Offence top priority for soccer Astros: GM

SAM LASKARIS More from this author
May. 5, 2004

The North York Astros will be participating in a new division this season and officials from the Canadian Professional Soccer League team are hoping they also have some better finishing touches this year.

The Astros had a disappointing campaign in 2003 after posting a 4-9-5 record and placing fifth in the league's seven-team Western Conference.

By not finishing in the top three of its conference, North York failed to qualify for the playoffs.

The Astros had a difficult time scoring a year ago having registered just 20 goals in 18 regular season matches.

Astros general manager Bruno Ierullo believes his charges will have some better offensive numbers this season.

"From what I've seen so far, I like my chances," he said. "If I were to bet, I'd say it is going to be a different year for us."

North York has entered in the eight-team Peniche tournament, which is being held at Toronto's Lamport Stadium during weekends.

The Astros defeated the 777 Soccer Club, a team that participates in the Toronto Soccer Association, 5-2 in their tournament opener on April 25.

North York was then edged 1-0 by the Etobicoke-based Toronto Supra, the only other CPSL team in the tourney, in a semi-final game this past Sunday.

"The result doesn't reflect our performance," Ierullo said. "We created far more chances than they did."

The Astros will now meet Woodbridge Italia, members of the Ontario Soccer League, in the tournament's bronze-medal game scheduled for May 16.

North York's regular season though doesn't commence until June 8.

The Astros have been shifted over to the league's Eastern Conference, which will feature five clubs this year.

The others are Toronto Supra, Vaughan Shooters, the Scarborough-based Metro Lions and Oshawa's Durham Storm.

"They probably don't know as much about (this) team as the other teams in the other division," Ierullo said of his new divisional foes.

The Western Conference this season will consist of six teams. They are Brampton Hitmen, Hamilton Thunder, London City, St. Catharines Wolves, Mississauga-based Toronto Croatia and Windsor's Border Stars, an expansion franchise.

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