Triumvirate of indoor soccer legends form new leadership group for MASL

by Brian Ackley

After a nationwide search and thorough vetting process the Major Arena Soccer League has selected Keith Tozer, Shep Messing and  JP Dellacamera, Shep Messing as the new leadership group for the league

 A  former MISL player and coach, Tozer will serve as MASL Commissioner. Former NY Arrows  goalkeeper Messing will become the league's first Chairman, and Dellacamera, once the TV voice  for the original MISL, will become the league's president of communications/media. The trio will  begin on June 15 to further grow the league in all aspects on and off the field. 

In 1978 Tozer was the first player selected overall in the inaugural MISL college draft for the  Cincinnati Kids. A player in several leagues, Tozer turned a playing career into a successful  coaching career. In various indoor stops, Tozer became the all-time winningest coach in indoor  soccer history with over 700 wins, and six league titles, in addition to eight Coach of the Year  Awards.

He led the Milwaukee Wave in various leagues from 1992-2014. Tozer also guided the US Futsal Men’s National Team for 20 years, winning two CONCACAF Gold Medals. 

As the trio takes the helm, Tozer's positive outlook on the future of the league shows. 

 "Shep, JP, and I are extremely excited about working together along with all the owners, team  management, coaches and players to move the game of professional indoor soccer forward here  in North America. Indoor soccer has had a very rich past and a very bright future" he said.

Few names are more iconic and  synonymous with indoor soccer than Messing’s.

As the first MISL signing in  1978, Messing gave the MISL instant credibility, which led to more big signings. Messing's New  York Arrows were a dynasty, winning the first four championships. Messing was a two-time All  American goalkeeper at Harvard University, played with his teammate Pele on a New York Cosmos  championship team, was a member of the 1972 United States Olympic Soccer Team at the Munich  Olympic Games, and capped 14 times by the United States. He is the former founder along with  Pele, of Global Sport Group, LLC, an international soccer agency. 

Since 2001 he has worked as a television commentator on the MSG Networks for the New York  Red Bulls on Major League Soccer telecasts. He has additionally broadcast four World Cups for  ESPN, along with Olympic Games on NBC and international games for Fox Sports. 

A broadcast veteran of 15 men's and women's World Cups, Dellacamera always refers to his  early years of indoor soccer as some of the finest memories of his career. He worked for both  the Pittsburgh Spirit and the St. Louis Steamers as their TV Voice, and later became the Voice  of the MISL for their game of the week package on ESPN.

He was recognized by the National Soccer Hall of Fame as their Colin Jose Media Award winner in 2018, and was inducted into the  Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame in 2019. He has been the TV Voice of the Philadelphia Union  since 2010 and has worked for ESPN, FOX, NBC, ABC, and CBS Sports.

Dellacamera and  Messing are also Managing Directors of the Connecticut Fusion of UWS (United Women's  Soccer). Dellacamera will continue to call games for the Philadelphia Union and for Fox Sports. 

Former Commissioner Josh Schaub stated, “We couldn’t be more proud of the MASL’s accomplishments over the last five years. I couldn’t think of a finer group who not only has  the required skills, but also such a great tie to the game of indoor soccer for me to pass  the baton to.” 

Brian Budzinski, Managing Partner of the KC Comets replied when asked about the new  leadership group ,”I have never been more excited about the direction of our sport and our  league as I am today. Shep, Keith, and JP all bring impeccable backgrounds and reputations to the MASL leadership." 

The Major Arena Soccer League represents the highest level of professional indoor soccer in the world. The MASL features teams across North America, with teams playing coast-to coast in the United States and Mexico, with players from over 15 different countries. The MASL  is currently incorporated as a 501(c)6 not for profit corporation formed to promote the  business and sport of indoor soccer. 

The Florida Tropics are the defending regular season league champions, having won the 2021 title after winning the Eastern Conference championship for the 2019-2020 campgain. They will kick off their sixth season in the MASL this winter at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.