May 17, 2004 CPSL preview (from CPSL web site)
CPSL TEAMS IN FULL SWING NEXT WEEK
Pablo Politi, captain of North York Astros, is St. Catharines-bound following a loan deal completed mid-May. Politi joined the Astros in 2002 from local North York senior club Erie FC.
With the Canadian Professional Soccer League edging ever closer to the May 24 kickoff, all clubs have been making pivotal moves to improve their teams in the hope of picking up at least one title in the five-month long 2004 campaign.
There are 11 pro teams in the CPSL loop and up for grabs this year is the Open Canada Cup to be played during the four holiday weekends with the final on Labour Day, September 6. Also, the Conference titles—east and west—and that leads into the playoffs and the Rogers Cup for the CPSL Championship. The championship final game is on Thanksgiving Day, Monday, October 11.
There are three early important exhibition games coming up, two against Boavista of Portugal on May 28 and May 30 to follow a Victoria Day encounter between defending league champs Brampton Hitmen and last season’s Open Canada Cup winner, London City.
Brampton Hitmen have made a big move in player personnel, acquiring three players from Cruz Azul of the Mexican first division. The Hitmen also formed an affiliation with amateur club Brampton Artilleans to assist in player development.
Good amateur players are becoming a hot commodity in the CPSL, and the North York Astros have taken notice. They recently formed an outdoor development team to compete in the Ontario Soccer League’s Multijurisdictional District League west division. The team, headed by Edward Wismayer, a licensed coach by the Mexican federation, will assist the Astros in developing and promoting young talent.
Metro Lions, a finalist in last year’s Open Canada Cup, have high hopes for Ontario youth standout Sasha Kosanovic as well as Caribbean duo Caswain Mason from St. Vincent and Darryl Gomez who originated from St. Kitts. Hayden Fitzwilliams is another potent force having been a member of the Trinidad & Tobago national team.
London City is gearing up for the pre-season showdown with league champs Brampton Hitmen as the two teams meet at the Cove Road Field in London on Victoria Day Monday, May 24 for the Locust Champions Challenge Trophy. London has signed midfielder Kadian Leckey on loan from North York Astros to beef up its squad. He’s a four-year pro with the Astros, having been signed from the Catholic Youth Organization of North York in 1999. Astros’ GM Bruno Ierullo calculates a change in scenery will bring out more of Leckey’s obvious talents.
Vaughan Shooters open the CPSL regular season on Victoria Day, Monday, May 24 with an attractive opener on the new FieldTurf at The Soccer Centre in Vaughan and they are expected to run into a buzz saw Toronto Supra, fit and ready for their tough May 30 game with Boavista of the Portuguese first division. Shooters have just affiliated Woodbridge Italia and the Vaughan Soccer Club to increase their access to even more good youth players in the talent-laden York Region. The Shooters vs. Supra game goes at 7.30 pm.
St. Catharines Roma Wolves have not realized their full potential since winning the CPSL Championship three years ago, but that could change this season as the Garden City team has access to the Club Roma Wolves team in the Ontario Soccer League. A team with a good number of well experienced players, St. Catharines added another last week in signing a loan agreement with North York Astros for former Astros’ captain Pablo Politi.
Further announcements as the CPSL readies for the new season will be made during the next few days.
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