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Get Directions to Liberty LeopardsYoungstown Local Weather
Liberty Leopards
Michael G. Morelli
Fax: 330-395-1514
1 Leopard Way.
Youngstown, Ohio
  Coach Page  

Who is Joe Raduka ?


Joe Raduka, owner of the Cleveland United Soccer Club and now in its eighteenth year, brings to us the benefits of his extensive professional soccer experience. A native of Bastaji, Yugoslavia, Joe was a member of the prestigious Red Star Soccer Club, the top team in the First Division. In 1971, as captain of the Junior National Team in Yugoslavia, he helped secure the Euro cup title for the Red Star Soccer Club. In 1976, Joe received the “Friendship Award”, a rare and prestigious recognition award given by the president of Yugoslavia to the outstanding player who represents the country as a well-liked team leader and hardworking athlete.

Joe joined the Oakland (California) ‘Stompers’ in 1978 when he signed a two year contract with the team. As a 23 year old with speed and strength, Joe was a popular player among Stomper fans as he impressed them with his hard tackles and long running sprints up the field. He was often found directing traffic along midfield and forward lines throughout his many years there. (a sign he was destine to coach)

In 1979 the North American Soccer League (NASL) entered its thirteenth year with a new conference alignment structure and the completion of expansion plans. The NASL soon became the third largest sports league in North America as professional soccer continued to grow at a “boom” pace. Not only was Joe an integral player for the Stompers, he was also chosen to be a member of the 1979 NASL All-Star Team. That year he also played abroad for the Belgian professional team ‘Namur’. He was often seen during 1978-1979 rushing through airports to catch a flight to play the next soccer game for this team on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

He would not be able to do that with the airport security we have now.

At the end of 1979, the Stompers team moved to Edmonton Canada and changed their name to the ‘Drillers’. Joe moved with the team and was selected as one of the all time team leaders for the Drillers. He was chosen again by the NASL in 1979-1980 as the top team defender in the country. By year’s end, he had completed five NASL seasons, totaling 91 games. He continued to be a major force over the next 3 years, making plays that contributed to Edmonton’s “NASL National Championship” in 1981 under head coach Timo Liekoski and assistant coach Jay Hoffman.

Joe entered his first Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) season in 1982. He spent the winter in San Jose with the Golden Bay Earthquakes. Joe led the Quakes in blocked shots that year, and ranked as one of the MISL’s top defenders. He also signed a one year contract that year with a Canadian Professional Soccer League (COSL) team. In accordance to CPSL rules, he was classified to play as a Canadian national player due to his immigrant status.

In 1983 Joe returned to the Edmonton team (now known as the ‘Eagles’) for another NASL season. When they dropped out of what later became the MISL, Joe signed as a free agent with the ‘Cleveland Force’. He had a great career with the Cleveland Force. He was recognized as the “best defender” two years in a row, setting records for best assists, total points and blocked shots. Joe remained with the Cleveland Force throughout the next four seasons.

In an interview conducted in 1987, Joe acknowledged his wish to “have a soccer school for kids”. Following the dissolution of the Cleveland Force in 1987, Joe remained in Cleveland and began to fulfill his dream of building a youth soccer club called “Cleveland United”. His extensive experience in developing and working with young players over the next two years is the main reason he was chosen to be an assistant coach for the new “Cleveland Crunch” in 1989. Joe was a familiar figure around Cleveland that summer, representing the new ‘Cleveland Crunch’ at various public appearances and soccer camps. That first summer Joe set up a new seminar/camp for kids involved in the Cleveland Society for the Blind. The seminar/camp helped the blind and visually impaired youngsters train to play soccer by using a uniquely designed beeping soccer ball. This new and unique method of training continues to be used to this day.

Joe Raduka has distinguished himself often in his career by earning several notable awards for his coaching expertise. In 1998 he received the LEYPSL Boys ‘Coach of the Year’ Award, the OYSAN League Boys ‘Coach of the Year’ Award and the prestigious ‘National Coach of the Year for Youth Boys’ from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

In 1998 Joe returned to the professional coaching environment as the assistant coach for the Cleveland Crunch. That same year his Cleveland United U15 boys team represented the United States in the NIKE Youth World Cup Games in Paris, France. He continues today to build the Cleveland United Soccer Club, coaching teams each year to reach some amazing levels of skill and accomplishment.

Today Joe dedicates his expansive playing and coaching experience to the future of soccer in America by coaching players for his many friends and his beloved Cleveland United Soccer Club.

I am truly excited to have Joe come to train with us this summer.

Michael Morelli

Liberty H.S. Boys soccer coach

Click on Shoe Line imge to go back to "Home Page"

Saturday, June 27
Defensive slide tackling
Click on the above heading to link to the U-Tube vidio of this defensive skill 

Liberty H.S. boys soccer teams
Liberty H.S. boys soccer teams
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