On Wednesday, January 20, 6CS had a little get-together at the Winking Lizard in Independence. It was good to see everyone as the NPSL off season is excruciatingly long. Thank you to everyone who were able to make it out, the excitement is still buzzing from everything we were able to talk about for 6CS and learn about AFC Cleveland. A special thank you to AFC Cleveland owner, Terry Lawriw, for coming out and sharing so much with us about the upcoming season and future of the team we’ve all come to love so much.
For those who were unable to make it out, as much that can be shared will be in this wrap up. Unfortunately there were some things that were discussed and should not be talked about publicly that will need do be left out. That said, COME TO THE NEXT ONE!
6th City Syndicate News & Updates:
Each season several people from 6CS find a way to get to a few away games. This season we are going to try and put together something a bit more organized for at least one away game. With the schedule still not released/confirmed it’s hard to commit to anything just yet, but there are several away games that could be contenders: Erie, Buffalo or Pittsburgh are the most likely.
Like travel, we have been great as individuals bringing signs, banners, flags and drums to each game … But the time has come to pull together as a group and get things together that will help out on gameday. We will need as many hands as we can get, so even if you have no idea what you’re doing WE NEED YOU. If you’re interested in helping out, please email your info to 6thCitySyndicate@gmail.com. If you have any special skills like sewing, painting or know of a place we can get together to make these things please share that as well. 6CS Tifo announcements will be made via email to keep things under-wraps until they are to be revealed.
Our first-ever 6CS scarf design is finished, our vendor is set and pre-orders are being taken NOW! The scarf is $20 and can be ordered here. Once our minimum is met we will place the order with our vendor and will have scarves in-hand about 5 weeks later.
AFC Cleveland News & Updates:
Until official announcements are made by AFC Cleveland, the NPSL or US Soccer everything from here out is “unconfirmed.” This is all being put together from information pulled from press releases, social media, websites and maybe a few things Terry said…
It was confirmed last week that Carter Poe will indeed be back at the helm for our Royals this season. Carter has been with the team from the very beginning; Player, Captain, Coach… Legend. What’s unconfirmed is what he’s been doing since the season ended. The smart money would be on Carter having a decent number of last year’s team returning… how many and who they are will be best left for the team to announce. Given that the team he assembled last season not only made it to the Midwest Region Championship game, went UNDEFEATED at home, AND only allowed ONE GOAL at home the entire season … we hope he gets a ton!
U.S. Open Cup:
The U.S. Open Cup is the third longest running open soccer tournament IN THE WORLD. 2016 will be the 103rd edition. AFC Cleveland qualified once before in 2012, but had to turn down the opportunity to play in the 2013 tournament. Last year they qualified again and this year they plan to participate. The tentative date for the first round of the tournament is Wednesday, May 11. It looks like rosters are due by March 25th and will be frozen until June 30. This will be a busy time for our Royals as our 2016 season usually starts around the same time. But what better way to get ready for the season than testing yourself against the best the nation has to offer? If you’d like to know more about the tournament, its history and for a ton of ongoing coverage check out TheCup.us. For the particulars as to how qualifications and match-ups are made, you can download the Open Division Handbook here.
The NPSL schedule is notorious for being “tentative” until just before games begin. With 6 “new” teams added to our region, the Midwest has been split into two conferences; Great Lakes East and Great Lakes West. AFC Cleveland will compete in the Great Lakes East conference against the Erie Commodores, FC Buffalo, FC Indiana, Fort Pitt Regiment, Indy Eleven NPSL, and Rochester River DogZ FC … yes, “DogZ” with a capital “Z.” While the DogZ are a completely new team, Indy Eleven NPSL is the new name of last season’s Midwest champions, Indiana Fire. More about that here. They are now the first NASL affiliated team in our region.
We do not know yet what the schedule will be like, but with the Midwest being split it would appear that we will play our typical 12 games, one home and one away versus each of the teams in the Great Lakes East. Teams at the top of their conference’s table at the end of the season would likely face each other in a regional playoff tournament. This is all purely speculative as no information about the schedule has been released … officially.
Rust Belt Derby:
The Rust Belt Derby started in the 2012 season when supporters of AFC Cleveland (6th City Syndicate), Detroit City FC (Northern Guard Supporters) and FC Buffalo (The Situation Room) decided to make something special for their clubs. The results from their teams’ match-ups over the course of the season would earn the victor glory and hardware. Each team would play the others 3 times over the course of the season which lead to fantastic rivalries being born and great matches played both at home and away. Over the years, due to scheduling and regional realignment, the RBD has become a shadow of what it once was. Last year each club only played two games, one against each of the other teams. As you may have noticed, Detroit City FC is NOT in our conference this season. We will likely NOT have a regular season game against them. But, before you worry, Terry did say that the teams are working on a solution and that the RBD should be able to take place (in some form) this season.
That’s all folks…
For now that’s what can be shared. The season is a mere 3 months away and there is a lot of work to do for us to be ready. PLEASE spread the word that Cleveland has a soccer team and AFC Cleveland is that team. Tell people at your pick up game, your indoor league, at the bar while you watch an EPL match, at work, tell your friends and family, share posts about AFC Cleveland and 6CS on Facebook and Twitter. Check out the AFC Cleveland Reddit page. Make sure you’re following AFC Cleveland and 6CS on Twitter (@AFCCleveland & @6CSCleveland) and have liked the pages on Facebook (AFC Cleveland & 6th City Syndicate). Start asking local sports reporters and outlets about AFC Cleveland. Share information with them and local news outlets. They will only cover things that they see an audience for … BE THAT AUDIENCE.
We want YOU to stand with us and support AFC Cleveland. Not only do our Royals deserve it for all they do each time they take the field, but we want you to find the same joy we do each time we get the chance to cheer for them. Each chant, each song, every wave of a flag or beat of the drum is pure emotion. It’s unlike anything else and we want as many people to share in it as we can find. Please, spread the word.