The Cleveland Force branding could be revived in professional soccer, as a group is exploring a new USL club and stadium.
Force Sports, backed by Brothers Greg and Shawn Abrams, is considering a plan to launch a new Cleveland USL squad in the coming years, and have already acquired the rights to the Force branding. If everything moves forward, it could not only result in a revival of the Force name–which is best remembered for the popular Major Indoor Soccer League club that played at the Richfield Coliseum during the 1970’s and 80’s–but potentially lead to a new soccer-specific stadium somewhere in the Cleveland area.
For right now, the biggest priority for the Abrams brothers is locking down plans for a stadium that can accommodate a Division II USL squad. They are currently evaluating their options for a venue, including sites in downtown Cleveland and other locations in the region. More from Crain’s Cleveland Business:
The Cleveland Force would compete in the USL’s top division, but the franchise first must identify a venue.
“We are in that stage and working with different people and developers to narrow that down,” Greg Abrams said.
Abrams said his group has been consulting with the USL throughout the search process, but didn’t want to put a timeline on when a site would be purchased. Considering the USL kicks off its season in March, the earliest the Cleveland Force could debut would be 2020.
The Force Sports owner said locations throughout the region, including downtown Cleveland, are being considered.
Force Sports operates six sports training facilities in the region.
Image of USL action courtesy Toronto FC II.