The pressure is on AFC Cleveland to earn points in this weekend’s clashes with conference opponents FC Buffalo and Rochester Lancers after recording back-to-back conference losses.
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.
Photo Credit: Jay Dunwell