On yesterday's weekly Kick This Show I announced my 2018 MASL All-Star team. With the help of Dante (Dantos) Cilino, Soccer Santino and Soccer Salvatore we picked our 2018 favorites. We also picked this years rookie of the year, coach of the year, coach of the century, best fans, top owner and our favorite team photographer for 2018. All ten players coincidentally played for the Rochester Lancers with 5 of them in this years playoffs and 2 of them definitely in this years final and possibly a 3rd player depending on today's winner at 5pm on MASL TV with the San Diego Sockers visiting Monterrey Mexico against the Flash.
Players include Joey Kapinos, goalkeeper for the Baltimore Blast, Joey was laying on his couch watching MASL TV when he received a call from Blast GM Kevin Healy after the Vanzella injury. Joey reported to the Blast the next morning and played 9 games helping the Blast make the playoffs. Kapinos played in 2 playoffs wins against the Silver Knights and was named the Kick This player of the game in both matches. Joey and Andrew Hoxie are in the MASL finals.
Robert (Roberto) Acosta of the St. Louis Ambush made the official MASL 1st Team All-MASL with 49 blocks. Jake (the snake) Schindler helped the Silver Knights make the 2018 playoffs with his amazing play. Earthquake Jake, had 7 goals and 9 assists with I assist in the playoffs. Stephen (Stefano) Basso of the Harrisburg Heat only played 9 games this season. The Heat struggled after Basso's injury. JP Reyes of the Florida Tropics also left the turf early with an injury. JP's absent hurt the Tropics in their late season playoff push. Chili Farias of the Monterrey Flash made the list with his 9 goals and 22 assists. Chili helped Monterrey advance into today's semi final against San Diego. He had 3 huge playoffs goals against Soles.
Mauricio Salles makes the list in three positions. Salles played all over the field for this seasons Tropics team. He was second in points with 19 goals and 22 assists despite playing a more defensive roll. Andrew Hoxie, "the big smooth" also helped the Baltimore Blast make the 2018 playoffs with his 16 goals and 9 assists. Mustache Mania continues throughout Baltimore with men, women and children wearing the Hoxie stache.
Forward Joey Tavernese led the Syracuse Silver Knights with 28 goals and 26 assists. Joey also had 2 important assists in the playoffs. Antonio Manfut led Rio Grande Valley with 20 goals and 8 assists. Antonio quickly became a huge fan favorite with his speed and his unique style and look.
KICK THIS! MASL 1st Team All-Stars.
- GK- Joey Kapinos (Baltimore Blast)
- D- Robert Acosta (St. Louis Ambush)
- D- Stephen Basso (Harrisburg Heat)
- D- JP Reyes (Florida Tropics)
- D- Jake Schindler (Syracuse Silver Knights)
- M- Chili Farias (Monterrey Flash)
- M-D-F- Mauricio Salles (Florida Tropics)
- F- Andrew Hoxie (Baltimore Blast)
- F- Antonio Manfut (Rio Grande Valley)
- F- Joey Tavernese (Syracuse Silver Knights)
The Kick This! Rookie of the year coincidentally also went to a Lancers player-
Michael Cunningham of the Syracuse Silver Knights who played 8 games.
Coach of the year based on team budgets and schedule went to Ryan Hall of the Syracuse Silver Knights. Ryan and his Knights had an impressive 13 and 9 record this past season. The Silver Knights gave the Baltimore Blast a battle in the playoffs.
This next Kick This! award is only given every 10 years. Danny Kelly the coach of the Baltimore Blast is the Kick This! Coach of the Century. Danny and the Blast will compete in the MASL finals for the third straight year winning the last two titles.
The Owner of the year was a tough one. I would of gave to Tommy Tanner of the Syracuse Silver Knights but every time I see Tommy I have flash backs of him yelling and screaming at me at my first and only playoff win as an owner with the Rochester Lancers. Tommy had more veins popping out of neck than my 90 year old grandmothers legs. I ate so much of his spit during his screaming, I felt violated.
This year's Owner of the year goes to Ed Hale, the owner of the Baltimore Blast. Hale and his dream team of Danny Kelly and Kevin Healy will be playing in the 11th of the last 12 Pro Indoor Championships. Ed and his 92 year old mother never miss a home game supporting his team and Ed flys around the country supporting his boys in the playoffs and championships each and every year.
Most cities in the MASL have great fans. Milwaukee, San Diego and Syracuse are three of my favorites but this years Kick This! Best Fans award goes to the Baltimore Blast Fans! The same fans have supported this team since 1992 with generations of the same families never missing a game no matter what arena they are playing at.
The Kick This! best MASL coverage site goes to Turf & Boards. Sydney Nusinov and Greg Suttie doing an amazing job covering our sport. Michael Lewis from Front Row Soccer joined the sport later in the season and we appreciate all the coverage.
My Favorite award this year goes to "The Official Unofficial League Photographer" Lewis Melcher. Lancer Lewis has covered our sport since the early 90's. His photos are art work that he shares with players and fans throughout the country.
All Kick This! Award winners will receive Free VIP Passes to the new Rochester Soccer Museum. The Museum located in Rochester NY will open July 4. 2018 and will be absolutely free to all visitors.
FEEL THE KICK! ss
KICK THIS ! THE SOCCERSAM SHOW
Kick This! is heard on iHeart radio worldwide and Fox Sports AM 1280 Rochester.
Kick This! the SoccerSam Show has been a Rochester soccer institution since 1995 featuring key guests and hosts covering the great sport of soccer. Rich Jones continues as the original producer of the show and Mike Moran continues as the original technical director. You can listen live to Kick This! every Saturday from 11-12pm worldwide on iHeart Radio, SoccerSam.com, and on Fox Sports 1280 Rochester.
Kick This ! is brought to you by Salvatore's Old Fashioned Pizzeria, Palmer's Direct to You Market, Donuts Delite, Arthur Treacher's, Speedy Slice Pizzeria, 1872 Cafe, and the Rochester Lancers. Weekly trivia contest prizes include Salvatore's gift cards and game tickets to local sports teams. KICK THIS ! The SOCCERSAM SHOW live every Saturday 11:05 am eastern time on WHTK 1280. You can also listen live and hear all past shows right here at Soccersam.com... Thanks and Feel The Kick... for life !
Salvatore "SoccerSam" Fantauzzo
SoccerSam was born and raised in Rochester, NY and fell in love with the great game of soccer in 1970 at the age of 10. Sam began playing that year with the Rochester Juniors and his uncle Al Oliveri took him to his first Lancers game. Sam has been an avid fan of Indoor and Outdoor American Soccer ever since and continues to play.
IFSL 1980-2000: SoccerSam took over as commissioner of the Irondequoit Fall Soccer League (IFSL) in 1980 with the help of his wife Linda. This 20 team league offered Fall soccer to some of the best former Pro players, college coaches and this areas best local players. In 1994, an all-star team traveled to Agropoli, Italy and won an adult tournament. SoccerSam and his board organized several international trips. In 2000 Sam & Linda opened America's first Soccer Themed Italian resturant. SoccerSam's Pizza Pasta Cafe opened in Webster NY.
SoccerSam TV Show 1994-2006: In 1994, SoccerSam started America's first weekly soccer TV show called "The SoccerSam Show" on Irondequoit cable access. This weekly show featured the IFSL all stars, trips to Italy and the first Rochester Lancers reunion game and award banquet. The show covered local youth and adult soccer, including section V soccer and local teams competing in the US Open Cup. The show went weekly on the WB network. Sam interviewed some of the greatest names in the history of soccer on this show including Pelé and Mia Hamm. 1995: The Rochester Rhinos were introduced and the focus of the show became making the Rhinos a success. The Rhinos became the most successful team in the history of American Soccer and many attribute the success of the team to the show.
Kick This! The SoccerSam Radio Show 1995-Present: This weekly radio show started in 1995 and several local soccer celebrities helped host the show. The show covers local and Professional indoor & outdoor American Soccer! Jeff DiVeronica of the Democrat & Chronicle has hosted this show with Sam for years, James Weise, Rich Randall, Andrew Battisti, "The Dean" Alex Loj, "The Don" Don Lalka and others helped host the show in the past. Rich "Kicker" Jones is the producer and Mike Moran is the Webmaster.
Rochester Rhinos 1996-2009: SoccerSam was the assistant to the GM Chris Economides since day one of the Rochester Rhinos. Sam took care of selling tickets, sponsorship, trades and most of the game day ideas for the early days of the Rhinos. Sam was part of the Rhinos radio team for years and introduced the Post Game Call-In Show. The Rhinos played at Frontier Field from 1996- 2005 and became the most successful soccer team in history under the ownership of Frank Duross, Steve Donner & Chris Economides. SoccerSam and Chris Economides had been friends since High School. In 2006, both men ventured to Cary NC and helped bring Pro Soccer to Cary North Carolina with the Rail Hawks. In 2008, under new owner Rob Clark, Sam became the Team President and helped rebuild attendance, sponsorship sales and new concessions. 2008 & 2009 became the only successful years off the field at the new soccer stadium. Sam and Rich Randal brought the Frontier excitement and feel to the new stadium. In July 2009 Sam had life changing surgery and was never asked to return to Rhinos.
Rochester Lancers (Indoor) In 1995, SoccerSam purchased the Rochester Lancers name and logo as part of his soccer memorabilia collection. In 2010, SoccerSam started negotiating with the Chris Economides of the USL to be part of the new indoor I-League. The USL struggled to attract teams to the newly formed I-League. At the 2010/2011 MISL Championship game in Baltimore, SoccerSam convinced MISL commissioner David Grimaldi to meet with the USL and bring current teams. 2011/2012 the new MISL under the USL banner was launched with 4 existing MISL teams and 3 new I-League teams. SoccerSam decided to use his beloved Rochester Lancers name and logo for this new indoor MISL team.
SoccerSam brought in lifelong friends to help with this venture. On the ownership side, Sam brought in local businessman & former minority owner of the Rhinos, Christopher J. Wilmot; cousin John Coraggioso, a longtime franchisee in the Salvatore's Old Fashioned Pizzeria chain; local businessmen & owners of over 30 Dunkin' Donuts locations Luis Ribero & Dom Vieira; and CPA Steve Stokes, all lifelong soccer fans. For social media & internet support, he brought in Mike Moran of Spinning Webs, who helped create the Rochester Rhinos web site. Rich Randall, who had worked side by side with Sam in 2008 and 2009 as they helped re-launch the Rhinos with Rob Clark was named VP of Soccer Operations. Mike Moran, Patty Powers, Donna Wassdorp, Kayla Klark Kent, Lyndsay Dimeo, Ashley Maria King operated the day to day with Sam & Rich with several amazing college interns.
Several friends and former Rhinos staff members volunteered to help Sam with the indoor Lancers. Jill Rizzo, John Catalano, Joe Giuliano, Rocky Perrotta, Phil Mercato, James Weise and Eric Trendel all helped with the game day. Patty Powers handled the marketing as she had been for the past 18 years for all of Sam's projects.
On the team side former Rhinos players and staff helped launch this new indoor team. Dave DiPasquale, John Berardicurdi, Billy Andracki, Craig Demmin, Francisco Escos, Billy Ginther, Rey "Boom-Boom" Martinez, John Ball, Mauricio Salles, Patrick Hannigan and the living legend Doug Miller.
The indoor Rochester Lancers began play in the Fall of 2011 at their home field the Blue Cross Arena at the Rochester Community War Memorial and played three seasons in the USL owned MISL and one season in the MASL.
- 2011-2012: 11-13, average home attendance 5,675 - Head coach Billy Andracki
- 2012-2013: 10-16, average home attendance 5,975 - Head coach Jim Hesch
- 2013-2014: 6-14, average home attendance 7,347 - Head coach Josh Rife
- 2014-2015: 10-10, average home attendance TBA - Head Coach Doug Miller
- The indoor Rochester Lancers were forced to take the 2015-16 season off because of NYSIF and NY Workmen's Comp issues.
In May 2016, Ed Hale founded the IPL - Indoor Pro League - and named SoccerSam Fantauzzo its first Commissioner. Months later SoccerSam helped negotiate the return of teams to the MASL for the 2016/2017 season. The Blast won the championship!
In April, 2017 SoccerSam was approached by Marc Mandell, Nick Mojsovski and Doug Miller to join the NPSL Rochester RiverDogz. The name and logo was changed to Rochester Lancers. Also in April 2017, the New WNY Flash joined the UWS league and needed a travel partner. SoccerSam & Ashley Maria King introduced the Lady Lancers in less than 30 days!
The outdoor Rochester Lancers and Rochester Lady Lancers began play in the spring of 2017 at the Charlie Schiano Sr. Field at the Aquinas Institute in Rochester. The women's team is coached by Sal Galvano & Loren Inglese in the United Women's Soccer league. The men's team is coached by Rochester soccer legend Doug Miller and plays in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). Marc Mandell serves as the GM of the men's Rochester Lancers, while Loren Inglese is GM of the Rochester Lady Lancers
Ashley Maria King serves as the VP of Operations of both teams.
For the 2017 season, the NPSL Lancers record was 6/4/2. The squad missed the playoffs by a single point. The Lady Lancers went winless in year one.
On 2/1/2018, Kayla Klark Kent rejoined the Lancers as Director of Soccer Operations.
Salvatore's Old Fashioned Pizzeria: SoccerSam Fantauzzo is also the Founder and CEO of Salvatore's Old Fashioned Pizzeria. In 1978, he took a High School project and opened the first Salvatore's location. Today there over 30 locations throughout Monroe County including the Blue Cross Arena, Frontier Field, CMAC, and Sahlen's Stadium. The Salvatore's Pizza Family employs over 1,500 Rochesterians. SoccerSam also recreated the Donuts Delite brand & refurbished the Rochester landmark building at Empire Blvd. & Culver Rd. In 2014, he acquired the franchise rights to bring Arthur Treacher's Fish & Chips back to the Rochester area. In August 2016, SoccerSam re-opened the 1872 Cafe and launched the Speedy Slice pizza concept.Personal Awards:
- 1996: Section V Committee "Media Award"
- 2000: Town of Irondequoit "15 Years of Leadership"
- 2002: Press Radio Club "Charlie Wagner Award"
- 2005: County of Monroe "Outstanding Asset Builder"
- 2005: Section V Committee "Media Award"
- 2008: Eastridge High School "Hall of Fame"
- 2010: Frontier Field "Walk of Fame"
- 2011: Camp Good Days "Ring of Honor"
- 2013: Italian Civic League "Outstanding Citizen Award"
- 2016: Hickok Center for Brain Injury "Community Hero Award"
- 2016: Western NY Flash "Soccer Ambassador Award"
- Indoor Soccer (not arena)
- Outdoor American Soccer.
- Beach Soccer
- (Playing & watching with a bucket of popcorn)
SoccerSam is also a local philanthropist, generously contributing annually to charities such as Camp Good Days and Special Times, Golisano Children's Hospital, Rochester Breast Cancer Coalition and the Alzheimer's Association. He is married to his high-school sweetheart Linda Fantauzzo and resides in Webster, NY. Sam enjoys spending time with his three children Salvatore II, Roxanna, Silvio (Angela) and three grandchildren Santino, Salvatore III, and Massimo.
WORD ON THE STREET
LOCAL ROCHESTER TALK SHOW! Join SoccerSam and Jeff DiVeronica for a unique talk show focusing on Rochester, NY. Saturdays at Noon following Kick This!
- SEASON 2:
- August 19, 2017: Doug Miller - Rochester Soccer Legend
- August 12, 2017: Rocky Perrotta - The Voice of Rochester Sports
- August 5, 2017: Dr. Sev Hrywnak - Rochester Razorsharks owner on the new league affiliation
- July 8, 2017: Alex Tahou - The 100th Anniversry of the Nick Tahou's Garbage Plate
- June 17, 2017: Marie Fiorino Mitchell - Daughter of John Fiorino on the death of mobster Joseph "Mad Dog" Sullivan
- SEASON 1:
- September 3, 2016: Chris Economides
- August 27, 2016: WHEC TV Sports Director Justin Granit
- August 20, 2016: The Dunkin' Donuts Story
- August 13, 2016: Michael Moran
- August 6, 2016: Tom Proietti
- July 30, 2016: Paul Guglielmo
- July 23, 2016: Don Alhart
- July 2, 2016: Mario Daniele
- June 25, 2016: Steve Donner
- June 18, 2016: Rachel Barnhart
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