Club to Remain Member of MISL While Sitting Out 2002-03 Season

July 16, 2002

WESTPORT, Conn. - The St. Louis Steamers will not participate in active play during the 2002-03 Major Indoor Soccer League season, but will remain a member of the League with an option to return to the field for the 2003-04 campaign.

"After a great deal of effort on behalf of the Steamers organization, the MISL, local political and community leaders, and all involved with the St. Louis situation, the decision has been made to withhold the club from play during the 2002-03 season," MISL Commissioner Steve Ryan stated. "This decision respects the rich tradition of professional indoor soccer in the St. Louis marketplace. Once before in the proud history of St. Louis soccer, the sport experienced a one-year absence (1988-89 season) to focus on off-field issues, only to return the next season to continue the region's soccer success story."

The St. Louis group will spend the 2002-03 season focusing on business and operational issues in an effort to meet the minimum MISL standards necessary to participate in active play. The club will take part in League Meetings and will be represented on the Management Committee.

The MISL will hold a dispersal draft in the near future to allocate St. Louis players for the 2002-03 season. The Steamers will be permitted to designate four players from the club's current roster who will return to the St. Louis roster following the 2002-03 season if the team participates in the 2003-04 campaign. If St. Louis fails to meet MISL standards in time for the 2003-04 campaign, the rights of the four designated players selected in the dispersal draft will remain with the selecting club.

"The greater St. Louis area has a long and proud indoor soccer history, which the MISL will not turn its back on," Ryan stated. "The League will work with the Steamers organization to resolve the business and financial issues which currently inhibit the team from meeting MISL standards, and ultimately, taking the field. I'm confident that indoor soccer will return to St. Louis in the very near future."

The Major Indoor Soccer League will kick-off the 2002-03 season on Saturday, September 28. Each of the League's eight member clubs will play a 36-game regular season schedule. The 2002-03 regular season will conclude on March 23 with the 2003 MISL Playoffs beginning the week of March 24.