While most of the outdoor soccer world has managed to retake the field since the COVID-19 pandemic shut most of the country down in March, their indoor counterparts have been stuck in idle.
The shutdown has been devastating at all levels of indoor soccer. Just this past week the Santa Clarita Soccer Center announced it was closing after 26 years, and the venerable Inwood Soccer Center, longtime practice facility of the Dallas Sidekicks, said good-bye after 35 years in business.
Undeterred, the Premier Arena Soccer League is completing its long-paused 2019-20 season with their National Championship tournament weekend October 9-11 at GameTime Training Center and The Field Sports Arena in Cincinnati.
The weekend will include small-sided soccer coaching and referee clinics, a PASL Annual General Meeting, and two days of men’s and women’s tournament games on October 10 and 11.
With travel and player availability still an issue, the truncated tournaments will still feature six men’s and four women’s teams from as far away as New Mexico and Washington state.
The men’s slate includes defending the PASL champion Cincinnati Swerve and the Detroit Waza Flo, 2007-08’s national champions. The Indiana Lions and Queen City Sonics are the last two of four teams representing the Great Lakes Division at the tournament.
The Springfield Demize will put their undefeated season on the line (7-0-1 in the Midwest Division) and the final team is Bellingham United from the Western Indoor Soccer League. This is the fourth straight season that the WISL champion has competed in the PASL National Championship, and the third trip for Bellingham.
The men’s side will start with group play on Saturday. Cincinnati, Bellingham and Detroit will fight out of Group A, while Indiana, Queen City, and Springfield duke it out in Group B. The first place teams will get a bye into the semifinals while the other four teams will face off in elimination games Saturday night.
The women’s tournament will feature the Cincinnati Sirens, last year’s women’s champion, who went 6-0-1 with a dominant +92 goal differential. They will be challenged by The Field Stars, a local entry, the Grand Rapids Wanderers, and the 2020-21 expansion New Mexico Lightning.
The women’s final will take place Sunday at The Field Sports Arena at 1:45pm followed by the men’s championship at 2:45pm. Tickets are $7 daily or $10 for the weekend. Youth 12 & under are just $3.