Empire’s Sesay Earns 100th MASL Regular Season Point

by Gunnar Berndt

Ex-LA Galaxy man reaches milestone in eleventh season with the Strykers

Ontario, Calif. — Empire Strykers icon Israel Sesay recorded his 100th career attacking point in Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) regular season play against the Texas Outlaws on Tuesday evening. The 33-year-old hit the milestone early in the opening quarter on a tally by Stefan Mijatovic. It’s an especially noteworthy accomplishment considering Sesay has spent nearly his entire indoor career as a backline anchor. The long-time Strykers captain is in his eleventh consecutive campaign with the Southern Californians, having only been away for a brief stint with the Las Vegas Legends in 2014.

“We’d like to congratulate Israel Sesay on joining the century club,” said Empire’s executive vice president, Jimmy Nordberg, who served as head coach during six years of Sesay’s decade-plus with the organization. “Reaching a hundred points as a dedicated defender is a testament to Izzy’s commitment and professionalism. It’s not a coincidence that he’s a fan favorite and one of the few players we retained through our offseason overhaul. Any team would be lucky to draw on Izzy’s experience, skill, and leadership.”

In Tuesday’s 5-10 home defeat to Texas, Sesay was credited with the assist on the opening goal of the contest, having forced an outstanding kick-save from opposition netminder Eduardo “Pollo” Cortes.  First-year Empire man Mijatovic was quickest to the rebound and smashed the ball into the far-side upper corner. It was the third point of the 2023-24 campaign for Sesay, who has recorded six career points in MASL playoff matches to go with his regular season total of 100.

Prior to lacing up for the Strykers (then named Ontario Fury) during the MASL’s inaugural campaign in 2014-15, the Sierra Leone-born defender represented the club in the Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL). He had also previously played for the Milwaukee Wave in the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL), in addition to his short time with the Las Vegas Legends in 2014. Sesay began his career as a highly touted prospect of the outdoor game, making a number of appearances with Major League Soccer (MLS) outfit Los Angeles Galaxy. He is three appearances short of playing in 200 total MASL games with Empire.

Israel Sesay and his Empire Strykers return to action in a crucial home meeting with fellow Western Conference playoff contenders Tacoma Stars this coming Sunday, January 14. Tickets for the clash at Ontario’s Toyota Arena are available here.