by Cecelie Pikus

Commissioner of the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) Joshua Schaub announced today that an MASL franchise will call the Adirondack Bank Center its home, beginning this 2018-19 season. CEO of Mohawk Valley Garden Robert Esche followed the announcement with the unveiling of the team name – Utica City FC – along with the team logos and jersey design. Utica City FC will join 17 other teams across the United States, Canada, and Mexico in the most competitive indoor soccer league in the world.

The press conference, held at 72 Tavern and Grill, featured an overview of the MASL, the presentation of the Utica City FC’s brand, and remarks from Commissioner Schaub. Esche also announced the appointment of Tommy Tanner as General Manager and Richard Shaw as Broadcaster/Media & Brand Manager.

Tanner comes to Utica City FC with the Syracuse Silver Knights, where he served as their General Manager since 2011 after retiring from a 14-year professional indoor and outdoor soccer career. During his career, Tanner spent eight years as Captain of the Rochester Rhinos, and won himself seven championships.

Shaw, a native of Northwestern England and graduate of Le Moyne College, also experienced a successful collegiate and professional soccer career before turning his attention to growing the grassroots of soccer. During his college playing career, he was an NJCAA Division I National Champion, All-American, and a three-time MVP. He also co-wrote Coaching Outside the Box: Changing the Mindset in Youth Soccer U.K. sport scientist Paul Mairs. Shaw is also a commentator for Division I college soccer on ESPN.

"This is a positive step for arena soccer and for the MASL. Utica fans are passionate about their hometown teams and Tommy (Tanner) has put together a competitive and exciting product that fans from the entire region will support. If they like hockey, they’ll love arena soccer. I am excited about what Robert (Esche) and his team can do with Utica City and how that will propel the league forward," said Schaub.

I am very excited to help bring professional soccer to the City of Utica,” expressed Tanner. “Utica City FC and its players will become a staple in the local community. I cannot wait till for season to begin.”

“From my first meeting with Rob Esche, Pat Donovan, and Tommy Tanner, it was clear that the plans for Utica City FC would bring something special to the area,” said Richard Shaw. “The professionalism of this new franchise, along with what it can potentially do for the growth of the sport in the surrounding communities, is why I am involved.”

“It’s an honor to bring another sports brand – Utica City FC – to what is an extremely deserving area,” said Esche. “I look forward to resonating with the entirety of our city through the sport of soccer, a sport that has finally hit a tipping point of popularity throughout the country and a sport that speaks an international language, helping to galvanize the voice of our refugee community.”

“I’m really excited about the new franchise in Utica, and to see how the fans and community embrace us as an organization committed to making a difference both on and off the field,” expressed defender Darren Toby.

Bank of Utica, Empire Recycling, and Merrill Lynch, Utica City FC’s three founding partners, were instrumental in bringing the team to Utica.

Utica City FC will play 24 games throughout their season, with 12 of those games taking place at the Adirondack Bank Center. The MASL season runs from December through March, with playoffs to crown the Ron Newman Cup Champion.

Season Ticket packages, starting at $80, will be available beginning on Thursday, June 14, at noon. Season Tickets can be purchased at the Adirondack Bank Center box office or online at Please call 315-790-9070 for more information.

Prior to December, camps and clinics featuring an array of professional indoor players will take place throughout Utica and the surrounding areas.

Fans are encouraged to visit and follow the team on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for ticket information, news and announcements, information on camps and clinics, merchandise, and more about Utica City FC.