Continental Indoor Soccer League
|Number of teams||15|
|Last champions||Seattle SeaDogs|
|Most championships||Monterrey La Raza |
|TV partners||Prime Network |
In the summer of 1989 Dr Jerry Buss, the owner of the Los Angeles Lakers and California Sports, told his executive Vice President, Ron Weinstein, he was closing the doors on the Los Angeles Lazers of the Major Indoor Soccer League, MISL, and that if he ever wanted to "create a professional indoor soccer league that played in the summer months, out from under the shadow of the NBA, NFL, NHL, NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball", he would support the endeavor. It was then that the seed was planted in Ron's mind. One year later, in the fall of 1990, Ron Weinstein incorporated the Continental Indoor Soccer League, CISL. Ron, along with his business partner Jorge Ragde, drafted all the necessary franchise documents to bring the league into fruition and create what was the first professional sports league to operate under the "single entity" formula in 1991. Jerry Buss stood by Ron every step of the way until Earvin "Magic" Johnson announced he was HIV positive. Jerry's mind was understandably taken elsewhere for a short period of time. Prior to his temporary absence, Jerry and Ron reached out to Phoenix Suns owner, Jerry Colangelo, and convinced him to be one of the inaugural members of the League.
In Dr. Buss's absence, Colangelo stepped up to the plate to take the lead role in working with Ron to attract NBA and NHL owners. Through Buss's and Colangelo's cooperative efforts they orchestrated two CISL meetings in conjunction with their own NBA Board of Governors meetings. The first was held in 1991 in Marina Del Rey and the second in New York City in 1992. Needless to say their efforts paid off and the CISL was launched with 7 teams committed to begin playing in the summer of 1993 with another eight contracted for 1994.
Monterrey La Raza made the CISL the first US league to have a team from Mexico participating. In 1995, a second team entered the league, the Mexico City Toros. By the end of the 1995 season, the third year of the league, 50% of the teams were already profitable; a feat unprecedented in professional sports history. In 1996, Ron signed a three-year agreement with FOX Sports to televise a game of the week nationally in prime time. Concurrently he signed with General Motors to a three-year million dollar contract to be the official car of the CISL. That same year, the Indiana Twisters became the next expansion franchise admitted to the league.
"The league has become very credible. ... We definitely look upon ourselves as a major-league sport. If you look at the roots of the NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball and NFL, we are so far ahead of the game from where they were when they finished their fourth year." Ron Weinstein was quoted saying to the Houston Chronicle.
In the fall of 1997, the surprising demise of the league took place primarily due to differences of direction between the NBA/NHL owners and three of the leagues non NBA/NHL teams: Dallas, Portland and Houston. They collaborated in an effort to leave the CISL and form their own league, The Premier Soccer Alliance. It is the opinion of many executives within the sports world, that indoor Soccer has never again reached the pinnacle of the CISL since operations formally ceased in the winter of 1998.
The Continental Indoor Soccer League Championship Trophy was titled the "Lawrence Trophy" named in honor of the commissioner and founder's father, Lawrence Albert Weinstein.
Lawrence Trophy Champions
|1993||Dallas Sidekicks||2-1||San Diego Sockers|
|1994||Las Vegas Dustdevils||2-1||Dallas Sidekicks|
|1995||Monterrey La Raza||2-1||Sacramento Knights|
|1996||Monterrey La Raza||2-0||Houston Hotshots|
|1997||Seattle SeaDogs||2-0||Houston Hotshots|
Most Valuable Player
Goalkeeper of the Year
Coach of the Year
Rookie of the Year
Defender of the Year
- "Houston Chronicle".
- CISL Communications (1997). CISL Official Guide. Sports Press LLC.
- "ESPN". September 2004.
- "Jerry Colangelo Archives • Fun While It Lasted".
- http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl/1994_1206578/alive-amp-kicking-in-the-u-s-a-soccer-the-world-s.html. Missing or empty
- "The Daily".
- http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Daily/Issues/1997/05/2/Franchises/ITS-A-JUNGLE-OUT-THERE-SAFARI-LOOKING-FOR-LOGO.aspx?hl=CISL&sc=0. Missing or empty
- Duarte, Joseph. "Cisl's Weinstein Calls League Credible and Eyes Expansion". Houston Chronicle.
- HENDERSON, MARTIN (24 December 1997). "Soccer League Will Cease Operations". Los Angeles Times – via LA Times.