By Jeff DiVeronica

The Rochester Lancers indoor team made it official on Tuesday at IDE Volkswagen, one of the team’s title sponsors, announcing their return after a three-year hiatus. A six-match home schedule in the Major Arena Soccer League starts on Friday, Jan. 4 at The Dome, the recently renovated former “Dome Arena” at 2695 East Henrietta Road. Season tickets are just $99. That includes tickets for the two outdoor teams that are part of the Lancers’ brand – the men of the National Premier Soccer League and women of United Women’s Soccer.

All season-ticket holders also will be entered into a drawing to win a family of four vacation giveaway, including airfare, to Jamaica, courtesy of Indulge Yourself Travel. Six more fans can qualify for the trip by taking part of the halftime ball toss at Lancers matches, a promotion whose proceeds benefit Camp Good Days and Special Times.

“We’re really excited because it has been a long time since an indoor game has been played here in Rochester and that’s how I started my pro career – the indoor game back in Baltimore in 1991,” said Doug Miller, the former Lancers and Rochester Rhinos star who was re-introduce on Tuesday as the Lancers’ head coach. “I love the indoor game because it’s fast and you score a lot of goals.”

Miller, 49, is the all-time leading scorer in Rhinos history and the 2013 MVP of the MISL when he played for the Lancers. Marc Mandell also was announced as the team’s general manager on Tuesday and Miller announced that his coaching staff includes former Lancers coach/player Rey Martinez, John Berardicurti and Adam Schwartz.

The home schedule (all 7 p.m.):

Date                         Opponent

Friday, Jan. 4

Detroit Waza Flo

Saturday, Jan. 5

Cincinnati Swerve

Friday, Feb. 1

Chicago Mustangs

Saturday, Feb. 2 

Cincinnati Swerve

Friday, March 8

Detroit Waza Flo

Saturday, March 9

Muskegon Risers


Miller also revealed that several former Lancers stars will return. They include Irondequoit native Jake Schindler, Gary Boughton, Jeremy Ortiz, Stephen Basso, goalkeepers Marcelo Moreira and Marc Sotile, Brad Vanino, Luis Enrique Hidalgo and Elliot Fauske, known as the Mohican Warrior for his spiked-up hair. Other players signed who have suited up for the outdoor Lancers include forward Isaac Kissi, a former Rhinos Rookie of the Year, goalie Will Banahene, Anthony Rozzano (Webster Schroeder High School), Austin Gerber (Churchville-Chili), August Finn, Wyatt Scott, Peter DiLorenzo and David Wright.

The Lancers’ return also means the Lancers Dancers, their official dance team, are back along the mascot “Lancer Louie.” So is the “It’s A Party, Not A Game,” mentality embraced by team founder, Salvatore “Soccer Sam” Fantauzzo. The founder of Salvatore’s Pizza and Rochester’s longtime biggest soccer supporter also was on hand for Tuesday’s announcement with his family.

Other title sponsors include Salvatore’s, Palmer Foods, iHeartRadio, Sahlen’s Packing Co., Camp Good Days and Special Times and the RIT Inn & Conference Center. Senator Joe Robach also as on hand Tuesday, as well as Frank Imburgia, an owner of The Dome.

“Ide Dealerships believes it is important to support teams that help our community grow,” said owner Rich Ide. “It’s truly priceless for our youth to have access to highly skilled soccer players. Go Lancers!”

Ide’s company also sponsored the team through 2015.

“We’re going to recapture, re-energize and revitalize the Lancers,” Miller said with the type of confidence and bravado he used employ as a high-scoring forward. “I think soccer in this community is always important, not only as an entertainment outlet as fans but more so for the kids that play. They need role models. They need levels that they can aspire to play and I think the Lancers offer that.”

Lancers, Inc. is a non-profit organization. For more information, visit its website at and follow on Twitter at @RLancers.