The Valentine’s Day question was simple.

Why do you love indoor soccer?

Many answers came back to it being fast-paced, action-oriented and high-scoring and the sport being very fan accessible.

Here is what several Major Arena Soccer League players, coaches and officials said:

Donnie Alberty, St. Louis Ambush assistant coach

Great question. I love indoor soccer because of how in-tune you have to be. I love soccer in general but outdoors you can mentally take a couple minutes off, if you want to. Indoors, you have to be focused all the time. Everything moves quickly. It's just exciting. There's a lot more scoring, everybody's going to say. But I love the fact that you have to pay attention all of the time. You can't take any moments off. You can't stare up in the stands at the fans, or anything like that. You have to be focused all the time. That and the fact that it's climate controlled.

Mario Alvarez, Milwaukee Wave defender

I'd say the atmosphere, how technical the game is, how fast paced the game is and how well it brings people together from all over the world. Soccer is the number one sport in the world. You might have enemies on the field, but off the field, it's just one big family. It's the greatest sport in the world. I love the atmosphere itself and how it makes you feel.

Erik Bergrud, Kansas City Comets announcer

For some people in life, their first love was a romantic interest. My first love was indoor soccer. When I come back into the arena, every day I get the same feelings, the excitement, the anticipation, and it's a game that has hit me with every possible emotion from joy to rage to tears to everything. And nothing's quite like that.

Amanda Filimon, co-host of Stryking Fury podcast

One of the things that made us first fall in love with indoor soccer was just the proximity to these players. Whether or not they feel like they are big deal athletes or should be put on a pedestal, as fans watching them play, we placed them there. For them to be so connected with the fans and for them to take time to come over and sign autographs and meet all the fans after every game and to engage and interact, that's one thing that really struck us as really cool and really made us pay a lot more attention to the sport.

The other thing I love is just how much fun it is. The Strykers were losing (to the San Diego Sockers on Jan. 17) and they started coming back. It's like they forgot about the first three quarters. The last part of that game was just so exciting. The crowd was so into it. You can hear all the kids screaming. They're just enjoying the action and enjoying the fast-paced nature of it.

Christian Filimon, co-host Stryking Fury podcast and Empire Strykers announcer

I remember the proximity to players at our first game, the Soles de Sonora. We were right in front row and there was this guy, an older gentleman by the name of Gustavo Rosales, who played the Soles de Sonora, and my buddy JR yelled at him. He came up to us. We've never actually had a professional athlete come up to us this close and meet with him for a little bit. And he's like, "Hey, thanks for coming out to the game" and we're like, "That's so cool." He talked to us. It was kind of you going back to being a kid when that kind of situation happens.

I love outdoors. But indoors, the score can be 7-2 and it's not a comfortable lead. It gives you all the action-packed excitement of any sport. It's so fast paced. These athletes are incredible. It just blows my mind that more people don't pick up on it. Joe Sixpack, who doesn't care for soccer because it's too slow, and not high scoring, would fall in love with high energy, fast pace. … It's so unpredictable. I look at this game, the history. You go back to the (New York) Arrows. I've seen games with Shep (Messing, former Arrows goalkeeper, now MASL chairman), Zolie (Zoltan Toth) and Julie Veee. I just love that it has a history. I want to be a part of resurrecting it. It's a fabulous sport. I love it with all my heart.

Jeff Locker, St. Louis Ambush head coach

I've been a soccer fan my entire life, playing. All my kids play, and I've coached for a long time.  The amount of action that happens in indoor soccer, it's a much more exciting game to watch. I love watching outdoor soccer but not everyone enjoys that because you get a lot of these 1-0 games. There are 0-0 games. So, they don't appreciate it quite as much. It's constant action. I think that excitement makes it exciting for everyone to watch.

Stefan Mijatovic, Empire Strykers defender

I love indoor soccer because it's fast paced. It's not 11 v 11, it's 6 v 6 and it brings out the best in players. You have to be really good with your footwork. It's a lot of action, a lot of goals. It's not like outdoors. You maybe have one goal, the whole game, maybe sometimes you don't even need one goal. It's a 0-0 draw. Our games are exciting. You'll see maybe up to 20 goals in a game. It's non-stop action, kind of like hockey. I just love it.

Luiz Morales, Texas Outlaws forward

Just the electricity it brings. If you miss your opportunity on one side of the field, in less than five seconds you can score on the other side of the field. It's just a game that’s so electric, so fast. Something that brings adrenaline into the body. It's fun. To me, that feels just great. That's why I love it. Fast and electrical and fun.

Ed Puskarich, Dallas Sidekicks head coach

It's fast. It's family entertainment. We're entertainers. It's another brand of soccer. It's unique. It's a little bit like hockey, a little bit like basketball, a little bit like outdoor soccer, mixed all into one. I think the players’ accessibility to the everyday fan is also vital because we're right there. After games, we all have the fans come on the field and get autographs with the players and intermingle. It's just a great way to entertain our families and our young soccer players by playing a great sport.

Stefan Stokic, Kansas City Comets head coach

What is there not to love about indoor soccer? I never played indoor soccer until I came to the United States. The moment I came to trial for the Kansas City Comets, I fell in love with it. The fast pace, the goalscoring, the technical ability you have to have, the technique you have to have to play in this game. Everything is great about it; the players that I played against and played with, high-level players. The indoor game is just fun, fun to watch, fun to play. There's nothing you can't love about it.

Jamie Swanner, St. Louis Ambush assistant coach

The main thing is the fans. You should look at the fans’ faces after a game, after a goal. Those are the ones that I don't think that we give enough credit. If you look at the biggest picture of all, in any sport, without fans you're not playing. I don't think we give enough back to them. I think that's our ultimate goal. I haven't played a game since '99. There's a walk-on the field and everybody's screaming, "Jamie! Jamie." How do they remember me? Some of the kids were not even thought of it (when I played). There are kids who are four- or five-years-old. I coached their mom and dad back in high school and in college. They still remember that.

Tatu, Texas Outlaws head coach

I love soccer. That's the first part. The second part is what I love indoor is about the electricity, the fast pace, the action and the goal opportunities and the goals scored. It's a game where your IQ has to be probably two or three times ahead of the base of the outdoor game because indoor is much faster and quicker. It is an angle game. You have the boards and have all the different directions. It brings a different view, a different frame of mind than what the outdoor does.

I like to see a little bit more risk-taking games. I think indoors is a risk-taking game. I remember when we played, people used to say to go out (to the concession stands) and get some food. When you come back, you have missed a lot. You maybe miss a goal or two. It is a full entertainment type of game. Sometimes it scares me to see when a game is 1-0 at halftime. I’m like, "My God, that's not indoor soccer." If you play in the proper way, it's not going to be a 1-0 game.

Joey Tavernese, Harrisburg Heat forward

I fell in love with the game the first time I really watched it. I remember watching it as a kid on ESPN, … a replay of the Kansas City Comets on YouTube. I saw Byron Alvarez score a goal and jump into the crowd and put on a sombrero. I was watching to learn the game before the MISL combine, but after I saw the connection between the players and the fans, I realized it was much more than just a game. It truly is a special league and a special game. Some of the creativity, passing, and goals scored are really spectacular. You can’t forget about the crazy goalies making saves from five yards away … You see everything from bicycle kicks, to chips, to one-timers.

What really makes the league special is the people. The front office and staff are some of the nicest, most genuine people you would ever meet. The fans truly would do anything for the players and the club.  But most important are the people inside the boards. I have played with these guys and been coached by the men on different teams. I have been fortunate enough to travel the world with the futsal and arena national teams. The stories and memories I have are endless. I always tell the guys (that) Messi and Ronaldo may have stardom and money, but they will never have the stories and memories we’ve made.

Keith Tozer, MASL commissioner

I think it fits my personality. I think it's almost like day trading. Monday you're winning and Tuesday you're losing and Wednesday you're winning again. The coach is more involved in the game, and he has more of an impact. Outdoor, which I love, it's a lot of preparing for the week and then make four or five substitutions. It's a different game. Maybe I could have been a basketball coach because it's the same thing. Also, the influence that coach has on the game and individual players on multiple times, and I think that's why I love it. The goalscoring, the saves, the crowd right there. You put that all together, I fell in love with it.

Nick Vasos, Kansas City Comets announcer

I love indoor soccer because there is no sport like it. It is soccer, regardless of what anybody says. It is the fastest version of it and I love it. It permeates every nook and cranny across the world. Look at our team. It's made up of Americans, people from South America, Central America, Eastern Europe. It is a sport that brings people together. I'm all about that. I'm all about bringing people together for one common goal. It's my favorite form of soccer. I mean I love MLS. I love the Premier League. I love all that. But the indoor game is by far my most favorite form of soccer.

Paul Wright, Empire Strykers head coach

For me, playing, it was just the excitement being in the arena where fans are closer to you. You're just more involved. Every time you step on the field, you're involved in a play. It's just the excitement. It's soccer, but it's just condensed into a small field with people right on top of you. So, it's just a more exciting game for me. We all grew up and fell in love with the outdoor game, but I quickly fell in love with indoor game, the excitement and the energy of it.


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