SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – The Syracuse Pulse is the first professional outdoor soccer team in Syracuse in almost 20 years, since the Syracuse Salty Dogs played from 2004-2005.
The Pulse play in the National Independent Soccer Association, the third tier of pro soccer in the U.S. behind Major League Soccer and the United Soccer League.
“It’s a tough time competing in Syracuse with Syracuse Athletics and with other things like Syracuse Mets and high school sports,” team spokesperson Dante Furco said. “But we’re hoping that we’re right there with the best of them.”
It’s typical for expansion clubs to start off with rocky inaugural seasons, and the Pulse is no exception.
The team added players late and was only able to begin training together on March 19, a week before its season opener.
“It was literally a week,” Pulse defender Kaio DaSilva said. “So imagine meeting your whole team and then next week you’re going to compete in your first game.”
Off the field, the team wants to connect with the community and grow professional soccer’s roots in Syracuse.
So far some players and coaches have held youth soccer camps and refereed youth soccer games. The biggest thing the team has done so is attending Taste of Syracuse as a group.
“Just to get the badge, people looking, just asking questions,” DaSilva said. “Because although we’ve been around for a couple of months now, people still aren’t sure what the Syracuse Pulse are.”
The team has some early help from the stands. There’s a club called the Salt City Supporters that promotes soccer in Central New York.
“They take pride in their sports. You come up here and everybody’s wearing Orange,” DaSilva said.
The club is lead by Rich Muyle and features members like Ryan Bergman, who’s yet to miss a Pulse home match. It’s important pro soccer is back in Syracuse, according to Bergman.
“There are people here who really want to get behind the sport in a big way,” Bergman said. “It’s been a long time coming.”
The season runs through October and ends just in time for the start of the 2022 World Cup in November.
The team plays its home games at Lazer Stadium at Onondaga Community College and so far is 2-6-2 through 10 games. It’s currently in last place in NISA’s East Division, but has formed a rivalry already with the team ahead of it, Flower City Union out of Rochester.
The two teams have matched up twice with the Pulse winning both times.