Mirror-Guardian: Astros Weather Ups and Downs
by Winnipeg Fury

Astros weather ups
and downs of 2001 season

By SAM LASKARIS Special to The Mirror

Another North York Astros season officially ended when the local Canadian Professional Soccer League (CPSL) squad dropped its 2001 season finale 3-2 to the Mississauga-based Toronto Croatia.

The Astros ended up with a 7-12-3 record and placed ninth in the 12-team league. Only the top four finishers and the host St. Catharines Wolves though are participating in the league's playoff tournament this weekend.

North York ended its season on a three-game losing streak dropping all three of those matches by one goal each.

"That's what is upsetting to me," Bruno Ierullo, Astros general manager, said of the club's play down the stretch. "We could have ended up in sixth place very comfortably."

The Astros did improve considerably this season. A year ago North York won just three of its 14 games in the then eight-team CPSL.

The club also had its share of struggles this year. Coach Tony Laferrara was released in mid-season. Sam Medeiros, who was the Astros assistant coach, took over the head coaching duties.

"We've improved 100 per cent," Medeiros said. "If you compare us to last year's team, you would say we are champions. Last year we were losing to the Olympians (perennial league power Toronto Olympians) 6-1 and 5-0. This year we lost 2-1 and 1-0 to them."

After Medeiros took over the head coaching post, the Astros started to show they were building for the future.

He began playing five prospects who were either 18 or 19 years old.

"That's what we're hoping to do," Medeiros said of the club's desire to build through youth.

But there's already some question marks surrounding the team's future.

Medeiros said Ierullo told him Thursday that he'd be brought back as head coach next year.

"I'm still the coach unless he got up on the wrong side of the bed today," Medeiros said.

But Ierullo refused to say whether Medeiros would still be in charge. He said Medeiros would still be with the club next season but he didn't know for certain if it will be as the head coach.

"If we make any changes, we'll let you know," Ierullo said.

"Back to CPSL menu">