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Blast welcome the Baltimore Kings, who will serve as farm team in Major Arena Soccer League’s third division

The Baltimore Blast announced Wednesday the addition of the Baltimore Kings, a semi-professional soccer and futsal team that will be part of the Major Arena Soccer League’s third division.

The Kings, owned by Josh Danza, will be part of the MASL third division’s five-team Mid-Atlantic conference and will serve as a developmental farm system team for the 10-time champion Blast.

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“We don’t have a farm system, so this would be a logical farm system for us with somebody we can do business with,” Blast owner Ed Hale Sr. said. “So in the middle or end of the season when injuries may start to pop up, where do we draw from? Now, we have a place we can draw from. It’s local people that we know and can trust and can watch and work with them and have them step up when we need somebody to step up. So we’re looking forward to that.”

The Mid-Atlantic is one of 12 conferences nationwide in the MASL’s third division. The Kings will be joined by the Philadelphia Spartans, Fredericksburg Fire, Northern Virginia Football Club and Virginia 757 Marauders and are set to play a 10-game schedule starting in January.

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“I think seven or eight years ago, we got down to where we only had 11 [healthy] players on our team and it was difficult to play. This will eliminate those concerns,” Hale Sr. said. “So we’re looking forward to having a developmental group and maybe some [Blast] players can go back and play with them when they are rehabbing.”

Earlier in June, the MASL named Keith Tozer, a former professional indoor player, Milwaukee Wave and U.S. Futsal coach, as its league commissioner. The league also announced that former New York Arrows great Shep Messing will serve as the league’s first chairman and soccer television analyst JP Dellacamera will become the league’s president of communications and media.

“I think it’s obviously given us a huge shot in the arm. You’ve got three legends that have been around the game a long time and they all bring different strengths to the table,” said MASL2 commissioner Chris Economides, who runs the league’s second division. “But as I told all three of those guys, ‘It’s great, but now the real work starts.’ So we’ve got to go out there and take this sport, which is a great sport, to the next level.”

Economides noted the importance of the vetting process in bringing in stable franchises, a more carefully planned business model and a steady television contract to bring more sustained success to the MASL.

The Blast are getting set for the 40th season of professional indoor soccer in Baltimore. Their home opener at Towson University’s SECU Arena is Saturday, Dec. 4, followed by their second home game Dec. 11. The team will announce the rest of their 2021-22 regular season schedule at a later date.


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