Canton Invaders

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The Canton Invaders was an indoor soccer club based in Canton, Ohio that competed in the National Professional Soccer League.

After the 1995/96 season, the team became the Columbus Invaders.

Canton Invaders[edit]

The Canton Invaders was a professional indoor soccer team from Canton, Ohio. One of the charter members of the American Indoor Soccer Association (AISA), they played their home contests in the Canton Civic Center, a municipal owned facility in the downtown area of Canton, Ohio.

The Invaders and the AISA began play in 1984 with six teams (Chicago Vultures, Canton Invaders, Columbus Capitals, Kalamazoo Kangaroos, Louisville Thunder, and Milwaukee Wave). The Invaders won the league championships for the 1984-85 and 1985-86 seasons as well as advancing to the championship series for the 1986-87 campaign only to be defeated by their opponent of the previous two championship contests, the Louisville (KY) Thunder. (Footnote: The Louisville Thunder folded following the 1986-87 season. The Milwaukee Wave is the only team to maintain its membership and original location throughout the entire seventeen years of the league’s existence.)

The following three seasons saw the Canton Invaders again capture the league championship crown but their attendance dwindled. A group of diehard fans continued to come to the home games and the seats behind one goal area became known as The Twilight Zone with spectators dressing in dark colored clothing and face painting for the Invaders’ motif. The area behind the other goal was actually the stage for the Canton Civic Center and no spectators were permitted to sit there during games.

Prior to the 1990-91 season, the league set about reinventing itself as the National Profession Soccer League (NPSL). Ten teams now reached from New York to Milwaukee and south to Jacksonville. In an effort to make the games more equitable, players were traded amongst the teams and the Canton squad’s ability to win a majority of their games was eliminated. Canton never again hoisted the championship banner in the Civic Center and for the 1996-97 season, the team relocated to Columbus where they compiled a dismal 5 and 35 record finishing dead last in the Central Division of the American Conference of the NPSL. The Invaders disbanded following one season in Columbus and players were distributed to the remaining dozen teams of the league.

The Invaders had a rivalry with the nearby Cleveland Crunch for their last five seasons of play.

The National Professional Soccer League continued operations for ten more seasons before officially folding operations. The ten teams of the league then established a re-structured league to be known as the Major Indoor Soccer League.

Players[edit]

Coaches[edit]

Athletic Trainers[edit]

Yearly Awards[edit]

AISA Season MVP

NPSL Season MVP

AISA Coach of the Year

AISA Defender of the Year

NPSL Defender of the Year

AISA Rookie of the Year

AISA Leading Goal Scorer

AISA Leading Points Scorer

AISA Goalkeeper of the Year

NPSL Goalkeeper of the Year

AISA All-Star Team

NPSL All-Star Team

Year-by-year[edit]

Year Division League Reg. Season Playoffs Avg. Attendance
1984/85 2 AISA 1st Champions 2,326
1985/86 2 AISA 1st Champions 2,917
1986/87 2 AISA 1st, Northern Final 3,294
1987/88 2 AISA 2nd 1st in Challenge Cup TBA
1988/89 2 AISA 1st Champions TBA
1989/90 2 AISA 1st, American Champions TBA
1990/91 2 NPSL 1st, American Semifinals 2,459
1991/92 2 NPSL 1st, American Final 2,128
1992/93 1 NPSL 7th, American Did not qualify 2,072
1993/94 1 NPSL 5th, American Did not qualify 2,399
1994/95 1 NPSL 6th, American Did not qualify 1,781
1995/96 1 NPSL 7th, American Did not qualify 1,626
1996/97 1 NPSL 3rd, American Central Did not qualify 1,588

Coaches[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]