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A new era: Cleveland Crunch formally introduced into Major Arena Soccer League 2

Cleveland Crunch press conference
Posted at 10:59 AM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 19:21:06-05

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Crunch, Northeast Ohio’s professional indoor soccer team, held a press conference Thursday afternoon where they were formally introduced into the Major Arena Soccer League 2.

You can watch the press conference in the player below:

Crunch front office members and executives were joined by current and former players from the organization to deliver the announcement of their position in M2, including Crunch legend Hector Marinaro.

Also in attendance was M2's commissioner, Chris Economides, who had high praise for the return of the Crunch.

“I want to formally introduce Cleveland and the Cleveland Crunch back into indoor soccer,” Economides said. “We’re excited to have them back. You’ve got some very, very big shoes to fill, my boys, but we have the utmost confidence in you.”

Economides said that within the next 2-3 months, the league hopes to have a deal finalized for a permanent venue for the Crunch in a downtown location, citing CSU and the Cleveland Public Auditorium as potential homes for the team.

The Crunch franchise, relaunched by Luciano Ruscitto and Eric Davis, is a blast from the past for many Northeast Ohioans who watched the original team win three National Premier Soccer League championships between 1994 and 1999 while bringing excitement to a passionate sports town.

In January, before their first practice, former Cleveland Crunch player Tony Dore, who was on the team for the 1997 and 1998 seasons, was introduced as the head coach of the Crunch.

The Crunch held their first preseason game on Feb. 27 against the Brew City Legends FC walked away with a 12-4 win. The Crunch is scheduled to take the field for their M2 debut on Saturday, March 20, at home against the Colorado Inferno FC.

To stay up to date on the Crunch and their pending schedule announcements, click here.

RELATED: They're back! Cleveland Crunch announce new head coach, hold first practice