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Major Indoor Soccer League (2001–08)

Major Indoor Soccer League (2001–08)
Sport Indoor Soccer
Founded 2001
Countries  United States and
Ceased 2008
Last champion(s) Baltimore Blast
TV partner(s) Fox Soccer Channel
Official website

The Major Indoor Soccer League was the top professional indoor soccer league in the USA. The league was a member of both the United States Soccer Federation and FIFA. The MISL had replaced the NPSL which folded in 2001. According to, the league ceased operations as of May 31, 2008. "We are considering structural changes that will bring us greater efficiencies, while also allowing long term growth and expansion of the League," said John Hantz, former Chairman of the MISL, and Owner/Operator of the Detroit Ignition.[1] All the teams from MISL went to the new indoor leagues: NISL, PASL and the XSL. The NISL and XSL used the same playing rules as the MISL.


  • History 1
  • Organization 2
  • Television 3
  • MISL teams 4
  • Annual awards 5
    • Coach of the Year Award 5.1
    • Defender of the Year Award 5.2
    • Goalkeeper of the Year Award 5.3
    • Most Valuable Player Award (Hector Marinaro Trophy) 5.4
    • Rookie of the Year Award 5.5
  • MISL Championship series 6
    • MISL All-Star Game 6.1
      • 2002 6.1.1
      • 2003 6.1.2
      • 2004 6.1.3
      • 2005 6.1.4
      • 2006 6.1.5
      • 2007 6.1.6
      • 2008 6.1.7
    • MISL Championships Won 6.2
    • Championship formats 6.3
  • Rules 7
  • Average attendance 8
  • Notes 9
  • See also 10


In the summer of 2001, the Major League Soccer. In 2002, the MISL absorbed two teams from the World Indoor Soccer League, the Dallas Sidekicks and San Diego Sockers. The St. Louis Steamers, another former WISL team, joined the following year. On May 27, 2008, Commissioner Steve Ryan stepped down as the commissioner of the MISL, and then on June 2, 2008, the Management Committee of the MISL announced they had ceased operations effective May 31, 2008 to reform the league. All of the MISL's teams from its last season joined either the National Indoor Soccer League, Professional Arena Soccer League, or the Xtreme Soccer League.


The MISL was organized in a single table playing a 30-game schedule. Traditionally, the season began in October and ended in March. The league also conducted an All-Star Game at midseason. It pitted Eastern teams against Western teams and USA All-Stars against World All-Stars as well as the MISL All-Stars against a Mexican team. No All-Star Game was played in the 2004-2005 and 2006-2007 seasons. The All-Star game scheduled for the 2007-08 season in Stockton, California was also canceled.

The top six teams qualified for the playoffs, which began in April. In the first round, the sixth place team played the third place team while the fourth and fifth place teams also played either other. The top two teams received a bye in the first round. The survivors of the first round played the top two seeds in the semifinals with the first place team playing the lowest surviving seed from the first round and the second place team playing the highest surviving seed. The two semi-final winners met in the MISL Championship Final. The first two rounds were a two-game series with a golden goal tie breaker. The Championship Final was a single game at a predetermined neutral site.


The MISL had a relative lack of television coverage for being a national professional sports league. In February 2007, the league and Versus announced a partnership to deliver a nationally televised game of the week starting in March 2007. For the 2006 - 2007 season, Versus broadcast two regular season games, a MISL Championship Series Semifinal game on April 14, and the MISL Championship Series Final. Additionally, the MISL produced its first-ever live magazine show to preview the 2007 MISL Championship Series. Before the 2006 - 2007 season, national television coverage was limited to the MISL Championships in 2005 and 2006, which were shown on ESPN2.

For the 2007-08, the MISL signed an agreement with Fox Soccer Channel to televise 20 games that season.

In addition to national television, certain games were shown in local markets over local cable networks like CN8.

MISL teams

Team City/Area Arena
Baltimore Blast Baltimore, Maryland 1st Mariner Arena
California Cougars[2] Stockton, California Stockton Arena
Chicago Storm Hoffman Estates, Illinois (Chicago area) UIC Pavilion/Sears Centre
Cleveland Force/Crunch Cleveland, Ohio Wolstein Center
Dallas Sidekicks Dallas, Texas Reunion Arena
Detroit Ignition Plymouth Township, Michigan (Detroit area) Compuware Arena
Harrisburg Heat Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center
Kansas City Comets Kansas City, Missouri Kemper Arena
Milwaukee Wave Milwaukee, Wisconsin U.S. Cellular Arena
Monterrey Fury/Tigres Monterrey, Nuevo León Monterrey Arena
Monterrey La Raza Monterrey, Mexico Monterrey Arena
New Jersey Ironmen Newark, New Jersey Prudential Center
Orlando Sharks Orlando, Florida Amway Arena
Philadelphia KiXX Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Wachovia Spectrum
St. Louis Steamers St. Louis, Missouri Family Arena/Savvis Center
San Diego Sockers San Diego, California San Diego Sports Arena

Annual awards

Coach of the Year Award

Season Coach Team
20012002 Keith Tozer Milwaukee Wave
20022003 Keith Tozer Milwaukee Wave
20032004 Tatu Dallas Sidekicks
20042005 Omid Namazi Cleveland Force
20052006[3] Omid Namazi St. Louis Steamers
20062007[4] Mark Pulisic Detroit Ignition

Defender of the Year Award

Season Player Team
20012002 Sean Bowers Baltimore Blast
20022003 Genoni Martinez Harrisburg Heat
20032004 Genoni Martinez Monterrey Fury
20042005 Pat Morris Baltimore Blast
20052006[5] Genoni Martinez St. Louis Steamers
20062007[4] Genoni Martinez Philadelphia KiXX

Goalkeeper of the Year Award

Season Player Team
20012002 Victor Nogueira Milwaukee Wave
20022003 Victor Nogueira Milwaukee Wave
20032004 Pete Pappas Philadelphia KiXX
20042005 Pete Pappas Philadelphia KiXX
20052006[6] Brett Phillips St. Louis Steamers
20062007[4] Pete Pappas Philadelphia KiXX

Most Valuable Player Award (Hector Marinaro Trophy)

Season Player Position Team
20012002 Dino Delevski Forward Kansas City Comets
20022003 Dino Delevski Forward Kansas City Comets
20032004 Greg Howes Forward Milwaukee Wave
20042005 Greg Howes Forward Milwaukee Wave
20052006[7] Aduato Neto Forward Baltimore Blast
20062007[4] Jamar Beasley Forward Detroit Ignition

Rookie of the Year Award

Season Player Position Team
20012002 Billy Nelson Defender Baltimore Blast
20022003 P. J. Wakefield Forward Baltimore Blast
20032004 Jamar Beasley Forward Kansas City Comets
20042005 John Barry Nusum Forward Philadelphia KiXX
20052006[8] Vicente Figueroa Forward California Cougars
20062007[4] Stephen Armstrong Forward Chicago Storm

MISL Championship series

Season Date(s) Champion Series Runner-Up Host
2001-02 Philadelphia KiXX 2-1 Milwaukee Wave Milwaukee/Philadelphia
2002-03 Baltimore Blast 2-1 Milwaukee Wave Baltimore/Milwaukee
2003-04 Baltimore Blast 3-0 Milwaukee Wave Baltimore/Milwaukee
2004-05 Milwaukee Wave 2-0 Cleveland Force Milwaukee/St. Louis
2005-06 Baltimore Blast 2-1 St. Louis Steamers Baltimore/St. Louis
2006-07 4/21/07 Philadelphia KiXX 1-0 Detroit Ignition Detroit
2007-08 4/25/08 Baltimore Blast 1-0 Monterrey La Raza Milwaukee

MISL All-Star Game


The East All-Stars defeated the West All-Stars by a score of 17-15 in overtime in front of a crowd of 13,216 at the Gund Arena, in Cleveland, Ohio. Joel Shanmker was named the MVP of the game.[9]


The West All-Stars defeated the East All-Stars by a score of 20-13 in front of a crowd of 8,429 at the Bradley Center, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dino Delevski was named the MVP of the game.[9] This was Tatu's final All-Star game as a player.


The format of the game was modified this year, dividing the MISL All-Stars by nationality. Team USA defeated Team International 10-1 in front of a crowd of 4,129 at the Family Arena, in St. Louis, Missouri. Giuliano Celenza was named the MVP of the game.[9]


No game played.[9]


In 2006, the annual All-Star game was replaced by a game between MISL All-Stars and the Mexican National Indoor Team. The MISL All-Stars won by a score of 9-5 in front of a crowd of 8,671 at the US Cellular Arena, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Todd Dusosky was named the MVP of the game.[9]


The game, originally scheduled for the Stockton Arena, in Stockton, California, was canceled and replaced by several games between a Mexican All-Star team and individual MISL clubs.[10]


The canceled 2007 game has been rescheduled to 2008, again at the Stockton Arena.[10]

MISL Championships Won

Team Championships Winning years
Baltimore Blast 4 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008
Philadelphia KiXX 2 2002, 2007
Milwaukee Wave 1 2005

Championship formats

Series Years
Single game 2007, 2008
Two game plus golden goal series 2005, 2006
Best-of-three series 2002, 2003
Best-of-five series 2004


The MISL game was the standard North American version of indoor soccer. It was different from the FIFA-sanctioned futsal.

Each MISL game consisted of four 15-minute quarters. There were breaks between the first two and the last two quarters. There was also a 15-minute halftime. Ties resulted in consecutive 15-minute sudden death overtimes.

An MISL field was roughly the size of an ice hockey rink, measuring 200 feet by 80 feet. Goals measured 14 feet by 8 feet and are set into the boards. Players were allowed to bounce the ball off the dasher boards. Play stopped if the ball leaves the field of play.

During an MISL game, each team was allowed to have 6 players on the field at a time. One player was the goalkeeper who handled the ball while in the penalty arc. The other players were generally divided as two defenders, one midfielder, and two forwards. Substitution was unlimited and may happen "on the fly" during play.

Fouls and misconducts were generally the same as outdoor soccer with a few changes. First, all kicks were direct, with no whistle to restart play, which usually resulted in a "quick start". Also, the MISL utilized blue cards in addition to the traditional yellow and red cards of outdoor soccer.

Blue cards were for fouls that earn possible two minute power plays. Yellow cards were given for dissent, resulting in a 5-minute penalty but the offending team did not play short.

All red cards in the MISL resulted in a two-minute power play. Red cards were awarded for violent conduct or accumulation of cards (3 blues or 2 yellows).

Originally, the MISL had a multiple point scoring system where goals were worth 1, 2, or 3 points depending upon the distance that they were scored or game situation. The former WISL teams objected to this. After the 2003 Championship, the league began using a traditional one-point-per-goal rule because of a controversial goal scored during the deciding game. However, the league went back to multipoint scoring in 2006 with 2- and 3-point goals.

Average attendance

Year Record Playoffs
2001-02 5,065 9,280
2002-03 5,420 7,010
2003-04 5,587 6,330
2004-05 4,388 5,864
2005-06 4,737 7,386
2006-07 4,711 4,023
2007-08 4,577 4,463
Seasons Average Playoffs Avg.
7 4,957 6,212


  1. ^
  2. ^ PASL
  3. ^ "2005-06 MISL Coach of the Year - Omid Namazi". May 23, 2006. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "2006-07 MISL Season Awards". April 7, 2007. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  5. ^ "2005-06 MISL Defender of the Year - Genoni Martinez". May 24, 2006. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  6. ^ "2005-06 MISL Goalkeeper of the Year - Brett Phillips". May 23, 2006. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  7. ^ "2005-06 MISL MVP (The Hector Marinaro Trophy) - Adauto Neto". May 25, 2006. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  8. ^ "2005-06 MISL Rookie of the Year - Vicente Figueroa". May 19, 2006. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  9. ^ a b c d e "indoor all-star games". Archived from the original on 2006-11-04. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  10. ^ a b Gilbert, Lori (February 11, 2007). "Stockton witnesses something special".  

See also

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