UPDATE: The team's official website has confirmed that it will finish the Impact's remaining schedule in MASL.
For the first time since being re-launched in 2003, the Tacoma Stars will play their home games in an arena capable of holding thousands of soccer fans in the nation's top professional indoor soccer league. On Wednesday evening, Tacoma Stars owner Lane Smith and Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) commissioner Kevin Milliken stated in a release to local media that the Stars have acquired the assets of Seattle Impact FC and will play the final six games of their season at Kent's ShoWare Center. Some sort of announcement is expected to take place on Thursday.
What this means for local soccer fans is that they now have the opportunity to experience professional indoor soccer in a modern facility with a capacity of 6,500. As an added incentive, the Stars have slashed the ticket prices in half. This means you can watch one of the most storied rivalries in American indoor soccer this Friday for as little as $4.50. The most expensive seats are about as expensive as the least expensive seats for Seattle Reign games last season.
Fans can also expect the Stars to field a competitive team. Tacoma currently has a perfect record this season, including friendlies -- one of which was against the Impact. Although Tacoma has been in an amateur league this season, it definitely has plenty of professional players. There are guys like Derek Smith, Vincent McCluskey, Taylor Jackson, Steve Mohn, and Sounders Academy alum Jamael Cox, who both started the season with the Impact before walking out on Dion Earl, along with 20 of their teammates.
There is no shortage of other players with professional experience who have played for the Stars at some point this season, including Raphael Cox, Joey Gjertsen, Cam Vickers, Josh Phillips (signed with Colorado Springs Switchbacks for 2015 USL PRO season), and former USL Sounder Adam West. Other players involved this season have included Sounders Academy alum Duncan McCormick and former UW punt returner Joe Jarzynka.
The San Diego Sockers were also in the old Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) with the Stars during the height of the popularity of the Stars from 1983 to 1992. Below are some highlights from Tacoma's 6-5 overtime win over the Sockers at the Tacoma Dome in front of 18,000 fans.