by Alf de Blasis

The Mississauga MetroStars of the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) confirmed today the expansion club has acquired the rights to Canadian midfielder Marco Rodriguez from MASL South Central Division rivals, the Florida Tropics. The 26-year-old Toronto native will join the MetroStars for the 2018/19 MASL season.

At age 15, Rodriguez left Canada to join the youth academy of Argentinian club Atletico Platense. During that time, he was called into both Canada’s U17 and U20 national team programs. Rodriguez also played briefly for Uruguay’s Defensor Sporting and spent a year in the Toronto FC academy. Marco joined the Canadian Futsal program in 2016 and represented his country at the CONCACAF Championships in Costa Rica that year.

Rodriguez scored 10 goals and recorded 7 assists over two seasons with the Tropics. He becomes the 12th player to sign with the MetroStars for the upcoming season. As per league and team policies, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Also today, the MetroStars’ ownership group, Gladiator Sports, announced that H2O Digital has been named as the club’s digital marketing agency of record. H2O Digital is a Toronto-based full service digital marketing agency that combines creativity and technology to deliver results-driven campaigns that resonate with audiences and hit client’s goals. Full support of the MetroStars launches today with the roll-out of a social and digital marketing program.

 “We’re thrilled to announce this new partnership with H2O Digital Marketing,” said Gladiator Sports Founder and MetroStars’ President and CEO Serge Giancola. 

“Our agency is ecstatic at the opportunity to work with this innovative group to bring arena soccer to Canada," said H2O Digital Managing Partner Zeev Orzakovski. "We know sports enthusiasts and fans alike will be as excited as we are when we get to witness the first kick at the first game.”

The MetroStars will play in the MASL’s Eastern Division, with Utica City FC, Harrisburg Heat and the defending champion Baltimore Blast. The MetroStars’ home opener against the Florida Tropics, at the newly named Paramount Fine Foods Centre in Mississauga, is set for Saturday, December 8, at 3:05pm. Season pass subscriptions and single game ticket information will be announced soon.