SUPRA'S DANNY AMARAL WINS MVP
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.