Toth plays in MASL all-star game
Last updated 12/17/2020 at 11:18am
In 2007, Fallbrook High School senior Chris Toth played in the senior all-star soccer game. Toth is now a goalkeeper for the Tacoma Stars of the Major Arena Soccer League and, on Dec. 5, he played in the first-ever MASL all-star game.
"I thought it was a really good event. I thought it was long overdue," Toth said.
The Western Conference, which includes the Stars, defeated the Eastern Conference by a 9-4 margin in the all-star game. Toth played the first half in goal for the Western Conference. The game was played at Cable Dahmer Arena in Independence, Missouri, where the Kansas City Comets play their home games.
The remainder of the 2019-20 season was cancelled March 12 due to the coronavirus outbreak. Toth, who signed with the Stars on July 24, had spent the previous two seasons with the Ontario Fury (Toth began his MASL career with the San Diego Sockers).
Toth played in all 21 of the Fury's 2019-20 regular-season games (24 games had been scheduled, and the Fury would have qualified for the playoffs had those not also been cancelled) and was named the league's Goalkeeper of the Year. The Stars played 20 games during the 2019-20 shortened season.
"I thought it was a great way to bring excitement to the new season," Toth said.
Toth's father, Zoltan, played in multiple Major Indoor Soccer League all-star games. The MISL all-star games were in the middle of the season rather than prior to the start of league competition.
"It just brings another dynamic to the game for the fans," Toth said. "They're excited about the all-star game."
The all-star game was announced Oct. 22. Toth's selection to the Western Conference all-star team was announced Nov. 6.
"I was happy about being selected," Toth said. "Being my first one I think it's a big deal for me."
The 2007 high school senior all-star game featured the North County all-stars against the South County all-stars. Toth played the entire game in goal for the North County team which obtained a 5-0 victory.
Toth and Danny Waltman will share goalkeeping activity for the Stars during the 2020-21 season. Waltman was the Western Conference's other goalkeeper in the all-star game and played the second half.
The two Stars goalkeepers discussed the distribution of play. "We were trying to figure out how we were going to do it," Toth said.
Waltman played for the Comets for five years before joining the Stars in 2015. Toth offered to play the first half so that Waltman could conclude the game in the nets.
Toth faced eight shots on goal, making six saves while allowing two goals. "Two goals in a half, that's pretty good. That means you're going to allow four goals in a game," Toth said. "If I'm only allowing four we should win."
Allowing only four goals will likely produce a win against most teams. Toth was playing against five all-stars, not including the opposing goalie, on the field. "I thought I had a really good all-star game," he said. "I thought I played really well. The East had a lot of opportunities in the first quarter."
Attendance was limited due to social distancing measures. Approximately 1,200 spectators saw the game in person (the game was also on Facebook pay-per-view). "I thought it was good," Toth said of the attendance. "The fans had a really good time watching."
Toth noted that the fans had previously not been able to see live indoor soccer at all. "It came up at a really good time," he said.
Waltman allowed two goals and saved 15 of the 17 shots taken against him. He was named the game's most valuable player. "Danny did a really good job," Toth said.
Spectators are not allowed in the states of Washington and California, so the Stars will not have home games during the 2020-21 season nor will the Fury or Sockers. "For the whole season we'll be pretty much on the road," Toth said.
The Stars are scheduled to open their season with games Jan. 22 at Kansas City and Jan. 24 at St. Louis. The Sockers are slated to begin play Jan. 29 at Kansas City and Jan. 31 at Dallas. The Fury have not yet set dates for the 2020-21 season.
"I think it would be really good for our game to continue to have this all-star game," Toth said.