Don’t Look Now M2, But Here Come the Omaha Kings!
TAMPA, Fla. – The Omaha Kings continue to be the little engine that could in the 2021 Major Arena Soccer League 2 season.
The Kings, who were granted provisional M2 status shortly before the season began – moving up from Major Arena Soccer League 3 where they were planning to play in 2021 – won their third straight game Sunday, defeating the visiting Cleveland Crunch 5-3.
June 7, 2021 | Written by Brian Ackley | m2soccer.com
The win keeps the Kings very much alive for the fourth and final M2 playoff spot in next month’s “Championship Weekend” in Wichita. Omaha improved to 6-7, just percentage points behind the Chicago Mustangs who have finished their regular season at 5-5. Teams needed a minimum of 10 regular season games to be considered for the playoffs as not all M2 teams were able to play the same number of games this season due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Should Omaha (6-7) win its final regular season game June 20 at Amarillo, the Kings would make the post-season as they and the Mustangs would both finish with a .500 record. But the Kings hold the head-to-head advantage this spring, winning two of the three games played between the pair.
The win keeps the Kings very much alive for the fourth and final M2 playoff spot in next month’s “Championship Weekend” in Wichita…
Wichita, Cleveland and Amarillo have already qualified for the post-season by winning the Heartland Invitational, Great Lakes Invitational and Rocky Mountain Invitational series of games held earlier this spring. The final playoff spot for M2 this year goes to the non-invitational winners with the highest winning percentage.
Tied at three all, Omaha’s Morgan Penn got the game winner with just over four minutes to play in the third period. Bobby Jaffery added an insurance marker with just under five minutes left in the game.
Cleveland led only one at 1-0 following the first of two Ryan Minick goals coming with just over five minutes to play in the first.
Christian Sanchez and Sebastian Contrearas scored two and one-half minutes apart midway through the second for Omaha’s first lead before Minick sent the teams to intermission tied at 2 each.
Leonides Mejia put the Kings back on top at the 4:52 mark of the third before the Crunch got their final goal, tying things back up at 3-3, from Chris Cvecko with 5”22 to play in the third. Penn’s game winner came just 56 seconds after the Crunch tied it up.
Cleveland, returning to the pro indoor soccer scene after a two-decade absence, finishes the regular season at 7-3. The loss also dropped the Crunch into second place with a .700 winning percentage. Wichita, at 6-1, has an .833 winning mark, and has five games remaining in its regular season.
Photography by Cory Klabunde Photography
About the Major Arena Soccer League
The Major Arena Soccer League represents the highest level of professional arena soccer in the world. The MASL is a 4 tier pyramid league consisting of professional and semi-professional men’s arena soccer teams. The Omaha Kings play at the professional level in the MASL 2 (second tier), backed by the Major Arena Soccer League (top tier). The remaining pyramid consists of the M3 (third tier and semi-pro), and the PASL (fourth tier and amateur). The Omaha Kings FC launched in 2019 playing at the PASL level, making the jump to M3 for the 2020 – 2021 season, and are currently playing provisionally in the M2. The Kings are proud to represent the Major Arena Soccer League with teams residing in both the M2 and M3 levels. For more information about the MASL, MASL 2 and the M3, visit their websites at the links below:
About the Omaha Kings FC
The Omaha Kings FC are the only Men’s Professional Arena Soccer team in the state of Nebraska, proudly representing the Major Arena Soccer League at the 2nd and 3rd levels. The club embodies a grassroots focus, consisting of mostly local talent seeking pathways to play soccer professionally. Launching in 2019 in the Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL), the Kings built a huge momentum making the jump to M3 for the 2020-2021 season. During the 20/21 M3 season, our local and hungry talent exceeded expectations, prompting the MASL to invite them to play a provisional year at the M2 level. In just two short years of its existence, the club now houses 2 men’s teams, playing at the professional level (M2) and semi-professional level (M3) in the Major Arena Soccer League pyramid. The Kings wrapped up their M3 inaugural season bringing home the first ever National Championship title in the history of the M3 Arena Soccer League. The M2 team finished out their provisional season with a 6-8 record, rallying 5 straight wins through the latter half and missing the wildcard playoff spot by just one match.
The club was founded and is operated by Argentinian native Emmanuel Viel and his wife, Omaha native, Natalie Viel (Troutman). Serving as General Manager is Carlos Viel, a former professional soccer player from Necochea, Argentina. Leading the team is head coach and Bellevue native, Brian Locke. To learn more about the Omaha Kings, visit their website at omahakingsfc.com.
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