comets, Baltimore Blast and San Diego Sockers have entered into a partnership with the Professional Arena Soccer League to create a new league that will unify professional indoor soccer across the country.
“I don't really understand how it all works,” Harris said, “but I guess the Blast, Wave and Comets are going to form a new league with other teams from the PASL,” Harris said Monday night after the Comets announced it would partner with Baltimore and San Diego. “Is it the PASL? Is it a new league? Will there be other teams from the MISL involved? I don't know the answer – but I am so happy that we're going to be back in Independence playing indoor soccer.
“I couldn't imagine not having a team – or a league – after all the success we had last season.”
This new partnership will unite teams that have played in separate leagues over the past several seasons into one league playing at the highest level in North America. More details will be announced soon regarding additional teams, schedules and league rules.
“We are looking forward to continuing our existing rivalries from the MISL, with the (Milwaukee) Wave, (St. Louis) Ambush, (Rochester) Lancers, (Syracuse) Silver Knights and the Blast,” Comets president Brian Budzinski said in a press release. “At the same time, rekindling old rivalries with such storied franchises as the (Dallas) Sidekicks and (San Diego) Sockers will be great for longtime indoor soccer fans.”
Professional indoor soccer has been around since the original Major Indoor Soccer League began in 1978. After the demise of the North American Soccer League in 1984, the MISL became the highest level of professional soccer in the U.S. The original Kansas City Comets were founded in 1979, the Baltimore Blast in 1980 and the San Diego Sockers in 1982.
The Missouri Comets returned in 2010, joining the Baltimore Blast in the latest version of the MISL. The Comets and Blast have reached the playoffs in each of the four years since Missouri's return and have won the last two MISL championships.
“If you're getting the best teams from the MISL and the PASL, it should be a competitive league,” Harris said. “So many people have been asking me what's going on with the league, and I guess we'll all know soon.”
The Comets said more details will be announced in mid-May regarding additional teams, schedules and league rules.