MELVINDALE, Mich. - Detroit Waza Flo will try to remain in first place in the Major Arena Soccer League's Eastern Division when they take on the Rochester Lancers on Saturday night.
Detroit head coach Costea Decu's team is coming off an impressive and energizing 8-4 win in their home opener last week against Harrisburg Heat and hope to continue that "Flo" when they welcome Rochester into the MASL.
Rochester was not even sure -- as recently as August -- if they would be part of this new league when their owner Salvatore "Soccer Sam" Fantauzzo announced originally that they would not be, but later said that decision was initially based on health issues.
One of those issues may have been related to the newly-announced head coach Doug Miller, who led the MISL in scoring his last season. Miller has battled shoulder problems but said he would not only take on the new position and be president of team operations, but also would still play as a forward for the Lancers.
He announced Friday the signings of Roberto Acosta, JP Reyes and Brian Knapp as playing this season with the Lancers prior to the game in Detroit.
Saturday's game will have some irregularities that have not faced indoor soccer in the past. This year, the league is split up as to how the point system will be tallied.
Waza owner/player/assistant coach Dominic Scicluna and his organization are one of the teams that decided when the MASL was being formed that they wanted to stick with single score point system that is used in outdoor soccer. A few teams from the former MISL league (Waza played in the former PASL) including the Lancers, decided to use a multi-point system which would give 2 to 3 points depending on the goal.
Fans at first may feel this would create some confusion, however, the ruling on the system is quite simple. Home team advantage or in this case, home team rules apply. Therefore, the game tomorrow will go on the single point scoring system that Waza has adopted. One goal equals one point.
Due to unforeseen events this week, Detroit will have some adjusting to do tomorrow night as their veteran and player Michael Grba was injured and ruptured ligaments. Grba is an explosive and impressive force on the field for Waza and was key in many of the crucial plays last week just as he is every game.
"It is going to be a good test for us and we will approach the game with respect for the Lancers but at the same time with a lot of confidence in our team," said coach Decu. "Grba is a great player and we will miss him on the field, however, we have a duty of honor to fight for him and maybe by the end of the game, we can bring Mike a little joy."
A win Saturday would bring joy not only to the coach and Grba, but also to the entire Waza Flo team and fans in their first inaugural MASL matchup against a former MISL team.
Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $8 for children ages 3-12.
Tickets can be purchased online here.
The full schedule can be found here.
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