CLEVELAND — Just a few months after announcing their return, the Cleveland Crunch are officially back and on Sunday introduced their new head coach and held their first practice.
The Crunch, 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.
The team began holding tryouts for the team in November at the Soccer Sportsplex in North Olmsted, which is the official training facility and 2021 home venue of the team.
Numerous signings have been announced on the Crunch’s social media channels and on Sunday, the reality of the team’s return set in.
Please welcome our newest signing Mirko “Miski” Petkovic! 💥👀— Cleveland Crunch™ (@CRUNCHTime_CLE) January 30, 2021
The Cleveland Crunch have signed goalkeeper, Miski Petkovic, ahead of the 2021 season. The indoor soccer veteran from Parma, OH has shown off his skills for the Cleveland Freeze & Cleveland Legacy. 📈 #CRUNCHTIME 🤛 pic.twitter.com/47xRMufG7j
With a roster in place, which is set to be announced soon, the team is preparing for their first preseason game.
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.
Dore will look to lead this new team to success in the Major Arena Soccer League and will have his first test on Saturday, Feb. 27 in a preseason game against the Brew City Legends FC.
The matchup will kickoff at 6 p.m and will be livestreamed on Facebook and broadcasted over the iHeartRadio app.
To learn more about the team, click here.