Milwaukee Wave reach affiliation agreement with Muskegon Risers
The seven-time champion Milwaukee Wave, Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) and Muskegon Risers, Major Arena Soccer League II (M2) have reached a formal agreement through the MASL’s Affiliation Program. Elements of the partnership include:
1. Combined tryouts at Shoreline Soccer Club on October 27
2. A visit by Muskegon to Milwaukee for a preseason game on November 21
3. Cross-promotion of Wave games throughout the season
4. Player development and tactical mentoring by the Wave coaching staff for Risers players and coaches
5. Milwaukee holds MASL rights of Muskegon players for call-ups
6. Muskegon will function as the primary player development partner of the Wave and will offer playing opportunities for Wave players who need additional game action
The agreement is the first of its kind that will help prove MASL’s vision of a tiered structure for player development. In addition, to identify teams in market who have the potential of building up to the MASL level.
“The relationship between our MASL and M2 teams is vitally important for the future of professional arena soccer,” said MASL commissioner Joshua Schaub. “As we work to build out the pyramid of arena soccer in North America, we are excited to see the Milwaukee Wave and Muskegon Risers leading the way in our new affiliation program.”
As it relates to player development, both Muskegon and Milwaukee’s coaching staffs are eager to get to work.
“To be an affiliate of one of the best, if not the best, professional indoor soccer teams in North America is great for our fans, players, and coaches,” remarked Ben Ritsema, Risers head coach. “Ever since the Risers joined the MASL system by playing in the M2, I have wanted to be an affiliate of one of the clubs in the MASL. I can’t wait to work with the Milwaukee Wave staff on improving our training, coaching philosophies, and player development for our upcoming season.”
"MKE Wave is excited for this opportunity to combine forces with the Muskegon Risers to help identify and develop talent for the Arena game." said Milwaukee Wave head coach, Giuliano Oliviero,"The Muskegon Risers are the perfect affiliate to create a stronger connection between MASL and M2 to offer our players and coaching staffs more opportunities in this great game of Arena soccer."
Collaboration will also occur at the business level. For instance, during Muskegon’s November 21 preseason visit to Milwaukee, the Wave will offer a behind-the-scenes look at their game-day operations for Muskegon to apply at their home games in L. C. Walker Arena. There are also several opportunities for cross-promotion that will be leveraged as the season progresses.