Suarez was born in Havana, Cuba. In 1972 his parents, Roberto and Miriam Suarez, left Cuba and relocated their family in Charlotte, North Carolina, where Suarez attended Myers Park High School. He graduated from Myers Park in 1974, enrolled in Appalachian State University, then transferred to Belmont Abbey College, where he received a B.A. in Business Management.
Suarez had an unsuccessful initial tryout for the Carolina Lightnin'. He was put in the lineup for the team's second game; however, after a series of injuries decimated the roster. He was an immediate hit with the crowd who embraced him as "a hometown kid." Suarez became known for his "toothy grin and shoulder-length hair," according to Charlotte Observer sports reporter David Scott.
Suarez scored nine goals in his first 12 games and ended his first season with 15 goals. Suarez' style, according to Scott, was to "knock the ball past defenders, run it down, then put it in the back of the net. Or he would chase down a pass behind the defense, slip the ball into the goal and race off to celebrate."
Suarez injured his left knee while playing with the Cleveland Force in late 1981. He sat out the 1982 season, then rejoined the Lightnin' for that team's final season in 1983. While playing with the Charlotte Gold of the United Soccer League in 1984, Suarez injured his right knee, ending his professional career.
Suarez regained the public spotlight in 1991 when he received a 22-month prison sentence for conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute. At the time, he said he hoped youth would learn a lesson from his mistakes.
6 Dems among 7 lined up to replace Quinones: A March 20 primary will decide who runs against Tony Suarez in House District 49.
Feb 17, 2007; Byline: Mark Pino Feb. 17--Six Democrats and a Republican qualified Friday as candidates for House District 49. The Democrats are...