Cleveland SC

Cleveland SC is an American amateur soccer club based in the Greater Cleveland, Ohio region. Cleveland competes in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) as part of the Midwest Region's East Conference.[2] The club was established on February 19, 2018, taking over from the recently defunct AFC Cleveland as the city's representative in the NPSL.

Cleveland SC
Full nameCleveland Soccer Club
FoundedFebruary 19, 2018 (2018-02-19)
StadiumGeorge Finnie Stadium
Berea, Ohio
Capacity7,800[1]
OwnerSamuel Seibert
Head coachRyan Osborne
LeagueNational Premier Soccer League
2019Midwest-East: 1st
Playoffs: National Semifinals
WebsiteClub website

Samuel Seibert, a local Cleveland banker and administrator, founded the club after being approached by a group of former AFC Cleveland players who wanted to see competitive soccer retained in the Cleveland area. The club plays home matches at George Finnie Stadium, located in Berea, Ohio on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University.[3] In 2018, CSC had played at Don Shula Stadium in University Heights but were forced to move due to stadium renovations.

Cleveland has a rivalry with fellow Ohioan NPSL club FC Columbus, named the Cheese Barn Derby by supporters. Former professional players to have appeared for the club include Riley Grant and Ben Fitzpatrick, while Louie Rolko served as an assistant coach.

History

For the previous six seasons, from 2012 to 2017, AFC Cleveland had represented the city of Cleveland in the National Premier Soccer League. That run had included an NPSL national championship in 2016, as well as two appearances in the U.S. Open Cup. However, the club was expelled from the NPSL due to "not [being] in good financial standing with the league."[4] That announcement came on December 12, 2017, just months before the new NPSL season was set to begin.

Inaugural season

"Cleveland SC is going to bring a fanbase filled with pride. Cleveland has a soccer fan base that is a sleeping giant and we intend to tap into that immediately. Cleveland has the best sports fans anywhere and our opponents will learn that quickly."

—Samuel Seibert, club owner and president[5]

The catalysts for founding Cleveland SC were two former AFC Cleveland players, Coletun Long and Chris Cvecko. According to Long, the two "started having a conversation in the car and talked further in a Chipotle parking lot outside the city. We wrote down ideas and called teammates and others previously associated with AFC Cleveland.”[6] One of those people contacted was Samuel Seibert, a native of Northeast Ohio who had been on the media relations staff for AFC Cleveland. He would go on to take the lead on the NPSL expansion process, culminating in an official announcement of Cleveland SC as an NPSL expansion club on February 19, 2018.[7][5] That announcement came just 90 days before the club was set to play its first regular season match.

Prior to the season beginning, CSC announced that the club would be playing its inaugural season at Don Shula Stadium, located in University Heights, Ohio on the campus of John Carroll University.[8] In conjunction with local designers, a crest and kits featuring an orange and black color combination were launched in mid-March, less than a month before the club's inaugural match.[9] Ryan Osborne was announced as the club's first head coach and the first two matches in club history took part in April, the inaugural edition of the Cheese Barn Derby against FC Columbus.[6] The first-ever league match in CSC history took place on May 19, 2018, ending in a 2–0 victory over Rochester Lancers courtesy of goals from Declan McGivern and American futsal international Antonio Manfut.[10] After a second-place finish in the Midwest-East, the club qualified for the playoffs and defeated Erie Commodores in the quarterfinals before falling to AFC Ann Arbor in the regional semifinals.[11]

Stadium

During the 2018 season, Cleveland SC played home matches at Don Shula Stadium, located in University Heights, Ohio on the campus of John Carroll University. The stadium has a capacity of 5,416,[12] which made it the second-largest stadium in the Midwest-East behind only Marina Auto Stadium. Cleveland played its first match at Shula Stadium on May 19, 2018, defeating Rochester Lancers 2–0[13] in front of a crowd of a couple hundred.[14] Cleveland finished with four wins, one draw, and one loss in home matches during its lone season at the stadium.

Due to renovation work at Shula Stadium over the summer of 2019, Cleveland moved to Baldwin Wallace University's George Finnie Stadium, located in Berea, Ohio.[3] The 7,800 capacity stadium still holds the title of being the second-largest stadium in the Midwest-East, behind Marina Auto Stadium. Cleveland will debut at Finnie Stadium on May 5, 2019, playing an international friendly match against Monarcas Morelia Reserves.[3]

Club culture

Broadcasting

Although the NPSL does not require clubs to stream matches, Cleveland SC streamed every home match in 2018 on Mycujoo.[15] Vince McKee served as the main commentator for the duration of the season, while the color commentator role was filled by a rotating cast of analysts.

Rivalries

Although the two clubs are in different conferences, Cleveland has a friendly rivalry with fellow Ohioan NPSL club FC Columbus. Both clubs were founded in 2018, and their inaugural matches came against each other in a home-and-home friendly series in April 2018.[16] Supporters of the clubs dubbed the rivalry the Grandpa's Cheese Barn Derby, or simply the Cheese Barn Derby,[17] named after a landmark business that sits just off Interstate 71 in Ashland, Ohio.[18] The actual barn is roughly equidistant between the cities of Cleveland and Columbus. In 2018, the first year of the rivalry, neither team was able to claim the Derby title: both Cleveland and Columbus won their away game 3–2, meaning the inaugural Cheese Barn Derby ended in a 5–5 tie.[19]

Supporters

The primary supporters' group for Cleveland SC is 6th City Syndicate, an "independent supporters' group for Cleveland soccer."[20] 6CS is unaffiliated with the club, and as such also provides support for WPSL club Cleveland Ambassadors. Prior to the foundation of Cleveland SC, 6th City Syndicate had supported AFC Cleveland,[21] migrating to the new club after AFC Cleveland folded in December 2017.

Players and staff

Current roster

As of May 26, 2019[22][23]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
00 GK Dylan Morris
1 GK Marijo Musa
2 DF Bobi Cancar
3 MF Antonio Manfut
4 MF Mike Derezic
6 DF Ian Larson
7 MF Tom Beck
8 MF Alec Nagucki
9 FW Vinny Bell
10 MF Admir Suljevic
11 FW Szabolcs Wiksell
12 GK Daniel Nagy
14 MF Vinny Worner
15 DF John Duldner
16 DF Chris Cvecko
17 MF Kurt Raney
18 FW Lolo Karpeh
No. Position Player
19 DF Coletun Long
20 MF Reece Daly
21 MF Dan Koniarczyk
22 FW John Vrablic
23 DF Joe Korb
24 DF Ben Hryszko
25 FW Danny Ruple
26 MF Hayden Parente
27 DF Corban McAvinew
28 FW Justin Libertowski
30 DF Dan Manolache
31 GK Liam McIntosh
32 MF Jon Schroeder
34 DF Lovo Duvjnak
35 MF Alex Ligeti
77 MF Ben Fitzpatrick

Team management

Front office
Owner and president Samuel Seibert
Coaching staff
Head coach Ryan Osborne
Assistant coaches Lewis Dunne
Ante Pilekic
Louie Rolko
Atti Toth

Last updated: April 22, 2019
Source:

Year-by-year

Season Division League Regular season Playoffs U.S. Open Cup
2018 4 NPSL 2nd, Midwest-East Won Midwest quarterfinal (Erie, 4–0)
Lost Midwest semifinal (Ann Arbor, 0–1)
Ineligible
2019 4 NPSL 1st, Midwest-East Won Midwest semifinal (Rochester, 6–4)
Won Midwest final (Detroit, 2–2, 3–2 pen)
Lost National semifinal (Miami, 1–4)
Did not qualify

Player records

Appearances

As of July 27, 2019
# Name Years Signed from NPSL Playoffs Total
1 Chris Cvecko2018–presentAFC Cleveland21526
Antonio Manfut2018–presentFlorida Tropics22426
3 Bobi Cancar2018–presentAFC Cleveland18523
4 Vinny Bell2018–presentAFC Cleveland18422
Coletun Long2018–presentAFC Cleveland17522
Kurt Raney2018–presentBaldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets17522
7 Marijo Musa2018–presentSt. Louis Ambush15520
Admir Suljevic2018–presentAFC Cleveland16420
9 Danny Ruple2018–presentBaldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets15419
10 Mike Derezic2018–presentAFC Cleveland14317
Dan Koniarczyk2018–presentAFC Cleveland12517

Bold denotes players still playing for the club.

Goals

As of July 27, 2019
# Name Years Signed from NPSL Playoffs Total
1 Vinny Bell2018–presentAFC Cleveland16723
2 Antonio Manfut2018–presentFlorida Tropics9211
3 Mike Derezic2018–presentAFC Cleveland729
Admir Suljevic2018–presentAFC Cleveland909
5 Tom Beck2018–presentAFC Cleveland527
6 Danny Ruple2018–presentBaldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets303
7 Chris Cvecko2018–presentAFC Cleveland202

Bold denotes players still playing for the club. Only players with multiple goals are included.

Shutouts

As of July 27, 2019
# Name Years Signed from NPSL Playoffs Total
1 Marijo Musa2018–presentAFC Cleveland617
2 Mikal Outcalt2018Pittsburgh Panthers202
3 Daniel Nagy2019–presentNotre Dame Falcons101

Bold denotes players still playing for the club.

References

  1. "The George Finnie Stadium". BWYellowJackets.com. Baldwin Wallace Athletics. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  2. "Cleveland SC Joins the NPSL". npsl.com. National Premier Soccer League. February 19, 2018. Archived from the original on March 7, 2018. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  3. "Club will play on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University". ClevelandSC.com. Cleveland SC. February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  4. @NPSLSoccer (December 12, 2017). "NEWS: The #NPSL today announced the termination of the memberships of AFC Cleveland (@AFCCleveland) and Sports Club Corinthians USA (@SCorinthiansUSA) in line with the NPSL Bylaws for teams not in good financial standing with the league" (Tweet) via Twitter.
  5. Green, Chris (February 26, 2018). "Cleveland Adds Pro Soccer Team". StadiumJourney.com. Stadium Journey. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  6. Burden, Brian (December 11, 2018). "Being as Cleveland as Possible". ProtagonistSoccer.com. Protagonist Soccer. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  7. "Cleveland SC added to National Premier Soccer League". WKYC.com. WKYC. February 19, 2018. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  8. McKee, Vince (March 6, 2018). "Cleveland SC Announces Venue For 2018 Season". NEOSportsInsiders.com. NEO Sports Insiders. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  9. "Cleveland SC reveals official crest and logos". ClevelandSC.com. Cleveland SC. March 23, 2018. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  10. "Match Review: Cleveland SC victorious in inaugural NPSL match". ClevelandSC.com. Cleveland SC. May 21, 2018. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  11. Ekman, Tesh (April 30, 2019). "Cleveland's Other Football Team". PressureLife.com. Pressure Magazine. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  12. "Don Shula Stadium at Wasmer Field". JCUSports.com. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  13. "Cleveland SC 2–0 Rochester Lancers". NPSL.com. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  14. "New Cleveland semipro soccer team is off to a hot start". CrainsCleveland.com. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  15. "Cleveland SC at mycujoo". mycujoo.tv. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  16. "Cleveland SC And FC Columbus To Compete In Preseason Series". NEOSportsInsiders.com. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  17. @CoryMizer (26 March 2018). "Ya'll ready for the Grandpa's Cheese Barn Derby??" (Tweet) via Twitter.
  18. "Grandpa's Cheese Barn opens new location closer to Cleveland". Cleveland.com. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  19. "FC COLUMBUS AND CLEVELAND SC BRAVE RAIN IN SECOND LEG OF DEBUT SERIES". NPSL.com. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  20. "6th City Syndicate". 6CSCleveland.com. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  21. "AFC Cleveland supporters". AFCCleveland.com. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  22. "Cleveland SC squad". ClevelandSC.com. Cleveland SC. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  23. "Cleveland SC – NPSL profile". ClevelandSC.bonzidev.com. National Premier Soccer League. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
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