December 28, 2020
December 23, 2020
By: Andrew Ross
Tampa, Florida – The Major Arena Soccer League 2 (M2) is taking another positive step for future growth and prosperity in arena soccer with the partnership between Arena Soccer Group (ASG), Pro Soccer Partners Inc., and a newly formed front office.
The Major Arena Soccer League is today announcing the establishment of the arena soccer pyramid and appointment of Chris Economides as Commissioner and Andrew Ross as Deputy Commissioner of M2, as well as Directors for the newly established Major Arena Soccer League 3 (M3). Economides and Ross have established a full-time league front office in Tampa, Florida to manage the leagues and continue to grow the MASL at all levels.
“The MASL is extremely excited to have Chris and Andrew leading the next chapter for arena soccer,” MASL Commissioner Joshua Schaub said. “From the start, we have stated how critical it is to develop the pyramid of arena soccer. There is no other group we entrust more than Chris and Andrew to help lead the growth of that pyramid below the MASL.”
Economides brings a wealth of experience to the league as the new M2 Commissioner. Chris has over 30 years of experience in professional soccer, starting with the Rochester Rhinos of the USL where he led them to league and U.S. Open Cup championships. The Rhinos are the only non-MLS team to win the U.S. Open Cup since Major League Soccer (MLS) was established. After Rochester, Economides founded the Carolina Railhawks (now North Carolina FC) before moving to the USL front office to help establish and grow the league as a Senior Director and Commissioner of the MISL when it was managed by the USL.
The USL has seen exponential growth recently with establishing the outdoor pyramid and Economides is planning to replicate a similar model for the arena/indoor game. In addition to his experience in the outdoor game and league office, Chris has also managed arena teams with the Kansas City Attack and most recently Florida Tropics, both of which won championships under his leadership.
“For the first time ever, there is an established and organized pyramid for professional arena soccer in the United States,” Economides noted. “The game has continued to grow throughout the county, and with the full time focus and passion for the game that we will bring to that effort, today is truly a watershed moment.”
Andrew Ross also brings a wealth of experience for the past 10 years at all levels of the professional soccer landscape. Ross started his career working under now MASL Vice President Jon Ramin and Utica City FC General Manager Tommy Tanner at the Syracuse Silver Knights. Following the Silver Knights, he moved to Florida to work at the USL under Economides during the first season the USL was affiliated with MLS. After the USL, Ross moved to Orlando City SC for their first 2 seasons in MLS before establishing the Florida Tropics with founder Andrew Haines. Ross served as the General Manager for the past five years before moving into his current role with the league office. Ross also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sport Management from Syracuse University, one of the top sports programs in the country.
In addition to the front office, Dr. Sev Hrywnak and Pro Soccer Partners, Inc will also be part of the league as a Director and Team Owner. Dr. Sev has a deep sports background having owned the Premier Basketball League, and its champion the Rochester RazorSharks. He is also a shareholder and part of the executive team in Pro Soccer Partners, Inc. Dr. Sev strongly believes in the new structure and has made a personal financial investment in PSP and one of its assets, the Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL). The PASL will now be a cooperative part of the new arena soccer pyramid in growing the sport of arena soccer, even though it is a separate entity, and will continue under its current management. “This is a major step forward in the unification of all levels of indoor (arena) soccer and I am proud to be part of this movement,” he said.
Prior to this new partnership, M2 was managed by Arena Soccer Group led by Wichita Wings owner Blake Shumaker, Colorado Inferno owner Brett Riding, New Mexico Runners owner Andres Trujillo, Wichita Falls and FC Amarillo owner Stephanie Tucker, all of which will play a role in continuing to grow the sport and league.
“When the Arena Soccer Group took over MASL 2 last year, our goal was to be more than sustainable and to create a road map for future team owners,” Shumaker said. “Now, today we feel that with this partnership and newly established league front office we can together surpass those ambitions to advance the game of professional indoor soccer."
The league office has also announced that Brian Ackley will serve as Director of PR and Communications and Dominic Turcotte as Director of Operations, both of which have past history with all parties involved in managing the league. The M2 will also use current MASL partners to add additional resources and look to bring on new partners and staff in the coming months.
The full list of teams set to play and potential start dates will also be announced very soon as the league continues to work through the COVID-19 pandemic and individual state protocols. Teams will consist of existing M2 teams as well as the goal to bring back former historic franchises in markets that have seen success in arena soccer in the past. The league is excited to have this announcement and move forward as a unified front for the future of the league and growth of the arena soccer game.
M2 recently announced various invitational tournaments across the country for fans to view live arena soccer for the time being prior to the start of the 2021 season, which is delayed until late spring.
To stay up to date with information on the league follow the social media platforms @M2arenasoccer of visit www.M2Soccer.com. The league will look forward to announcing teams and plans to return to play in the coming weeks. If interested inquiring about a franchise, please call the league office at 813-281-4600 or visit www.m2soccer.com/expansion and fill out the inquiry form.