‘A natural fit:’ Central Florida Crusaders to join the National Indoor Soccer League

Team scheduled to play at Orlando’s Addition Financial Arena starting in December

Officials with the Central Florida Crusaders divulged details about Orlando’s new indoor soccer team during a news conference on Thursday morning.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Officials with the Central Florida Crusaders divulged details about Orlando’s new indoor soccer team during a news conference on Thursday morning.

Earlier this month, the National Indoor Soccer League (NISL) announced the Crusaders as the newest expansion team for the 2022-23 season.

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“Indoor soccer is back,” said Tom Traxler, head coach of the Central Florida Crusaders. “We’re putting it together for the people of Orlando, for the soccer community of Orlando.”

The team is scheduled to play at Orlando’s Addition Financial Arena, located on the University of Central Florida campus, starting December 2022.

“We’re excited for the start of the Crusaders season and the action of indoor soccer,” said Joe Imbriaco, general manager of Addition Financial Arena. “We can’t wait to welcome fans from all over Central Florida to Addition Financial Arena.”

According to NISL, both a men’s and a women’s team will be fielded and play home and away games on the same days. And Andrew Haines, co-owner of the Central Florida Crusaders, said the compensation for both teams is exactly the same.

“If you look at the talent level that’s throughout Central Florida and the growth of our league, it’s a natural fit for us. Perfect size. Lots of kids playing soccer throughout Central Florida,” he added. “We want these games to be fierce and exciting. Off the field, we really got to work together, though.”

The Crusaders join the Tampa Bay Strikers as the second team in Florida to join the league this year.

“Indoor soccer is fast. It’s fun. It’s feverish,” Traxler said. “All I need you to do is come once. If I can get you in here once, you’re going to come back again.”

To buy tickets to upcoming Central Florida Crusaders games, click here.

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About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.