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UPDATE: Tacoma Stars negotiating to replace Impact in MASL

Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reports that Stars majority owner Lane Smith is in negotiations with Impact owner Dion Earl.

Stars logo
Stars logo

UPDATE: The Stars have posted a statement on their website, saying the deal is "95% done", adding that they would also finish the current WISL season.

Yesterday, a report emerged that Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) franchise Seattle Impact FC would fold after only one season. That report was later corrected, as Impact owner, coach, and "star player" Dion Earl had apparently changed his mind and will attempt to return for the 2015/16 season.

Then came these tweets from Seattle Times reporter Geoff Baker:

Sounder at Heart has confirmed that Lane Smith is in negotiations to purchase Seattle's MASL rights from Earl.

The Tacoma Stars currently play in the five-team Western Indoor Soccer League (WISL), where they currently sit in first place with a 5-0-0 record and a goal difference of +31. Several of Tacoma's players were among the 22 that left the Seattle Impact in November, including the league's leading scorer, Derek Johnson and Sounders Academy alum Jamael Cox. The team is coached by former Sounders director of youth development Darren Sawatzky, who also coaches the Sounders U23 team in the USL Premier Development League. The Stars still have 3 games remaining in the WISL season, in addition to one or two games in the playoffs next month.

Sounder at Heart has learned [and Baker has confirmed] that if the sale of the Impact and its MASL rights goes through, the Stars would move to Kent and finish the MASL season at the 6,500-capacity ShoWare Center. The MASL has also already vetted Lane Smith as an owner (something they were criticized for not doing properly with Earl). The Stars would use their current roster to replace the Impact immediately. The Impact have 6 games remaining on the schedule. Their next scheduled game takes place this Friday.

It's unclear whether the Stars will simultaneously play in the remainder of both the WISL and the MASL seasons. It's worth noting here that the current version of the Stars is a bit of a joint effort between the ownership of both the Stars and South Sound FC. It wouldn't be too surprising if South Sound FC winds up replacing the Stars in the WISL next season, especially if the team winds up playing in Kent beyond the end of the current MASL season.

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