Copyright 2006 St. Louis Steamers
The Steamers in action earlier this year at home against the Chicago Storm.
Can an entire soccer franchise disappear?

On April 30, the St. Louis Steamers lost the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) championship to the Baltimore Blast in sudden-death overtime. Now a similar misadventure appears to have befallen the Steamers franchise.

Rumors of the team's imminent demise have been swirling on fan Web sites such as since late August. The phone number (314-241-4625) listed on the Steamers' official Web site has been disconnected, and the team's office (1001 Washington Avenue, Suite 600) has been abandoned. A receptionist at a neighboring firm told me that the team closed this office soon after the 2005-2006 season ended.

I've emailed Steamers CEO Michael Hetelson for comment. I'm also awaiting a promised callback from an executive at MISL headquarters in Westport, Connecticut.

For more about the Steamers and Hetelson, see Mike Seely's 2005 RFT feature story, "Kicking + Steaming." -Ian Froeb