Njoku not impressed with Tyrod’s hair (Tweet)

The roast continues between Browns players on twitter

CLEVELAND, OH (TM216) – – The comedic stylings of David Njoku are on display again on twitter.

The world of tweets continues to be a playground for players as the Browns 2017 first round draft pick now takes aim at newly acquired quarterback, Tyrod Taylor:

If roasting is necessary for the team to come together, this team is already off and rolling. And we will be the beneficiaries of the back and forth.

WWE: New Shirt For Ohio Native “Alexa Bliss”

WWE Superstar from Columbus releases new merchandise!

CLEVELAND, OH (TM216) — She is twisted, she is your Raw Women’s Champion, and she is bringing a new shirt to your collection.

The University of Akron alum and Columbus product is in the middle of a lengthy run atop the women’s division in WWE.

As your Ohio State Buckeyes begin their next run eyeing down a National Championship, you can now have the new look of another Columbus champion, as previewed on her twitter below:

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ROYALS: Cleveland Face FC Buffalo and Rochester in Critical Stretch

Royals looking for bounce back weekend.

The Royals will look to build separation between themselves and FC Buffalo, who sit at the bottom of the Midwest East table with two points in three matches. AFC Cleveland host the Wolves Friday, and will attempt to win their first league home match of the season after drawing Dayton Dynamo and falling to Erie Commodores earlier in the season. Regaining dominant home form will be important for the Royals, whose undefeated record at Stan Skoczen Stadium propelled them to a national championship last season.

FC Buffalo will travel to Cleveland having completed a come-from-behind draw against Rochester Lancers Saturday, where they out-shot their opponents 20-5. Despite the lopsided shot chart, FC Buffalo settled for the draw behind goalscorer Cameron Emerson. The visiting Wolves will be missing Chris Walter against AFC Cleveland, who was sent off against the Lancers after a battle with former Royal, Antonio Manfut, who also received red on the play.

After Friday’s match, the Royals travel to Bob Boozer Field Sunday for their first league tie with the Rochester Lancers. The Lancers enter the weekend on a three-game unbeaten run capped by a convincing 3-0 victory against Fort Pitt Regiment. Rochester will also be in action Friday with a home match against Syracuse FC.

AFC Cleveland will be playing catch-up in the standings to the newly rebranded Lancers, who are currently three points ahead of the Royals after five games played. Fans can also expect Antonio Manfut to return Sunday to face his former teammates, with whom he won a national championship in 2016.

To the see the Royals in action Friday, tickets can be purchased at afccleveland.com/tickets. Also be sure to tune into afccleveland.com for live updates during Sunday’s match against the Rochester Lancers.

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(photo by Ken Jackson)

AFC Cleveland Win At Iowa 3-1

Soccer in Cleveland

By: AFC Cleveland

DES MOINES, IA (TM216) — The AFC Cleveland Royals defeated the Des Moines Menace 3-1 on a wild, entertaining night of soccer between two of the NPSL and PDL’s finest. Both teams traded chances throughout the match, and were kept in the game by excellent goalkeeping performances, but the Royals proved to make the most of their opportunities and have earned a place in the Second Round of the U.S. Open Cup, where they will face the USL’s FC Cincinnati.

Des Moines created more chances in the first half and seemed to keep slightly more possession, but were unable to find a way past Alex Ivanov. The Royals had opportunities as well, but seemed to reach a higher level with the wind at their back in the second half.

Both sides ended the game with 8 shots on goal, though the Royals were more efficient in front of the net with three goals on 10 total shots, compared to the Menace’s one goal on 13 shots. The Menace also earned five corners to AFC Cleveland’s 2, but the Royals backline showed signs of continuing their impressive form from last season by dispatching any Des Moines set-piece chances.

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The first half provided end-to-end action with both teams able to go forward and create dangerous opportunities. The Menace got out to a quick start by testing Royals goalkeeper Alex Ivanov with a couple shots within the first five minutes of the match.

The Menace had the best chance of the half in the 10′ when a Royal turnover in the midfield led to a breakaway for Des Moines’ Devyn Jambga, who only had Ivanov to beat. The AFC Cleveland goalkeeper was able to perfectly time Jambga’s approaching dribble to meet the ball at the time of Jambga’s shot, sending the ball wide of the post.

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The Royals created two chances of their own in the ensuing minutes. In the 15′, Chris Cvecko beat a defender in the air before sprinting to the corner to place a cross that was ultimately turned away for a corner kick. Two minutes later, Tom Beck forced a turnover deep in the Menace’s defensive third, which led to a dangerous cross that would have met an open Ben Truax if it had not been intercepted by Des Moines keeper Kyle Ihn.

Play stopped in the 23′ as trainers attended to Mike Derezic, who suffered from an apparent injury and was replaced by Coletun Long.

Des Moines continued to shoot at the AFC Cleveland goal for the remaining of the half, but their chances were kept a safe distance from goal and failed to challenge Ivanov.

The Royals were able to use a strong wind at their backs to create more chances in the second half, but both goalkeepers were stars of the half’s early stages. Ivanov made another fantastic save by denying the Menace another point blank opportunity within the first 10 minutes of the half. Kyle Ihn answered Ivanov’s save by winning a one-on-one opportunity against Truax in the 57′, who had been fed through the Menace defense by Admir Suljevic. Truax was close to scoring again after beating his opponent on a long kick by Ivanov, but his shot was once again denied by Ihn.

Truax had another chance turned away after his shot was initially saved by Ihn in the 64′, but the ball fell back to the AFC Cleveland forward, whose headed ball was cleared off the line by a Menace defender.

AFC Cleveland broke the tie in the 75′ after a foul on Cvecko, who was played into the right side of the box by Beck. Suljevic buried home the ensuing penalty kick in the 76′ past a diving Ihn.

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The Menace looked especially poised to equalize after the first goal and immediately countered with an attack that led to a shot off the Royals post, but the AFC Cleveland defense sorted through the chaos to send the ball away from danger.

Hayden Partain brought the Menace back into the game with an equalizer in the 82′ after he was found open by Muang Sunday near the penalty mark and buried his shot past a diving Ivanov.

Cvecko scored what proved to be the winning goal in the 90′ after Des Moines appeared to score when the ball hit the net after deflecting off the football post above the goal. Ian Larson possessed the ball along the left channel before delivering a well-placed cross opposite-field to Cvecko, whose shot soared over Ihn and off the far post before bouncing into the goal.

AFC Cleveland got an insurance goal late into stoppage time when Beck dribbled past a Menace defender to create a 3v1 opportunity. Beck served a cross to substitute Reymar Klochko, who was left alone for the easy tap-in. This would be Klochko’s first goal as a Royal.

The Royals now await I-71 rivals FC Cincinnati in the Second Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup next Wednesday, May 17.

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SOCCER: AFC Cleveland Royals Begin Title Defense Saturday!

by: AFC Cleveland Royals

The 2017 regular season foes will bring plenty of entertainment with them to Stan Skoczen Stadium this season as a new division vies for its first champion. The Royals are the team to beat as the season starts when the Dayton Dynamo come to town on Saturday, May 13th.  This will be the first time the Dynamo has had to travel to Cleveland as it will be the Royals first home match since their triumph last summer. Another game of note will be on Friday, June 9th when FC Buffalo and their well-traveled fans visit Cleveland. For those looking for the perfect opportunity to enjoy Royals soccer for an entire weekend, in late June there will be an eventful back-to-back with Fort Pitt Regiment in Cleveland on the 23rd followed by a quick jaunt to Marimon Field in Pittsburgh for a match on the 25th.  Closing out the season against FC Buffalo in the 5,000-seat capacity of Robert E. Rich All-High Stadium will be one of the Royals’ toughest tasks. The travel for The Royals fans this regular season will be light with games in Pittsburgh, Dayton, Rochester, and Erie, all within a few hours’ drive.

Before NPSL conference play begins, the Royals have been invited once again to play for the U.S. Open Cup.  On May 10th in Des Moines, Iowa, the first round will showcase an intense matchup of the 2016 NPSL Champions against the Des Moines Menace of the USL Premier Development League.  The Menace’s 2016 season ended in their league championship tournament to the PDL’s eventual champions, the Michigan Bucks. If the Royals advance as they did in the 2016 tournament, the opportunity to play closer to home in the USOC for the Royals will come in the second round against FC Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium. The second-round matchup will be played Wednesday, May 17th.

Stan Skoczen Stadium will have the rare honor of hosting one of American soccer’s most prestigious tournaments this June.  The Hank Steinbrecher Cup is a matchup of reigning champions from NPSL, PDL, USASA, plus the reigning Steinbrecher Cup holder.  The exciting weekend of champion soccer is June 2-4 starting with the Michigan Bucks vs. FC United followed by AFC Cleveland vs. Christos FC.

Expectations

The opportunities of playing in the USOC and the Steinbrecher Cup, plus 18 regular season matchups, will keep the Royals busy this spring and summer.  Most of the core of last year’s dream run are returning, including the team’s first-team All-NPSL selection, Potocnik, and second-team selections Long and Harter.  Although most of the competition in this year’s East Conference is familiar, the only teams from 2016 with a better than .500 record are the Royals and FC Buffalo.  Thanks to dominating defense and the relentless fans of the Wampus, AFC Cleveland hasn’t lost a home game in years. The competition will be tough but the reigning champions will be favorites to win the conference and enter the NPSL postseason for a third consecutive year.

Photo Credit: Brent Durken/ 6th City Photography

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