Martinez, Suljevic, Ceruli nab Major Arena Soccer League 2 honors
TAMPA, Fla. -- Three Major Arena Soccer League 2 stars that all led their teams to the postseason have earned recognition from M2 as Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year for the recently completed 2021-22 season.
Commissioner Chris Economides has announced Cleveland's Admir Suljevic as the league's Offensive Player of the Year, Omaha's Murilo Ceruli as Defensive Player of the Year and RGV's Jose Martinez as Newcomer of the Year.
"All three had truly phenomenal seasons, and more than earned these honors," Economides said. "Not only did they have individual success, but they were key members of their respective teams in a terrific post-season, which is the hallmark of being an all-around contributor and not just an individual padding their stats."
Suljevic led the Crunch to an undefeated regular season, and a second straight appearance in the M2 finals. After winning it all two years ago, Cleveland fell to San Diego in M2's championship game in April.
The high-scoring forward averaged an amazing 5.2 points per game in leading the league's most prolific offense. Suljevic appeared in just nine regular season games, but accumulated a staggering 47 points on 26 goals and 21 assists. In 15 total games over two seasons, he has 36 goals and 28 assists.
His goals, assists and total points were all tops in M2 last year.
Ceruli led the upstart Omaha Kings to M2's championship weekend, where they took the eventual champion San Diego Sockers 2 to overtime in the semi-finals where they eventually fell, 9-8. Ceruli got the assist on the game-tying goal with seven seconds to play in regulation.
He was third overall in goals this year, and second in assists.
Martinez led the Barracudas to the playoff berth, chasing the Sockers all season long, and finishing 10-2, just a game back of the Sockers 2 in the western division standings in the regular season. The two tangled in the first-round of the playoffs as well, with the Sockers 2 taking a 6=5 win in overtime.
Martinez banged in 24 goals and added six assists in 12 regular season games, good for third overall in goals and fifth overall in points in the league. Four times he had a hat trick, and he netted four goals in an 8-2 late season win over the Ontario Fury 2.
The final announcement of 2021-22 M2 award winners will come Friday, revealing the Coach of the Year and league Most Valuable Player.