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Indoor Soccer: Crunch, Invaders announce reunion event in Akron

Indoor Soccer: Crunch, Invaders announce reunion event in Akron


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor

The Canton Invaders and Cleveland Crunch have announced a 40-year reunion game that will be played on Saturday, May 25, at the Goodyear Hall in Akron.

The event is being billed as a “Night of Soccer Legends.”

The Invaders were formed in 1984 and at one point won five league championships in six years.

Just five years later, in 1989, the Crunch were established and celebrated similar success with six championship appearances in 10 years, winning three titles while playing on national television.

The first championship for the Crunch came in 1994, with a game-winning goal in double-overtime by Hector Marinaro in a thrilling game that is now 30 years old.

As part of the big event on May 25, Marinaro, along with teammate Zoran Karic, will both be there, alongside a number of notable Invaders and Crunch players like midfielder Andy Schmetzer, goalkeeper Otto Orf and many other Crunch favorites. The host Invaders will bring back players, including Marcelo Carrera, Oscar Pisano, Rudy Pikuzinski, Walt Schlothauer, Denzil Antonio, Kia and many more.

“I really look forward to this reunion game as both Canton Invaders and Cleveland Crunch have a special place in my heart and 18-year career,” said Kia. “Canton was instrumental in giving me a chance as an 18-year-old and I finished the last four years of my career with Cleveland. I was fortunate enough to win championships with both teams.”

Marinaro, who still holds nearly every major scoring record in professional indoor soccer history, shared in the excitement.

“I can’t wait,” he said. “What a great chance to get back with my teammates and the Invaders, many of whom are great friends despite our rivalry on the field. Most of all, we are doing this for charity. We all want to give back to the community that was there for us, night in, night out.”

All proceeds will benefit the HandsOnSports Foundation.

The organization, founded by Orf, is dedicated to making sports accessible to all children, regardless of their circumstances.

“We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to play a sport they enjoy,” Orf said. “We

are committed to improving a child’s quality of life by providing instruction, equipment, and

access to sports.”

Since its inception in 2009, the foundation has worked to uplift underprivileged, needy and at-

risk children who may not otherwise be able to participate in sports activities.

The foundation’s commitment to their cause has earned them a three-star rating (out of 4) on Charity Navigator, further cementing their status as a trustworthy organization that is doing.

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