New Jersey Soccer News

MISL disbands, could Ironmen be gone for good?


The Major Indoor Soccer League has disbanded in a move league officials say is a temporary one made in order to reorganize the league and prepare it for more changes and possible entry into new markets.

One market the league may not return to next season is the New York/New Jersey area, with sources telling SBI that the New Jersey Ironmen could be out of business after just one season. The Ironmen drew a large crowd to its first home match at Prudential Center in Newark, in large part to an appearance by Pele, but the club struggled all year to draw crowds, making the financial viability and future of the Ironmen extremely questionable.

What does the future hold for the MISL? That is anybody’s guess.

What do you think of this news? Have you gone to indoor matches? Do you think the league is doomed to fail? Share your thoughts on the MISL disbanding, and Ironmen potentially disappearing, below.

  • jevanvoo

    I hope they do come back, although completely different from the outdoor game, it was entertaining


  • brett

    i only saw 1 game on FSC, but were there in fact 2pt goals as well as 1pt goals?? either way, i hope they drop that and bring in Futsal instead… a far superior game compared to the walled in red-headed step child version… itd be cheaper then indoor, plus theres alot more 1 on 1’s and fancier tricks being pulled… indoor always seemed to me as who can run the fastest and kick the hardest

    Indy used to have a an indoor team, but they went away quite some time ago….


  • EDB

    I dunno.. indoor soccer seems to have a new league every 3 years.. I just don’t know if it will ever catch on enough to have enough support..


  • Graeme

    You mean Jamar Beasley is going to have to blame someone else yet again? After all, he washed out of AC Milan, helped Puteolano get demoted out of a professional level in Italy, & washed out of MLS. Now possibly no more futsal either?



  • kpugs

    I got to watch the home opener this year from a lux box, I was lucky. And it wasn’t even remotely entertaining. To be fair, I hate seeing ANY soccer league disappear, and I wanted MISL to succeed just for the sake of the sport.

    But it wasn’t soccer…2 points for a goal? 3 pointers? No one even close to talented? I didn’t want the league to fail, but it was destined to fail even before it began.


  • Hincha Tim

    I would like to see the MISL reinvent itself as a Futsol league. I think it would really catch on and has much more long term potential as futsol is growing tremendously in popularity with the general soccer playing crowd. You could bring in some Brazilian stars, etc.


  • brett

    kpugs- thanks for verifying my theory on the league… couldnt understand how the teams would put away 2 pointers… my problem with it is it seems to be trying to draw in non-soccer fans first by incorporating larger scores….

    start promoting Futsal… get rid of the walls completely… it’ll be cheaper… smaller field…. fewer players… and the game will show off more ind. talent


  • Jeff

    I find the MISL games enjoyable, but I would only pay $10 max for a ticket. So how much money can you make? I’m not surprised.


  • NJ Guy Stuck in DC

    Fun to play when it is winter outside; awful to watch. Will never be more than a curiousity sport in most areas and a waste in an area like NJ/NY where there is a lot of stuff going on.


  • Brian from Aston

    The MISL really only appeals to little kids, because of the high score, once yet get older, it’s a waste of money to watch. I also agree with the emergence of futsal, if people want to see American creativity on the ball, that will help develop it…since we could use some creativity on the nat’l team now!!


  • nathan3e

    Given that the USL off-season is incredibly long, it would seem some sort of synergy between USL and MISL could work. There is already player crossover and it is obviously not possible to play outdoors in Montreal and Minnesota in December.


  • PCFC

    I am really happy that this secondary sport failed. Personally, anything that directly competes with the MLS is something I do not want to succeed. So I am happy that the following of the NJ Ironmen will now have more resources to throw into MLS and the NYRB.

    I have always felt that soccer fans should watch soccer (not futsal or indoor), American football fans should watch football (not that arena crap), and the same for all variations of sports.


  • Goat

    I went to quite a few Cleveland Force games in the mid-to-late ’80s (and watched them on WUAB 43) and played indoor soccer in the winter for 6 or 7 years as a youth player as well. It was a good way to stay in shape and maintain your skills during the winter but I can’t exactly say I’m sad to see it go. I was hardly aware it existed anyway.


  • irishapple21

    Anything that gets people interested in soccer is a good thing. However, MISL made the same mistakes as MLS in starting out: They tried to reinvent the wheel. Use futsal rules and work with US Soccer to develop the US National Futsal Team. We have done well in the Futsal World Cup before but with a pro futsal league we could do even better. Stop with the lame 2-pt and 3-pt goals and have some respect for the sport.


  • Matt


    I disagree that indoor takes away from MLS. The timing of the leagues allows for year round.

    nathan3e is right about the alliances. Is is strange enough that ULS and MLS have no connection, much less MISL. These league need to connect in order to provide product for all major markets in the US and year round play.

    I’m not sure if indoor is viable in the long run or if we’d really miss it if it went under. Honestly, I rarely watched it and Detroit plays twenty minute from my house.

    However, we can’t have our soccer leagues working against each other.

    No where else in the world has such an organization. I typically don’t care what other countries do but, in this case, a revamp throughout the sport is necessary.

    Soccer only makes up one half of one percent of the American sports market. Contrary to popular belief among soccer afficienados, the sport can fail to take hold as it has many times before. The leagues must cooperate if they want to avoid that happening again.


  • Rocco

    I think they should just can the indoor thing and go with Futsal instead. I have only seen youtube clips, but it looks pretty cool.


  • CD

    I went to my first MISL game almost 30 years ago. For many years it was the only professional soccer league in this country that I am aware of. The Cleveland Force will always bring back some great memories for me. They were the first soccer team I ever was a fan of. I am not against any opportunity for soccer players in this country to earn an income. I hope the MISL can come back and keep soccer being played throughout the winter months.


  • Sandro

    Interesting article Ives. I never went to MISL but futsal looks fun. I have played indoor soccer and it is a lot different than playing outdoors. As far as MISL succeeding, MLS still only has a few teams who have turned a profit, and that is with soccer which is a more followed sport than futsal.

    Will the MLS be after any of the players in MISL?


  • Tim F.

    I have not followed MISL; indoor matches are too far away from CT.

    I know that MISL had survived for sometime although I don’t know how strong its financial footing has been.

    If I had to choose, I would rather support a stronger MLS reserve league than an indoor league (although I think amateur futsal is great and hope it continues!!!)


  • brett

    Sandro- not sure what you think Futsal is, but it’s a more technical version of soccer… small field… no walls… tiny ball… it is the indoor sport the rest of the world plays… popular down south (ie. s.america) and all of the greats have played it…

    alot of the issues with people not following soccer is it’s slow and uneventful (as ignorant of an opinon as that is, thats the issue)… Futsal solves both… its a quick game with loads of 1 v 1’s and technical moves….



    I went to a few of the Baltimore Blast games — and it was a blast! haha… But seriously – the pricing was so high for a low-rate indoor match – i was paying 24+ for nosebleeds – but it was a great crowd and atmosphere. Id rather put my 24$ for a decent seat at RFK to support United.


  • aristotle

    Who cares? It’s not soccer. I will always view indoor “soccer” as the sport the soccer haters tried to use to replace the real soccer in this country.


  • KingSnake

    WUSA “temporarily suspended operations” to “reorganize”. That was five years ago. No one has heard of them since.


  • Hincha Tim

    Do not equate futsal and indoor soccer, either to play or to watch. Futsal is an internationally recognized sport which is exciting to watch and is, if anything, more technical and exciting than outdoor (and this comes from a lifelong outdoor soccer player). More and more soccer clubs (including the club I coach for) are recognizing the importance of futsal for developing gifted technically accomplished players. I think a pro futsal league with modest ambitions could actually do very well. Salt Lake City has a big tournament every January and it is exciting to go watch the different levels.


  • ag nigrin

    I feel bad for them but never really cared for the indoor game… It was like the 35 yard offside rule and the shootout for ties in the old NASL… a gimmick to hope Americans would gravitate towards soccer…


  • Alan in Detroit

    MISL – an acquired taste. Not one that I acquired, after seeing a few games on FSC. The Detroit team was well supported and promoted, since Hantz was a bigwig in the league and owner of the Detroit team. However the ticket prices were insane (+$20), and the venue was hard to get to in the far western suburbs.

    I really like the futsal idea that others have posted. At least that is a game that has some international following.


  • Sharkrunner

    What would the possibility be of MLS having a winter futsal league for their players to do during the off season. Make it two months long with straight home and away games with no playoffs. It would be for the players that aren’t getting a lot of playing time and could use the extra work. I think it would help bring the league standard of play up. The are a million problems but everything I hear about Futsal says it helps your game.


  • brett

    Sharkrunner- a great idea.. altho we’d be looking at a load of new expenses… a place to play… jersey’s… travel… while it may help the league, it could also drive debt into the pockets of the owners…

    if it wouldnt, then i would say it would be an excellent idea


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