You might say that Chris Toth has his hands full these days, in more ways than one.

Let's count the ways:

The veteran goalkeeper recently set the Major Arena Soccer League's career save record.

Not only did Toth represent the United States at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Dubai, but he made his 100th appearance for the team and scored a goal as well.

And now that he has returned home, Toth hopes to backstop the Tacoma Stars to playoff glory and then try to win a title in a well-publicized, small-sided tournament this summer.

Now, that's a pretty full docket, past, present and future.

In chronological order, let's, ahem, tackle Toth's achievements, goals and even when he, a keeper, has scored some goals.

On Dec. 30, 2023, Toth stopped Kraig Chiles' blast from the right side at 4:15 of the second quarter, denying the San Diego Sockers standout forward of his 400th MASL career point. In the process, Toth produced his 1,934th save in the league, moving past injured Tacoma teammate Danny Waltman, atop the list. The Sockers won the game, 9-3.

It was nice, but it was another day at the office for Toth.

"It's a big deal," he said. "But for me, it's just work. That's my job. My job is to make saves, to keep our team in games and do everything I can to win.

"I've been playing this game for a long time and it's [saves] added up. It's nice to be there. It's not something that I strive for, like 'Oh, I need to be number one in saves.’ That's not who I am. I want to win games ultimately. In order to win games, the goalkeeper needs to make saves. We get stormed on, and my job is to get us out of the storm as much as possible."

The three-time MASL goalkeeper of the year has been good enough to be a regular member of the U.S. Beach Soccer Team and represent the country in three FIFA Beach Soccer World Cups. That includes this year's competition in Dubai in February.

"It's a big, big honor when you can represent and you can put on the jersey and compete," he said. "It says a lot. Not everybody gets to do that. I've been honored to represent the team and not once or twice but 100 times. That is something very special, just more so with our sport because beach isn't as recognized as outdoor is. Outdoors, those guys make a lot of money with the national team. For a player to stay relevant in the sport is much higher because real life hits us.

"Hopefully, a couple more players are going to hit it [100 caps] soon."

Toth noted that the final four teams at this year's World Cup, champion Brazil, runners-up Italy, and Iran and Belarus play 30-40 times a year, while the U.S. squad averages eight to nine times a year.

The USA's goal at the recent FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Dubai was to get out of the group stage. The Americans have never qualified for the knockout round. They finished third in Group A, losing all three games while they were outscored, 11-7.

"We thought we had a really good team and a really good draw, especially after we performed in Concacaf this year with going undefeated and beating Mexico in the final, 5-0," said Toth, adding that the U.S. defeated Costa Rica in the quarterfinals and defending champion El Salvador in the semifinals.

"Those are the three strongest teams that you can play leading up to the final. We were feeling really good."

But prior to the World Cup, Toth and other indoor players faced two challenges. The tournament had been moved from November to February, in the middle of the MASL season. Toth and Stars teammate Nick Perera, a beach soccer veteran, were trying to figure out how they were going to prepare.

During a 6-5 overtime win at the Kansas City Comets on Feb. 9, Perera suffered a knee injury and could not participate in the competition.

"He's a big piece of our team," Toth said. "Losing him was huge. We didn't really have his presence, his threat up top. We have some really good players in beach, but you can't really replace Nick."

The USA suffered three losses - 3-1 to Italy, 3-2 in extratime to the United Arab Emirates, and 5-4, again in extratime to Egypt.

"It was a disappointing World Cup, if I'm honest," Toth said.

There were some personal achievements, including the keeper's 100th cap and a goal.

Toth, who has tallied six goals in four Beach World Cup qualifying tournaments, found the net against Iran. With the Americans trailing 2-0 in the second half, Toth decided to take matters into his own hands.

Well, actually, it was his feet.

"In beach soccer the goalkeeper is the last line of defense. You're also the main focal point for the attack," he said. "You start it. You're in a build-up and you can shoot. … I had a few shots on goal that were hitting target. The goalie pulled out a couple of nice saves and I felt we weren't really getting anything out of the build-up play. I started thinking, 'Alright, I'm just going to start shooting and to see what happens.' I hit the next ball. I put it into the sand, allowed the sand to do what it normally does, and deflect the ball in a different direction. That makes it not impossible, but super difficult to save. It ended up going in."

Toth attempted two more shots. Late in regulation, he forced the UAE keeper to knock his shot out of bounds for a corner kick. Stars teammate Alessandro Canale scored off the set piece in the 36th minute, forcing extratime.

"That's just how beach soccer is," Toth said. "You've got to keep the pressure on. Goalkeepers have the ability to do that, not just in the build-up play and passing but to shoot."

While playing the great indoors, Toth has recorded five goals, three in the MASL. Most of them have come through during sixth attacker situations.

"It's always great to score," he said. "My first responsibility though is to try to defend the goal as much as possible. If I do score in beach, it's more common. So, it's not something that I'm going to get super pumped up about. In beach, mistakes happen a lot. It's important to stay in tune and focused, and not get too pumped up. I've seen goalkeepers score and they get super jacked up and then all of a sudden, you've made three mistakes and you give up three goals."

Toth's most recent MASL goal was in a 7-6 home win over the Empire Strykers on Jan. 25.

"I was pretty excited about it because we were down," he said. "It was towards the end of the game and it was a big moment. You get a bit more jacked up because it just doesn't happen all that often for any goalkeeper in indoor."

Indoor and beach soccer poses its own unique challenges for goalies.

The 6-1, 170-lb. Toth has learned what he needs to do and is aware of when he transitions from one competition to another. That goes double when he needs to do it in a short period of time.

"Going to indoors from beach, I think is easier," he said. "Indoor goalkeepers deal with a lot of close-range shots that are coming very quickly. In beach I'm dealing with more of shots that's from a bit more distance. My reaction time is probably a bit faster and more prepared and suited for beach. When I go back to indoors, it won't be too difficult, because I was away for only two weeks."

But there are other facets as well, such as the playing surface and the size of the goal - a flat surface indoors and sand in beach.

"The sand is very difficult to run in," Toth said. “You’ve got to be really fit to play beach. Indoors, there's a smaller goal, Beach has a bigger goal. You have to adjust to that as well. Indoors, a shot is coming. I know it's going wide. But in beach, it's like ‘Oh, that ball is not going wide anymore. That one's going back corner.’

"Getting used to the goal is such a quick transition, I didn't get really any time at all to prepare for beach. I just had to kind of just step into it and use the time that I had before the World Cup in Dubai to just try to adjust to the goal, which I thought I did pretty well."

The Stars' record is misleading because they have been defeated only by three teams this season. They lost five times to the Western Division leaders, the Sockers, in their opening 10 games (once in overtime), twice to the Monterrey Flash, which leads the Eastern Division. They also dropped an overtime decision to the Texas Outlaws. Overtime games are considered ties when determining a team's record.

"We're a very good team, a very young team, a very athletic team that is getting better and better," Toth said.

"We're in a really good spot and as far as being in fourth place. Realistically, you only need to make the playoffs, and once you make the playoffs anything can happen.”

Toth noted that Tacoma had three games in hand on third-place Texas (10-9-1, 30).

"If we take advantage of our games, we should be moving up to third," he said. "We have a big game against Texas. We have two big games against Chihuahua. If we do end up winning those games and the games that we're supposed to win, we could potentially be in second place. We're looking at not just squeaking into the playoffs. We're looking at trying to make a statement and potentially make a run for second place."

Toth felt that Tacoma could be a “dark horse" in the postseason.

"I just think that teams probably don't really want to play us like they used to want to play the Stars," he said.

Regardless of how the Stars fare in the playoffs, Toth and several of his indoor colleagues have an appointment with The Soccer Tournament, the winner-take-all, 7 v 7 competition. The second edition of the tournament is set for Cary, N.C. again, from June 5-10.

With a team called Sneaky Fox last year, Toth, along with Perera, Ian Bennett (Milwaukee Wave) and Ramone Palmer and Chad Vandegriffe (both Kansas City Comets), finished atop Group B with a perfect 3-0-0 mark while outscoring its foes, 9-3. After surviving the Round of 16 and quarterfinals, Sneaky Fox dropped a 4-1 decision to eventual champion Newtown Pride in the semifinals, 4-1. Newtown boasted several MASL players, including Tavoy Morgan, Gabriel Costa, and Drew Ruggles (San Diego Sockers), Paulo Nascimento and William Eskay (both St. Louis Ambush) and Onua Obasi (Harrisburg Heat).

"What a great event," Toth said. "The amount of attention it got was great. It's great for the MASL that a team loaded with indoor players won. It says a lot about our league, says a lot about our players. Because of this tournament, it has put the MASL on the map in front of a bigger audience. That's great for the league."

Toth and Sneaky Fox plan to return for another shot at $1 million.

"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "As soon as indoor season finishes up, I'll be turning my attention to that because it was a blast."

But not before Toth makes several more saves to keep the Tacoma Stars primed for the MASL playoffs.


Michael Lewis, the editor of, can be followed on X (formerly Twitter) at @SoccerWriter. Lewis can be reached via email at He has written two books" Alive and Kicking: The incredible, but true story of the Rochester Lancers and a sequel, STILL AND ALIVE AND KICKING: The story of the 21st century Rochester Lancers. It has many features about indoor soccer and MASL players. Both books can be purchased at