The Royals midfield received a boost with the addition of former Royal and Ohio State University standout Yianni Sarris this past week. Sarris was rostered with the club in 2012 and made his first appearance of 2017 late in Saturday’s 5-1 win against Syracuse FC, replacing Chris Cvecko. Sarris’ addition brings AFC Cleveland to 24 players for the 2017 season.
In three years with the Buckeyes, Sarris developed into one of the nation’s top collegiate talents. Rotating between the attacking and defensive midfield positions, Sarris led Ohio State in points his senior year with five goals and five assists. Sarris’ performance in 2014 lead to a wealth of accolades for the prospect from Chios, Greece. He earned Second Team All-Big Ten and All-Academic Big Ten selections and was named Team MVP at the End of the Year Banquet.
In addition, Sarris was featured in MLS Big Man on Campus, College Soccer News National Team of the Week, Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week, and UNCW Classic All-Tournament Team. His achievements drew interest from MLS teams, leading to an entry into the 2015 MLS SuperDraft and invites to participate in combines for Real Salt Lake and Columbus Crew SC.
Sarris’ high school accomplishments for Saint Ignatius High School were just as impressive. Sarris served as team captain for the 2010 state and national champion Wildcats, where he tallied 2 goals and 2 assists in the National Championship final. His abilities gained him recognition at the state and local level, as evidenced by his inclusion as an NSCAA All-American, First Team All-Region, First Team All-Ohio, First Team All-Greater Cleveland, ESPN All-State Team and Cleveland Plain Dealer Player of the Year teams.
Sarris is excited to get back on the field and play for his hometown with former teammates and opponents.
“It’s exciting to join a group of guys who have a championship mentality and are driven to work towards a common goal for the city of Cleveland,” said Sarris. “Together, we are capable of accomplishing a lot and I’m just here to contribute in any way that I can.” “It’s also exciting reuniting with several teammates I grew up playing with and against throughout my career.”
Sarris and his AFC Cleveland teammates are back in action on the road Friday, May 26 against Dayton Dynamo and will return home to host Erie Commodores FC Sunday, May 28 at 2:30 pm. Ticket packages for all home matches are still available at afccleveland.com/tickets.
Photo Credit: The Lantern