Saturday, September 25, 2004

Cyclones Win 2004 U12 Girls Ontario Cup

The London United Cyclone finished off a successful 2004 soccer season with a victory in the U12 Ontario Cup competition. The Cyclone become only the second London United team to win and Ontario Cup title. The Cyclone advanced with 4 victories in the First Round in Sault Ste. Marie to move to a quarter final match with a tough Kitchener team in the quarter finals and a 2-1 win. The semi final was a 2-0 win over fellow London entry, the Flash. The final saw the Cyclone play fellow SRSL team North Mississauga. The game ended 1-0 in a hotly contested final. The Cyclone finished their Ontario Cup tournament with 19 goals for and only 1 against.
The Cyclone team was formed as a U9 team and has been progressing ever since. The 2004 team is coached by Frank Sauer, assisted by John Howell-Harries and Jon Mihalopulos, manager Laurie Kornmuller and trainer Tara Charlebois.
The 2004 team is: Kate WortonDaniella StranoAngelika MihalopulosMelissa MazzoratoStephanie ClarkeAlex CharleboisEmily TustinGrace Howell-HarriesBrittany Fazio-FosterKarina DeFreitasAnna KornmullerKayla ZakrzewskiAlly CrichCate BoydNicole SauerSabrina Sa
The Cyclone would also like to acknowledge the tremendous effort of 3 other girls/womens teams who competed in the Ontario Cup finals. The U13 Hurricane, U18 and women's teams who all competed well representing the club in final games.
If you would like more information about the Cyclone team their web address is

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

City needs miracle to reach playoffs

Ryan Pyette, Sports ReporterThe London Free Press

After spending the first half of the season battling for top spot in the Canadian Professional Soccer League's Western Conference, London City now needs a miracle just to make the playoffs.
Mired in a seven-game winless drought dating back to Aug. 6, City (6-9-3) has to win its final two regular-season games by big scores and hope the third-place Windsor-Detroit Border Stars (8-7-3) get blown out in their final two games.
The Border Stars are up six points on City for the final playoff spot. If they end up tied, the tie-breaker goes to goal differential.
City is minus-10 and the Stars are plus-three.
"It's the City way. It's never easy," said City general manager and head coach Harry Gauss. "But if we don't make the playoffs, it's because of a lack of character and selfishness in the players."
Gauss wouldn't identify any examples of jealousy and egotism in his ranks, but he said there have been small things he has noticed throughout the year that have contributed to a "me-first" attitude among some members of his squad.
"That's not how we operate," he said. "I'm going to find the ones with character -- even if I have to go through a million players."
City clearly misses the leadership of selfless midfielder Tonino Commisso, who retired a few weeks ago after a rash of concussions.
"There's a guy who never played his natural position (striker) with City, but he did what was best for the team and never said a word," Gauss said.
City has net-bulging Northern Ireland native Paul Munster, who has scored 20 of the team's 29 goals, for the rest of this season. Still, the losing continues.
"Paul's the greatest thing since sliced bread and a consummate team player," Gauss said. "He will be the top scorer and he should be the league MVP and rookie of the year, too. No one's ever won all three in this league."
On Sunday (Sept. 19), Munster scored what looked like the winning goal early, but Croatia was handed a controversial penalty kick in the 91st minute to tie it and got the winner late in injury time.
Right before the penalty shot, Gauss changed goalies, subbing Mark Fernandes out for forward Erik Elmauer, who had stopped two penalties last week against Benfica to help City's Western Ontario Soccer League club reach the upcoming Premier Cup final against AEK London.
Croatia still scored.
"I felt sorry for the guys. They played well enough to win," Gauss said. "That and the tie (1-1 with lowly Durham, who dressed six players from talented amateur side G.S. United) has us in this position. But we're not dead yet."
City continues its month-long road trip tomorrow (Sept. 23) against Toronto Supra (12-1-4) and closes with the Brampton Hitmen (7-6-5) on Wednesday (Sept. 29). The Border Stars, coached and co-owned by former City player Jeff Hodgson, end with road games against the struggling North York Astros and powerful Vaughan Shooters.
One thing's certain. City won't finish in last place for the third consecutive year.

Monday, September 20, 2004

London Portuguese cup hopes shut down

By RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

VAUGHAN -- London Portuguese can kiss Anne of Green Gables goodbye. The powerhouse men's soccer team stumbled one game from a trip to the national club championships in Charlottetown, P.E.I., with a surprising 3-0 loss to the Ottawa Royals in the Ontario Cup tle game last night at the Ontario Soccer Centre.
It's the third time since 1998 Portuguese has lost in the final. They won in 2002 and were trying to become just the second London team to claim two men's Cup crowns (London Marconi won in 1966 and 1978).
"It's disappointing, it wasn't our day but we're going to hold our heads up high," said London keeper Paul Azevedo. "We've lost this thing three times, but there's got to be something said for getting to the finals year after year. We're in it all the time and we'll be back next year to give it another shot."
The spirited Ottawa side, which carried much of the play, got goals in the 43rd minute from Dan Cheney, the 47th from Sylvain Clouthier and the capper in the 87th from Roland Tiamuh.
The Portuguese players couldn't recall the last time they were shut out.
It didn't help that veteran striker Andrew Loague injured his left leg in a collision with teammate Mike Delgado just three minutes in.
Loague limped around while play resumed but was forced to leave at the seven-minute mark. The talented Delgado also left for a lengthy spell after being kicked in the face while sliding for a loose ball.
"I've never felt such pain," said Loague, 34. "It's my ankle and my knee. I would've played injured and I did everything I could to stay in there, but there was no way. I wanted to give it a shot at halftime but I took a pass on the sidelines and it was a sharp jolt and I knew that was it."
The injury allowed Ottawa to better mark London's remaining goal-kicker Ree San. Genti Buzali, Loague's natural replacement, was well across the Atlantic Ocean on a pre-planned trip to Albania to visit his parents.
"Loague getting hurt -- that was our worst nightmare," said head coach Carlos Miranda said. "I had to throw (midfielder) Alan Hirmiz, who's one of our best up-and-down (the field) guys, up front. He did a good job but it took him away from what he does best in the midfield. I knew in the first 10 minutes it wasn't our day, we looked nervous. Ottawa played superb, they beat us to every possible ball and we just didn't match them, simple as that."
Ottawa did have one advantage over Portuguese -- a core group of the players won last year's title with Kanata Soccer Post and had experience on the Soccer Centre's FIFA approved artificial FieldTurf.
"This is a great facility and we're not trying to make excuses, but soccer should be played on grass," Miranda said. "Our guys hadn't been on the surface before and never really got used to it."
On a whole, it was one of the worst Cup final weekends for London. All four local teams lost their finals and failing to score a goal. The Under-13 girls London United Hurricanes lost 1-0 to Burlington on penalty kicks.
Over the two weekends, London sent eight teams to Cup finals and had two champions: the London Supernova Under-14 girls and the London United Under-12 girls. The Supernova advance to the national championships in October at the Soccer Centre.


The Supernova won the Ontario Cup Final 1-0 over North Mississauga on a golden goal from Katelyn De Putter in the first half of extra time. The Supernova now advance to the Canadian National Championships to be held in Toronto from October 7-11th

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Commisso ready to hang up boots

A possible seventh concussion makes retiring after 13 years an easier decision.
Ryan Pyette, Sports ReporterThe London Free Press

"I learned that City isn't about politics, I got my fair crack and 13 years later, here I am." -- Tonino Commisso London City captain Tonino Commisso is ready to call it a soccer career.
The 31-year-old midfielder and Woodstock native figured he suffered his seventh concussion in City's 2-1 loss to the Metro Lions Sept. 3 in the Open Canada Cup wild-card game at Cove Road field. Commisso scored City's goal on a superb header, but said he woke up the next day with familiar symptoms and decided it was time to retire from the Canadian Professional Soccer League.
"I don't know if I got elbowed or what, but I had a sore jaw and I was groggy, which was how I felt with the other concussions," he said. "Seven is enough. If I was dragged off the field injured, I might have some regrets. But the way it went, I thought the team played well and to score a goal in my last game, I think it's a fitting way to end it."
Commisso, a small but scrappy leader, was a fixture with City for 13 years. He had contemplated retiring after London won last season's Canada Cup -- an achievement he calls his favourite City moment -- but decided to give it one more try.
London, which now has to fill a gaping hole in central midfield, lost 4-1 to Hamilton Thursday in its first post-Commisso game. City also lost 4-1 to Border Stars Saturday.
"I'm proud of how long I was able to play at this level," Commisso said. "I'm not a big guy (he's around 5-foot-8), but I had to battle guys who are six-foot-two, 200 pounds every game. The CPSL is certainly the best calibre of soccer in Ontario. I've often thought of playing at a lower level, but the game was always too slow. This is where I always wanted to play."
Retirement now gives Commisso the chance to devote 13-hour days to his hair-styling business -- the Wellington Hair Studio in Woodstock.
"It means I don't have to drive in for practice or games any more, that's tough when you're trying to run a business," the Beachville resident said. "But I'm going to follow these guys closely and I think it's time to give something back to the game through coaching."
Commisso currently coaches a minor soccer team in Woodstock and has already been named the coach of the new City women's team whenever the CPSL gets its pro women's league running.
When Commisso started out as a teenager with City, he had been a striker just returned from a stint playing for a team in Calabria, Italy..
"When I met (City general manager and coach Harry Gauss), I didn't want to get involved in the politics of soccer at all," Commisso said. "In my first interview, Harry asked me what I wanted and I said, 'Just a fair crack.' I learned that City isn't about politics, I got my fair crack and 13 years later, here I am."
It's going to be a busy year for Commisso -- he's engaged to be married next August.
But he said you can still expect to see him, once in a while, in the stands at the Cove having a beer with old teammate Luan Jonuzi and cheering on his old squad.

Hungarians mark soccer heritage

RYAN PYETTE, Free Press Sports Reporter
2004-09-14 02:26:04

Almost every room in Louis Olcsvary's home has an interesting piece of London soccer history in it. You can say the same about the pages in John Sandor's scrapbook.
It's been 45 years since a group of Hungarian immigrants settled in London and kick-started what has become one of the city's longest continuously operated soccer clubs.
Many fond memories are sure to flood back when the London Hungarian Canadians soccer organization celebrates those 45 years with an all-day kick-fest on Sunday, Sept. 26, at the White Eagles Club in Nilestown.
If you know Olcsvary, you know everyone -- young or old, Hungarian or not -- is welcome to attend.
"We're proud of our Hungarian heritage, but it's a small part -- we're Canadian first," the 67-year-old organizer said. "It's going to be a great day and a soccer celebration of youth right up to the older guys."
There's also plenty of food, drinks, a pig roast, a disco with DJ Energy (Steve Torok) and the famous London Hungarian Pantlika Dance Group.
The event would be held at the London Hungarian Canadian club, except there physically isn't one. That's one reason why many old soccer trophies and artifacts are at Olcsvary's house.
For the last 15 years, the pulse of the Hungarian club has been kept alive in the hearts of its membership while its Western Ontario Soccer League premier division squad is run diligently by the generous wallets of a handful of backers. There is talk of the club taking over a former cricket field currently overseen by the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority.
"Back when we started, the soccer team was the backbone of the Hungarian club," said Sandor, a converted cyclist who played for the original 1959 Hungarians soccer side and later became a member of the great Marconi Club men's outfit that captured London's first Ontario Cup title in 1966. "The original Hungarian meeting place was at the corner of Richmond and York streets. On any day, that's where you'd find everyone. The soccer team was very close and did everything together. It's different now there isn't a building to house the club but the team and club continues."
In their first year, the Hungarians played many games at Silverwood park in the London and District's second division. Sandor said the team jumped to the first division in 1960. The golden years for the club arrived in the 1980s, including a trip to the World Youth Cup tournament in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The 2004 WOSL premier division team plays its home games on Cove Road field at the German Canadian Club. That team was coached by Ian Knight and featured several young university players such as Hartwick College's Tyler Hemming. Other teams shy away from the college players because they leave for school before the WOSL season is over.
Another notable fact? There isn't one Hungarian in the lineup this year.
"I always believe you take the best possible players, no matter where they come from," Olcsvary said. "You also have to put the game in proper perspective. First, it's school, then family, work and soccer -- in that order. So why not give the university kids a place to play to get ready for their school season?
"They need somewhere to develop. We know we're going to lose them early and we're short some guys now, but it should always be about youth."
Of course, there's always room for the guys who drink from the fountain of youth. The 66-year-old Sandor, who still plays in a local soccer league and is the lone member of the 1959 Hungarians still in game shape, will suit up for the 45th anniversary on the same team as his 42-year-old son David.
"I'm hoping to play in two games that afternoon," Sandor said with a grin.
What: 45th anniversary of the London Hungarian Canadians Soccer Organization
When: Sunday, Sept. 26, at White Eagles Club (Nilestown)
Games: Greater London Youth showcase (under-12), 11 a.m.; London Hungarians vs. German Canadians (Masters), 1 p.m.; London Croatia vs. London Portuguese B (Masters), 2:30 p.m.; London Hungarians vs. London Aces F.C., 4 p.m; Romanian Old Boys vs. Slovakians, TBA
Admission: $2 for adults; kids free

Friday, September 10, 2004

27th Annual Henderson Memorial

Tournament Results

Girls U9
Semi Final:
Brams 3 Waterloo2
Semi Final:
Ajax 3 London United 0
Brams 2 Ajax 1

Girls U10
Semi Final:
Kitchener 8 Flamborough 0
Semi Final:
North Mississauga 1 London United TigHers 0
Kitchender 2 North Mississauga 1

Girls U11
Semi Final:
Waterloo 2 London United Avalanche 0
Semi Final:
Greater London Falcons 2 Southend 0
Greater London 4 Waterloo 0

Girls U12
Semi Final:
Ajax 6 Nor’West 0
Semi Final:
London United Cyclone 3 Waterloo 0
London United Cyclone 2 Ajax 1

Girls U13
Semi Final:
London United Hurricane 9 Cambridge 0
Semi Final:
Chatham 2 Flamborough 1
London United 2 Chatham 0

Girls U14
Semi Final:
NL Supernova 2 London United Lightning 1
Semi Final:
Sal-Dan 2 London United Primavera 1
NL Supernova 3 Sal-Dan 0

Girls U15
Semi Final:
North London Lightning 3 Lac St. Louis 2
Semi Final:
Sault Civics 9 Byron 0
Sault Civics4 North London Lightning 1

Girls U16
Semi Final:
London United Xtreme 3 Soo Thunder 1
Semi Final:
Grimsby 2 Windsor 0
London United Xtreme 4 Grimsby 0

Girls U17
Semi Final:
Sarnia 2 London United Heat 0
Semi Final:
Hamilton Sparta 3 Byron 1
Sarnia 2 Hamilton Sparta 1

U9 Boys
Semi Final:
Dixie 4 Flamborough 1
Semi Final:
NL Arsenal White 3 Southend 0
NL Arsenal White 4 Dixie 0

U10 Boys
Semi Final:
Pickering 2 London United Strikers 1
Semi Final:
Brampton 3 Waterloo 1
Brampton 4 Pickering 2

U11 Boys
Semi Final:
UMSC Strikers 2 London United Mavericks 0
Semi Final:
Spartacus SC 4 Waterloo 1
UMSC Strikers 6 Spartacus SC 3

U12 Boys
Semi Final:
Dorchester 1 Brampton 0
Semi Final:
London United Jaguars 2 North Scarbourough 0
London United Jaguars 2 Dorchester 0

U13 Boys
Semi Final:
Brampton 6 Middlesex 1
Semi Final:
North London Cobras 3 London United Fury 0
North London Cobras 4 Brampton 1

U14 Boys
Semi Final:
Brampton 3 Southend 1
Semi Final:
London Portuguese 2 London United Bulldogs 0
London Portuguese 2 Brampton 1

U15 Boys
Semi Final:
London Benefica 3 Sault Civics 0
Semi Final:
NL Dynamite Blue 2 Waterloo Thunder 1
London Benefica 1 NL Dynamite

U16 Boys
London Portuguese 2 Sault This Week 0

U17 Boys
London United Laser 2 Windsor Croatia 0

U18 Boys
Oakridges 1 Middlesex 0

Thanks to all participants and volunteers, you made the 27th Annual John Henderson Memorial Tournament a success!

Friday, September 03, 2004

Defensive diplomacy

Former all-American defender Mark Wagenaar will help London City in its Open Canada Cup drive before he heads off to study statecraft at Seton Hall.
RYAN PYETTE, Free Press Sports Reporter
2004-09-03 04:07:43

Mark Wagenaar is here for a good time, not a long time. The 24-year-old former all-American soccer player will follow in the cleat marks of his younger goalkeeping brother, Josh, and suit up for London City after earning a transfer from the Canadian Professional Soccer League's doormat Durham Storm earlier this week.
Wagenaar, a talented defender who starred at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa, will play for City in tonight's Open Canada Cup wild-card game with the Metro Lions, but he won't be around for the end of the CPSL season.
"I've been accepted to the John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy (at Seton Hall University) and I'm starting in two weeks," Wagenaar said. "I love travelling around the world and I'd love to get paid for it. The long-term goal is to become an ambassador. But right now, I just want to help London win the Cup."
Josh Wagenaar played in net for London in 2002 before accepting a scholarship to Hartwick College (along with teammate Tyler Hemming) in New York. City general manager Harry Gauss picked up Mark Wagenaar on loan until the end of the season.
"He fills an immediate need for us," Gauss said. "We have Marco Peeters out (recovering from a broken jaw) and that has really hurt us. We needed a player like Mark on the defensive side of the ball."
Wagenaar played for City rival Hamilton Thunder two years ago, but sat out last season in a dispute with management and eventually became a free agent.
"I went to California and joined the surf scene. I just became a beach bum for a while," he said. "But I missed playing. It was great to get back into it with Durham this year, but we haven't won so now it's nice to come to London with a shot at winning the Cup."
London, the defending Cup champion, beat the Scarborough-based Metro Lions on penalty kicks in a dramatic final at the Cove last Labour Day. Like last year, City was knocked out of the tournament early, but got back in as the wild-card host team for the final weekend. They're looking for the same kind of performance this weekend.
Besides Wagenaar, City also picked up defender Moscine Talouati from Sarnia Bluewater. The team also returns midfield magician Gentian Dervishi.
Tonight: Wild-card game, London City vs. Metro Lions, 8:38 p.m.
Sunday: Semifinals, Windsor Border Stars vs. Ottawa Capital City, 5:18 p.m; Ottawa St. Anthony Italia vs. London/Metro winner, 8:38 p.m.
Monday: Final, 3:08 p.m.