The season ended last year with seven teams:
The A-League expanded to Toronto when the Lynx were formed. The Lynx hired Italia's coach Peter Pinizzotto and players Franco Spadafina, Luca Centurione, Joe Ciaravino and Phil Caporrella. Toronto Italia will not be operating in 1997. Oakville Canadian Westerns is not operating neither.
The 6th and 7th place teams merged, combining their rosters. They will keep the name North York Talons.
The CISL (Puma League) folded. The three teams joining up with the CNSL are Kosova Albanians, Toronto Croatia and Hamilton White Eagles. The White Eagles are back in the CNSL after a one year absense. Another team from the CISL that was expected to join but dropped out near the last minute was Caribbean Stars.
The league also fended off the Ontario Soccer League which expected to start playing as the official Division 3 calibre teams in the North American structure. They were to fill stadiums across Southern Ontario with teams having no ethnic affiliation but as expected they put off starting the league for this year. (My comment: Just what we don't need is big plans and no teams on the field!).
The seven teams operating for the 1997 season are:
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