Today, the Cleveland Crunch were officially announced as the newest member of the Major Arena Soccer League 2 (M2). Concerning the Crunch’s return, M2 commissioner Chris Economides stated,
“It’s always exciting when you can bring back great franchises from the past. The Crunch name holds a special place in the hearts of soccer fans in northeast Ohio. Past stars like Hector Marinaro, Zoran Karic and Otto Orf were the leaders of those championship teams, and we look forward to a new generation of Crunch stars stepping forward in the coming years to establish their place in Cleveland’s rich pro indoor soccer history.”*
Economides also stressed that, “[t]he Crunch has been a model launch for all new M2 teams with a strong community and sponsor support right from the start. They are building a talented and locally-focused roster that will be extremely competitive and entertaining with any M2 side right out of the gate.”
The Crunch’s addition strengthens M2 ability to expand rapidly. The league intends to have 15-25 teams by next year with regional and international competitions. Showing how important the Crunch’s return is to the expansion of indoor soccer, deputy commissioner Andrew Ross said,
“This allows us to pave the way east, where I think we’ll see a number of franchises located in the not too distant future. We continue to have great discussions with a number of potential owners and franchises in that part of the country, both new cities and cities that have established great past indoor soccer success in their markets. Cleveland will be the first of many that will help us expand the geographic footprint of the sport and the league.”
As the team looks for a permanent venue, it will continue to play its home games at the Soccer Sportsplex in North Olmsted. The team will release a schedule in the coming days per public relations coordinator Andriana Ruscitto. The Crunch are slated to make their M2 debut on March 20 at home against the Colorado Inferno. Tickets are not on sale as of this writing.
*All quotes from https://www.m2soccer.com/news/cleveland-crunch-launched-as-newest-member-of-maj, accessed 3/11/21.