The Major Arena Soccer League has announced it will have a 2018-19 season and it will be longer.
MASL extended the 2018-2019 season by two games, with each team, including the Kansas City Comets, playing 12 games at home and 12 on the road.
The league also announced the regular season will run an estimated four months, beginning the weekend of Dec. 1, 2018.
“As I get older and try to understand the business/management side of the game, I look into matters like this,” Comets coach Kim Roentved said. “That being said, if we have the flexibility to allow players to play two or maybe three games a week, and not four or five, I am fine with it.
“I know it gives our fans more games to watch at home and that is a very good thing.”
The later start date allows each team more time to prepare and market to their local communities once the final schedule is released, while also avoiding overlap with in-market fall audience competition.
“Over the past two seasons we have studied the impact of the MASL’s schedule on our teams and their success,” MASL commissioner Joshua Schaub said in a press release. “We feel there is more excitement about our game than there has been in a long time. This change in schedule format will allow our teams to capitalize on that excitement and remove many of the roadblocks to delivering the game to fans on more convenient dates.
“Further, we heard from potential ownership groups that they sought more potential dates and revenue. This new schedule obviously accomplishes that desire.”
In the statement, MASL said it is negotiating with “multiple networks seeking arena soccer to be featured content” on television.
The Comets have put season tickets for the 2018-19 season on sale.
COMETS ADD GOALKEEPER: The Comets announced added goalkeeper Jeff Richey to the team’s roster Friday.
The indoor soccer veteran will join the team immediately and is expected to be available for Sunday’s match against the Cedar Rapids Rampage.
The Comets will host the Rampage at 5:05 p.m. Sunday for Star Wars Night.
Richey is a veteran of the indoor game. Since 2009 he has played in 80 games and amassed a .747 save percentage while playing with several teams in the Midwest, including the Chicago Riot, Chicago Soul, St. Louis Ambush and, most recently, the Milwaukee Wave in 2014-15.
In addition to his indoor soccer experience, Richey also has represented the United States on multiple occasions as a member of the U.S. National Futsal Team.
“Jeff has been one of the league’s best goalkeepers since he started playing indoor soccer,” Roentved said. “I’m happy that he was available and willing to come play with us as we head down the stretch.
“That doesn’t mean Casey Gasson will not be in goal again for the team, but from this point on, every game is the Super Bowl or the playoffs and we need to start winning some games.
“And we just don’t know about the availability of Steven (Hamersky, a new member of the Newton, Kansas, Police Department). We thought he was going to have a more open schedule after Jan. 1, but that was not the case, so we looked for another goalie and we very fortunate to find Jeff.”