Cortland, OH (WYTV) – Soccer is a sport that’s grown dramatically over the last decade in the Valley, and now, a professional team is set to join the mix. The Youngstown Nighthawks formally introduced their team to the public tonight, as they continue to assemble their first Arena League team.
“The indoor soccer game’s a lot faster,” said Nighthawls head coach Allen Eller. “I would say it’s more like hockey so it’s more physical, smaller faces. even if you’re down a few goals, you can always get back into it real quickly. Four or five goals can get scored in a minute or two.”
Well, it’s official, professional indoor soccer is coming to Youngstown. The Youngstown Nighthawks unveiled their new franchise tonight in Cortland in anticipation for their inaugural season later this year.
“I think this is the right time to do it,” said forward and ’05 Mooney grad Kiki Willis. “It will get a lot of kids involved in the area, within soccer. and i think it will drive the city of Youngstown to look at something different.”
“I think the Nighthawks would give something for the fans or something for the people of Youngstown to go watch and it would be extremely entertaining,” said Thomas Beck, a midfielder and ’10 Mooney grad.
“It shows them good soccer, good entertainment, so it’s definitely that could develop the leagues around here and get more people interested in the game of soccer,” said Eller. “Not just with the adults, but also with the youth.”
The Nighthawks hope to build the local game with local talent, such as Kiki Willis, who won a State Championship with Cardinal Mooney.They hope to host their first game around November at the Covelli Center.
“Youngstown is a great town, and we’ve grown so many players and so many good people that’s come out of this area,” said Joshua Aiden, Vice President of the Nighthawks. “I really think it will work here and it will represent the city well.”
“To able to play something that I’ve done my entire life and do it here at home means a lot more to me,” said Kiki Willis. “I know there’s a lot of support out there for this organization as well as for myself, so I’m gonna do all that I can to be successful in here and bring a championship to Youngstown.”