Saturday, October 30, 2004

North London to merge with London City

RYAN PYETTE, Free Press Sports Reporter
2004-10-30 02:48:17

JOINING FORCES: "It's going to be much like the Junior Knights and the London Knights (of the OHL)." North London president Steve Brazier The local minor soccer landscape is going to look a lot different next summer.
The successful North London soccer club, which has produced the city's past two national champion youth squads, has merged with Harry Gauss's London City outfit to create an organization that will administer the game from the youngest amateur to the most grizzled pro.
At its most basic level, the move means North London's strong stable of high-calibre competitive teams will now fall into the City structure.
North London has 28 teams while Gauss's City has a Canadian Professional Soccer League entry, a Western Ontario Soccer League premier division squad, plus eight youth teams. There is talk of a City women's pro team on the horizon.
"It's going to happen," Gauss said. "There will be a women's CPSL next year."
The 2005 outdoor season will be considered a transition period but by 2006, North London teams such as the Canadian under-14 girls' club champion Supernova will trade its white-and-blue soccer gear for City's red-black-and-white kits.
"It made a lot of sense to combine the synergies of the two clubs," North London president Steve Brazier said. "There's one local pro men's team in town and why not join forces? It creates a pipeline for our players to the highest level."
The North London club will continue to exist but only as a select house league program for under-seven to under-nine boys and girls. London Dynamite coach Martin Painter will be oversee development as technical director.
"I like that they're stressing the development side of things, that was very important to me," Gauss said. "Winning is great but it's a byproduct of learned skills. Martin Painter is a good, young coach and I'm happy to see him involved."
Six years ago, North London surrendered its North East house league program and approximately 1,500 players to the Nor' West Optimists. When clubs such as Nor' West and Byron started enrolling teams in the intermediate and premier divisions of the London and District Youth Soccer League, North London knew it had to make changes or risk becoming irrelevant.
This merger has the potential to create a scenario similar to London's AAA minor hockey system. Many of the new City teams will play in the competitive Ontario Youth Soccer League and South Region circuit.
"It's going to be much like the Junior Knights and the London Knights (of the Ontario Hockey League)," Brazier said. "We still feel our main competition will be from a club like London United. Maybe more clubs will try this sort of setup, we don't know. This arrangement gives us the opportunity to draw players from all over the city."
Kensal Park, a house league with about 600 players, has an already-existing relationship with London City but won't officially fall under the new organization's umbrella.
The City marriage was approved at North London's annual general meeting on Oct. 19 and has been supported by the Elgin-Middlesex Soccer Association.
The three groups -- CPSL, youth, house league -- will continue to run their own financial affairs and have separate budgets.

Friday, October 22, 2004


Former North London player, Kate Bazos has been selected to the Under 19 National Womens team that will play in the FIFA Under-19 Women’s World Championship from November 10-27, 2004 in Thailand. Kate began playing with North London in 1997 and was a member of the Shooting Stars team that won Ontario Cup and Nationals in 2000 as well as Ontario Cup in 2002.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


The North London Supernova are the Canadian U14 National Club Champions after a thrilling 2-1 final win over Calgary. In cool morning conditions it was Calgary who came out stronger and they went ahead after 20 minutes. After halftime the Supernova increased the tempo and their intensity level and deservedly equalized on a Carolyne Prevost goal midway through the half. Although they had good chances - Natalie McCabe heading just over the bar after a brilliantly worked cross from Sara Palermo, Carolyne Prevost narrowly missing on a feed from Devon Beach - the score remained tied at the end of regulation time. In the first half of extra time the Supernova continued to take the game to Calgary, winning a corner that Celina Lin sent in perfectly for McCabe to push across to Jessica Trejo who pounded the ball into the net for a memorable Supernova victory that brought a dream season to conclusion


Congratulations to the following 5 Supernova and former London United Hurricanes players, Rachel Wannek, Jessica Parry, Mallory Marcoccia, Alex Craig and Kayli McGuffin. All 5 have been selected to the thirty player U14 Team Ontario roster. Once their winter training has concluded with Team Ontario these 5 talented young players will join forces with the Supernova 91 squad as they prepare for the 2005 outdoor season.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

WOSL Top Goal Scorers 2004

Premier Division

R. San
London Portuguese

E. Isovic

A. Hirmiz
London Portuguese

V. Ramos

First Division

M. Szydlowski
White Eagles

D. Medeiros

D. Kirlic

A. Majcher
White Eagles

K. Mc Carthy

R. Marques

Second Division


A. Ponce

D. Circelli

S. Veliz

C. Garces

E. Fuentes

Third Division

M. St. Louis

P. Ribeiro

X. Rodrigues

C. Shoely

R. Slowakiewicz
White Eagles

U-21 Division

E. Campling

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Munster passed over as MVP

Ryan PyetteThe London Free Press

Star striker Paul Munster scored plenty of hat tricks on the field this summer, but he couldn't bag another three at the Canadian Professional Soccer League awards banquet last weekend.
The 22-year-old from Northern Ireland, who racked up an eye-popping 25 goals for London City, was named the league's top scorer and rookie of the year but was passed over for the CPSL's biggest prize -- most valuable player.
The league MVP went to Toronto Supra midfielder and former Portuguese pro player Danny Amaral, who finished second in scoring, 10 goals behind Munster.
Each team in the league nominates an individual for major awards and then one representative from each team casts a vote. The only hitch is the rep can't vote for his own player.
"It's petty jealousies. There's no credible reason why Munster shouldn't have won the MVP," said City head coach and GM Harry Gauss.
"Why can't you give a deserving player all three awards?
"I guess it comes down to whether you're picking the best player in the league or a good player on a great team. Munster's biggest fault is he doesn't play defence and goalkeeper, too.
"I never thought I would have to start lobbying for these awards, but it looks like that's how it's going to be."
Munster's City team missed the playoffs with a 7-10-3 record while Toronto Supra won the Eastern Conference title with a 14-2-4 record.
"He scored 25 of (City's 35 goals). You don't get much more valuable than that," Gauss said.
Amaral scored 15 times for a team that scored 49 goals this season.
Chances are Munster isn't too worried about the slight -- he's currently on a three-week tryout with Czech pro league power Slavia Prague. The Belfast native, who was working at a soccer centre in Kitchener, suffered a knee injury two years ago and came to City this summer as part of a pro comeback bid.
Other CPSL winners included Windsor Border Stars' Justin Marshall (top defender), Toronto Croatia's George Azcurra (top keeper), Windsor's Pat Hilton (coach of the year) and Amato De Luca (top official).
Toronto Croatia won the playoff title on Monday with a 4-0 win over the Vaughan Shooters in Brampton.

Monday, October 11, 2004

CPSL Awards


Danny Amaral, the veteran former pro in Portugal who now plays an attacking midfielder role and is captain of Eastern Conference winner Toronto Supra, has been voted by the member clubs the 2004 Most Valuable Player in the Canadian Professional Soccer League.But most of the cheers at the CPSL’s Annual Awards Night on Saturday night went to a player not present at the elegant La Contessa Hall in Toronto, and he’s not even in the country. Paul Munster, a 22 year old Northern Ireland-born striker playing for London City and presently on trial with Slavia Prague in the Czech Republic, won two awards-- the goalscoring title with 25 goals (London City scored 40 league and cup goals during its entire campaign) and the Rookie of the Year award. He was also one of those nominated for the MVP.Munster was making a return to professional soccer following a serious injury that almost ended his career.In all, there were seven individual awards handed out over the weekend, and seven teams were also honoured for various achievements during 2004.MORE WINNERS………………. Justin Marshall of Border Stars, a standout with Wright State University who previously played for Windsor Croatia, won the Defender of the Year award and George Azcurra the outstanding ‘keeper with Toronto Croatia and a multiple winner of this award, was again named Goalkeeper of the Year.Pat Hilton, a former pro in England who took Border Stars in its inaugural year to an Open Canada Cup victory and a third-place finish in the Western Conference standings, was voted the CPSL’s Coach of the Year.Toronto Supra was honoured for winning the Eastern Conference title and Metro Lions for the runner-up position. Hamilton Thunder won the Western Conference for the second year in succession and Toronto Croatia’s late season rally gave them the runner-up spot in the west.Durham Storm, in its inaugural season in the CPSL won the Fair Play Award for the best discipline record in 2004.Amato De Luca was named Referee of the Year and special awards were given to referees Stephanie DeHaan of Kitchener, Deb O'Hara of Elmira, Lisa McNeil and Tamara Reitsma, both from Guelph, for their contribution to the increasing presence of female game officials in professional soccer.Bruno Ierullo of North York Astros was presented the President’s Award and Enio Perruzza was given a special award for his contribution to the CPSL as ‘the voice of the CPSL’ during games in 2004.Vaughan Shooters and Toronto Croatia meet in the CPSL Championship Final on Thanksgiving Day Monday, a finale to the seventh season of the Canadian Professional Soccer League.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Indoor soccer scores winter site

Ryan PyetteThe London Free Press

SOCCER BUFFS: Albert Choy and Tom Partalas, both of Southwestern Optimist, Cam Vassallo of the London District Youth Soccer League, Fred Benenati of Southwest Optimist and Mark Dwyer of Nothwest Optimist rally at the old Soccer Magic indoor soccer field yesterday.

After weeks of uncertainty, it looks as if London's indoor soccer players will finally have a roof over their heads this winter.
A small, non-profit, volunteer group of soccer organizers has pieced together a deal to put a dome back up at the site of the former Soccer World complex in east London near the airport. The group includes members of the Southwest Optimists, the Nor'West Optimists and the London and District Youth Soccer League under an umbrella partnership called London Optimist Indoor Soccer Inc.
"There will be indoor soccer this year -- it's a win-win situation for players, parents and coaches," longtime minor soccer volunteer Tom Partalas said. "Any money that's made will go back to the kids and back into improving the facility. We're going to keep the hourly rental rates as low as possible. All we're asking is that local soccer players support it and the ones who love the sport will do that."
There had been indoor soccer discussions with representatives of Western Fair and the former London Ice House, but those talks failed to produce a workable agreement, leading to a last-ditch effort to secure the Soccer Dome site.
The dome is expected to be active for more than 100 hours a week with LDYSL competitive and recreational games, plus interested adult teams. Indoor soccer, like the outdoor game, is growing at a quick pace with more than 2,000 youth players in London.
Initial registration will take place on Tuesday from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. at the Southwest Optimist complex on Southdale Road. The plan is to start the indoor season on the final weekend of this month and run to the middle of April. The dome is expected to arrive in the next two weeks.
"Our biggest asset is always our volunteers, that's how this thing is going to work,"said organizer Fred Benenati. "We wanted to provide the kids with a place to play and this gives us that opportunity."
The group hopes to make the site a long-term winner and eventually work a deal to buy the land. Previous private business attempts at the indoor dome have not worked out well, leading to a long line of owners, managers and names: Soccer Magic, Soccer World, Forest City Soccer Dome.
There isn't a name for this version of the facility yet, although London Soccer Dome has been mentioned.
"There have been others in the past but they were private groups and they had their own reasons for closing the soccer dome," Partalas said.
"We're non-profit, there's nothing in it for us. But something that hadn't happened before is that we're local, we're all involved in the soccer community, people know us here.
"We'll all work together here for the benefit of soccer."
There is no telling how the delay in resolving the local indoor soccer issue will affect registration. London United executive member Aldo Caranci said the uncertainty was one reason his organization's fall outdoor league was unable to attract more teams.
"A lot of coaches said they were waiting to see what happened with indoor," Caranci said. "They couldn't commit to us and we had to pull it for this year."
There is also a question on the value of indoor soccer. Some coaches prefer their competitive players spend the offseason away from the sport and far from the risk of injury.
But London Supernova head coach Geoff Painter said: "It's good that indoor is available -- I think there's utility in indoor at the younger ages and for the older recreational players who want to get together once a week and play soccer."


The Canadian Professional Soccer League will parade its best this Saturday when teams honour individuals in seven categories at the 2004 Annual Awards Banquet.These players, a coach and a referee, are all considered to have contributed more than anyone else to the success of a club, or the league as a whole.The Most Valuable Player is considered to be the most coveted award in all sports, and pro soccer in the CPSL is no exception, with players from 10 of the 11 clubs having been nominated. The league will also announce winners in the defender category, the rookie of the year, its top goalkeeper, its best coach and probably the only time of the year a referee has an opportunity to be voted a winner and receive a tribute from the professional soccer community of players and club officials.And while the entire honours list will be revealed and the individual winners celebrated at the La Contessa Banquet Centre in North York on Saturday, one category has already been announced. It’s that of Paul Munster, a striker from London City who captured the goalscoring title with 25 goals in league and cup play—that’s more than a goal a game for the 22 year old Northern Ireland-born, who is attracting interest from clubs in Europe with trials already booked in the Czech Republic.


Jeff Hodgson – Border Stars
Paul Munster – London City
Matthew Palleschi – Vaughan Shooters
George Azcurra – Toronto Croatia
Zeljko Dukic – Hamilton Thunder
Sean Roberts – Brampton Hitmen
Kurt Ramsey – North York Astros
Carlo Arghittu – St. Catharines Roma Wolves
Caswain Mason – Metro Lions
Danny Amaral – Toronto Supra

Justin Marshall – Border Stars
Marco Peeters – London City
Jorge Molina – Vaughan Shooters
Antonio Zupan – Toronto Croatia
Blazenko Bekavac – Hamilton Thunder
Bayete Smith – Brampton Hitmen
Kurt Ramsey – North York Astros
Joe Carbonara –- St. Catharines Roma Wolves
Chris Handsor --Metro Lions
Garvin Houston – Toronto Supra

Anthony Santilli – Border Stars
Haider Al-Shaibani – London City
Brian Bowes – Vaughan Shooters
George Azcurra – Toronto Croatia
Roberto Ferrari – Hamilton Thunder
Arthur Zaslavski – North York Astros
Michael Silva – Toronto Supra

Aaron Byrd – Border Stars
Paul Munster – London City
Fitzroy Christie – Vaughan Shooters
Joseph Cosentino – Toronto Croatia
Alex Arbelo – Hamilton Thunder
Angel Velasquez – Brampton Hitmen
Alex Braletic – North York Astros
Anthony Stranges – St. Catharines Roma Wolves
Marc Jankovic-- Metro Lions
Jose Moreira – Toronto Supra

Pat Hilton – Border Stars
Sam Medeiros – Vaughan Shooters
Josip Cvitanovic – Toronto Croatia
Jorge Armua – Hamilton Thunder
Pernel Mason – Brampton Hitmen
Vittorio Villacis – North York Astros
Velimir Crljen – Toronto Croatia
Jose Testas -- Toronto Supra