Game Day Preview: Runners at Bandits

by Andres Trujillo

VIA Major Arena Soccer League 2:

This is the first season of Kansas Bandits soccer in Dodge City … The Kansas Bandits are the newest members of the Major Arena Soccer League 2. The Bandits are the first of three new teams that an investment group is expected to launch in the Midwest with a focus on expanding pro indoor soccer’s footprint in the Heartland region. 

The Bandits will play in Dodge City’s, municipally owned 3,000 seat, United Wireless Arena which is part of the Boot Hill Casino and Resort Conference Center which opened in 2011. The arena is already home to the Champions Indoor Football league’s Southwest Kansas Storm, which will be part of the Dodge City partnership consortium. Blake Shumaker, managing partner of the Major Arena Soccer League 2’s Wichita Wings has been central in helping to organize the new investment group, indicated that plans to add two additional teams to their portfolio for the 2023-24 season have already begun … 

The New Mexico Runners bounced back successfully in their 3rd season (2021-22) after being shut down for almost 22 months due to the Covid pandemic prior. The Runners have retained USL Hall of Fame inductee Steve Famiglietta as Head Coach for their 4th season with his son Nick Famiglietta in the Assistant Coach position. 

The New Mexico Runners are New Mexico's first Major Arena Soccer League 2 franchise and the 2022-23 season will be the fourth full season of pro indoor soccer in Rio Rancho, a northern suburb of Albuquerque. The Runners were founded by Andres Trujillo in 2018 and are 100 percent New Mexican Family owned and operated. Andres is a local sports media icon born and raised in New Mexico with a history of investing in and starting local sports teams, a former ESPN Radio show host, as well as the Executive Director of New Mexico's largest sports festival called the New Mexico Games. 

The 2021-22 team leading scorer and league 3rd team All-Star Selection Mehrshad Amadi, is one of many Runners who have already re-signed to return to the Runners in 2022-23. Ahmadi who graduated from Sandia High School in Albuquerque, led the Runners last year, dressing in just seven games, but banging in 18 goals to go along with three assists. He ended his regular season in a win over the Turlock Cal Express with a five-goal performance. The offense should be in good shape again this season with the team’s other three double-digit goals scorers all returning, including team captain Frolian Ramirez (14 goals), Sergio Fuentes (12) and Skyler Rose (12) all who are all home grown New Mexico talent.

Fans can watch the game online on Sunday December 18, 2022 with a 2 PM Mountain Time kick off: