Scarborough Mirror: Proud Olympians Poised for Title Run
by Winnipeg Fury

Proud Olympians poised for title run

By SAM LASKARIS Special to The Mirror

The Toronto Olympians can add some more hardware to their already-impressive trophy case in the next few weeks.

The Scarborough-based club, which competes in the Canadian Professional Soccer League (CPSL), is in its fourth year of existence.

So far the Olympians have won three consecutive CPSL regular season titles. And they've also captured three straight league cup (a season-long tournament) championships.

The club also won the league's playoff title once, in 1999. Thus, the Olympians have won seven of the nine major awards they've been eligible for since their inception.

The Olympians, who plan to move to Mississauga starting with the 2002 campaign, are hoping to win some more trophies before they vacate their current home at Birchmount Stadium.

The Olympians' trophy quest begins this weekend in Ottawa. The club is one of four clubs participating in the league's cup playoff tourney.

The local side will meet Toronto Supra in a semifinal match Saturday. The other semifinal features the host Ottawa Wizards against the St. Catharines Roma Wolves.

The two winners will advance to Sunday's championship final.

But the Olympians will travel to the nation's capital without five key players. Coach David Gee appears to be taking that news in stride.

"You just deal with the cards you've been dealt," he said.

One of the Olympians' top defenders, Bayete Smith, will be unavailable as he's getting married Saturday in Scarborough. Two other Olympians will also miss the game as they'll play key roles in the wedding.

Striker Elvis Thomas is Smith's best man while midfielder Danny Ziannis, the club's captain, is a member of the wedding party.

Gee said there's a chance Thomas and Ziannis might venture to Ottawa if the Olympians advance to Sunday's final.

The Olympians will also be without goalkeeper Brian Bowes and midfielder Courtney Dennis.

Bowes will be in the U.S. as he's attending training camp for the Kansas City Attack of the newly created Major Indoor Soccer League.

Meanwhile, Dennis is flying to Jamaica Friday after the death of a close friend.

The Olympians are currently holding down first place in the 12-team CPSL. The local side, which has one regular season game left, has posted a 15-5-1 record, good for 46 points.

Ottawa, which has two games remaining, is one point back of the Olympians, thanks to its 14-3-3 mark.

The Olympians can win the regular season title by defeating the Wizards in their final game, set for Oct. 7 in Ottawa.

By placing among the top four finishers, the Olympians will also take part in the league's playoff tourney, scheduled for Oct. 13 to 14 in St. Catharines.

Gee, who has been the Olympians coach since their first season, said he is proud of what his side has accomplished this year.

Besides coaching, Gee also purchased the club early this year.

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