Open Letter from MASL Commissioner Joshua Schaub
To the United States Soccer Community:
We sit here today only a few days removed from the unsettling loss by the United States Men’s National soccer team. Since that game, many have searched for the causes, the fault and solutions for the team’s failure.
Over the last twenty years, as soccer popularity has boomed across North America, players have been presented with many new opportunities to develop as professionals in the USL, NASL, MLS and the MASL.
The gap in talent between players from North America and players from the Caribbean and Central American countries is closing despite the difference in economic prowess. That gap will continue to tighten even as the United States looks to regroup and qualify for the 2022 World Cup.
As we contemplate what could become of the plans to elevate U.S. Soccer to the status to which it belongs based on the resources, population, and leadership it has at its disposal, I believe it appropriate to instruct those in power to look beyond traditional avenues to developing outdoor players. In my position, it’s obvious that I advocate for U.S. Soccer to explore the possibilities of the indoor soccer world as another funnel to raise the U.S. Soccer program.
In order to have a world class soccer culture, the skills and tactics of our players must be developed and all forms of the beautiful game must be embraced. Looking at the MASL and our game as a whole, indoor soccer can play a valuable part in developing the next generation of world-class players.
From a structural level, indoor soccer requires a similar set of skills as the outdoor game. However, with smaller playing fields, more individual touches for players and a heightened brand of physicality, the indoor game can help develop and refine these skills for these players at an accelerated rate.
Equally as important, the MASL has arenas, indoor facilities, fan bases, and outreach that can get more children involved in the game on a year-round basis. If the indoor game is embraced by the U.S. soccer culture as a development tool, programs can be implemented to guarantee play for younger players and provide year-round outreach to our player and fan base.
The inclusion of the indoor game as part of the US Soccer culture is an untapped avenue. The MASL stands ready to assist U.S. soccer in raising the level of play for many years to come. Please, utilize this game and embrace it for the beauty it holds in the grander scheme of the game.
Commissioner, Major Arena Soccer League