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Tacoma Stars back at top level of indoor soccer; replace Seattle Impact in MASL

StarsMASLHere's the word from the club:

The Tacoma Stars are headed back to the professional indoor soccer ranks. Effective immediately, the Tacoma Stars will replace the Seattle Impact in the MASL, representing the state of Washington at the highest level indoor league in the United States. Lane Smith, owner for the Tacoma Stars, purchased the rights to the team this week.

The Stars will continue in the WISL where they are 5-0-0 in league play and 8-0-0 in all competitions while also competing in the remaining games for the MASL season. The MASL Stars will make their debut Friday January 16 at 7:30 PM in the SMG-managed ShoWare Center in Kent against the indoor powerhouse San Diego Sockers. Tickets to Friday's Stars-Sockers match are available online at www.ShoWareCenter.com. All tickets are half price and the Stars invite fans to celebrate the sport of indoor soccer buy allowing kids 12 and under in free on Friday with a purchase of an equal number of adult tickets.

“We started something with our partners in the WISL and we plan on fulfilling this commitment. Our priority is to win the WISL Championship. The formation of the Stars merged two groups of individuals that all desired the highest level of sport. Our team is led by one of the sport's very best in Darren Sawatzky and our staff has worked hard to create something special,” stated John Crouch, General Manager, “We really look forward to playing San Diego in the ShoWare Center this Friday.”

The staff and team for the Stars will stay intact and the players will be moving with the organization to the next level. With a short lead time before the Friday match the Stars will be looking to revive an old mainstay rivalry with the Sockers that dates back to the 1980's.

“At all levels, you are tasked with managing multiple competitions and roster shuffling. Our concentration is on the WISL, but we will look at the remainder of the MASL season as an open competition for us to gauge the level for next season as we continue to help players develop and win games,” said Darren Sawatzky, head coach.

Lane Smith will kick out the honorary “First Goal” at the ShoWare Center this Friday cementing his commitment to the local soccer evolution. Smith wants to build on the Stars revival and grow the game to the highest level.

“We want to do the right thing for the soccer community and our Tacoma Stars team has been growing with each week so this decision made sense. We are very excited to partner with the ShoWare Center and work to build the Stars brand in the years to come,” added Smith. “I remember watching the Stars in the past and we are seeing that level of excitement return to our loyal fan base”.

“We are excited to be working with the Tacoma Stars ownership during this transition,” said ShoWare Center’s General Manager, Tim Higgins. “We look forward to seeing the continued growth of professional indoor soccer in Kent for many years to come.”

The original Tacoma Stars were founded by the late John Best and made their debut in the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) back in 1983 at the Tacoma Dome. The MISL era for the Stars lasted nine seasons until 1992. In 2004 a group of local players took the name “Tacoma Stars” and formed a team in the Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL). That team played until 2013, winning two national titles along the way. In the summer of 2014 Lane Smith bought the rights to the name “Tacoma Stars,” and the Stars revived by helping found the Western Indoor Soccer League (WISL). The Stars still have three matches and playoffs to complete their WISL season. The WISL Stars play at the traditional training home of the professional Tacoma Stars, the Tacoma Soccer Center.

Tacoma Stars Fast Facts

1983-1992 - Tacoma Stars play in the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL)

2004-2013 – Local players reboot Stars name in Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL)

2014- - Tacoma Stars reboot and help form the Western Indoor Soccer League (WISL)

2015- - Tacoma Stars purchase rights to Seattle Impact FC and join the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL)

MASL / WISL STARS: Owner – Lane Smith, Head Coach - Darren Sawatzky, General Manager – John Crouch.

Stars homes over the years – Tacoma Dome, Tacoma Soccer Center, Starfire Sports, Pacific Sports Center, ShoWare Center

Notable Stars coaches over the years – Alan Hinton (MISL), Greg Howes (PASL), Darren Sawatzky (WISL, MASL)

Notable Stars players over the years – Preki, Steve Zungul, Ricky Davis, Peter Ward, Dale Mitchell (MISL), Greg Howes (PASL), Joe Jarzynka, Derek Johnson, Aaron Anderson, Raphael Cox (WISL)

Stars national championships: 2004 PASL, 2010 PASL.

The Stars had just one winning season in their original era in the MISL. They went 35-17 in 1986-87, won the Western Conference, then lost 4-3 to the Dallas Sidekicks in overtime of game 7 in the finals before 21,000 fans at the Tacoma Dome.

STARS ONLINE: www.TacomaStars.com, www.Twitter.com/TacomaStarsSC, www.Facebook.com/TacomaStars

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