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Crunch in the Playoffs!

Cleveland Crunch

The Crunch have made it to the playoffs. Here’s a few things to know about tonight’s game.


Opponent and trouble!

The Crunch will play the Chicago Mustangs Saturday night in North Olmsted at the SportsPlex. Tickets are available. Just click on the Instagram link.



But there is major controversy hours before the first playoff game. In last Saturday’s game between Chicago and the Rockford/Illinois State Falcons, three players were suspended by the league. Watching the game’s stream, there were a number of instances with physical play and numerous players having heated discussions with the referees, coaches and opponents. Even an instance of a Falcon player possibly taunting Chicago after a goal.

Here’s the game replay. Go to Chicago v Rockford, 3/18/23.

The melee happened during the post-game pleasantries. The stream showed both sides being courteous with each other, shaking hands and coaches hugging. But clearly there was tension by a few of the players during the game and after. Video from the arena showed fans attack possibly the father of Chicago goalie, Jose Resendiz. Then, Rockford players and fans left the father and jumped onto Diego himself!


Jose Resendiz (G) and Edgar Pani (D) with Chicago and Diego Bolanos (F) with Illinois were suspended for the remainder of the season. With the win, Chicago gathered the last spot in the playoffs and without their top goalie and one of their defenders, it will be interesting to see how that transpires. MLIS Pro released a statement regarding the suspensions which led to the game being a forfeit by Illinois


Here’s the leagues release:


“We are very displeased with what transpired on March 18 and we are sending the strongest message possible that this poor conduct has negative consequences and won’t be tolerated…We are confident that our teams will conduct themselves with the utmost professionalism as we conclude the regular season and look ahead to a fantastic playoffs.” (Dominic Turcotte, MLIS Commissioner)


Chicago has appealed the suspension, so where this is headed is unclear.


Chicago and Cincinnati were two of the clubs that pushed the creation of this league and worked hard to get the Crunch involved. Having Cleveland and Chicago battle for a spot in the final four seems apropos!


Wichita left out


Wichita was the third team vying for that wildcard playoff game. Along with Cleveland and Chicago, last weekend witnessed matches that would determine the last two spots. Chicago had won the Saturday game, 10-7, which gave them an 8-3 record. Since the post-match altercation and subsequent forfeit of the last game of the year which would have been Sunday, Chicago finished with a 9-3 record. Wichita (8-4) could be in the playoffs if the league had forced Chicago and Rockford/Illinois to play the game and Rockford had won. (At the time, Wichita had the goal differential advantage over Chicago.)


Regular season results



Grand Rapids Eastern Division

Omaha Central Division

Houston Southern Division






Pictures from last weekend



Thanks, Luigi Musto, for your awesome pictures.


Video courtesy of the Club!




Recap of the year

As with any new league with unforeseen issues, it has been a somewhat rocky yet exciting first year for the league. Not all teams played the required twelve games. Milwaukee will play two today against Rockford/Illinois even with the playoffs beginning. 


Some clubs were well organized and their social media presence was impressive. Other clubs struggled with the promotion of their teams and the league in general.


The league appeared to have amended their playoff setup mid-season, specifically the tiebreaker issue. The goal is still to allow the winning club earning not just the Championship but the $25,000 prize that goes with it. 


On the exciting part, numerous games were goal scoring feasts! For example, the average number of goals scored by the home team was 9.0. The average for the visitors? 7.1.


25% of the games finished with the winning team’s goal differential (the winning score – losing score) in double digits! The average differential was around 6 goals per game.


There were only 2 shutouts (not counting the forfeit) in 68 games on the year, so when a fan attends these games, the expectation is you will see goals! Often plenty of them!


Check out the’s list of firsts for the year! Pretty cool!


Final Four

The final four will travel to Chicago next weekend for the finals. The finals will be April 1st and 2nd at Grand Sports Arena in Chicago. Ticketing information will be released soon.


Omaha will play the winner of the Cleveland/Chicago wildcard match. Grand Rapids will battle Houston.


The year is far from over, but with what we have witnessed this year, I have no doubt that the remaining four games will be high scoring affairs. And will probably have some controversy, too!

I am a math teacher in SW Ohio. Born and raised in NE Ohio, I am married with four sons who keep the flame burning for all things Cleveland. I cover soccer, betting, football and anything that focuses on the human side of sports.

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  1. Pingback: Crunch MLIS Playoff Preview!

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