AFC Cleveland today announced that Carter Poe will return as Head Coach for the team in the 2016 season. This will be Carter’s second year at the helm of the team, having served player/assistant coach in 2014. Assistant Coaches Brock Kertoy and Mario Gastaldo, who were members of Poe’s staff last season, will also be returning in 2016.
“The organization is great. We had a good season last season and a lot of young guys, so I wanted to come back and continue what we did last year,” said Poe. “I think the experience from last year will really help.”
Poe led the Royals to the 2015 Midwest Regional Final, amassing an 8-2-2 record during the regular season. The team played an attractive attacking style of soccer under him, which caught many opponents by surprise. Of the teams in the Midwest Region last season, AFC Cleveland led the league in goal difference, having scored 30 goals while only allowing ten.
“I think they did a great job last year and I’m really excited they’re coming back this year”, said AFC Cleveland CEO Terry Lawriw. “It should be a good year.”
Carter Poe is a former player who captained AFC Cleveland during the team’s first two seasons. He also had a very successful career at the collegiate level, playing for Duquesne University and serving as captain during his junior and senior year. Currently, he serves as the head coach for Mount Union University’s men’s soccer team.
Given his experience with the Royals, it’s no surprise Carter holds the team close to his heart. AFC Cleveland will be celebrating its fifth anniversary this season, something that Carter believes is a testament to the team’s stability.
“It says a lot about the organization that it’s been around for five years and they’ve been able to keep it going and a lot about how things are run and [the] ownership,” he said. “We’re really proud of being back this year.”
For the 2016 season, AFC Cleveland will be part of the Great Lakes East Conference. The Royals will return to action in May of 2016.