BORDER STARS, VAUGHAN SHOOTERS BIDDING FOR INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
VAUGHAN, Ont.-Thursday, March 17--George Azcurra, Toronto Croatia's outstanding goalkeeper and Phil Ionadi, last year's captain of Brampton Hitmen, played for Canada in the Beach Soccer Americas qualifier leading to the first FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Rio de Janeiro recently. Canada was eliminated 5-3 by the United States, but as Ionadi says: "The game could have gone either way." ..
The Brampton Hitmen name change following purchase of the franchise by new owner Joe Fuliere is still under discussion. As general manager Hector Marinaro puts it: "We expect to have this finalized by early April." .
London City Women's Division held their first press conference on March 15 to gain a lot of media attention with coverage from television, radio and print. The London Free Press had a full story the following morning by reporter Kathy Rumleski and a column by columnist Jim Kernaghan, all on the front page of the Sports Section. London City Women's general manager Ryan Gauss made a case for the Women's game not being fully accommodated in Canada which is why higher level teams are moving to the U.S. for competition. The press conference revealed that Canadian women now account for 42 per cent of player registrations and there are six Canadian provinces over 45 per cent, up from 35 to 37 per cent just a few years ago .
Vaughan Shooters have finished second best in the last two CPSL Championship games of 2003 and 2004 and they repeated that performance in the Men's Division of the15th Annual Futsal Indoor Championships held in Kitchener the weekend March 12/13. Shooters lost to Toronto Deportivo Pereira in the FIFA-approved event, but all is not lost this time with the two finalists qualifying for the Futsal National Championship at Rim Park in Kitchener on Saturday, March 19. A Shooters team of almost all CPSL players will be meeting a team from Quebec, a 6 p.m. kickoff ..
Paul Munster, the CPSL's winner of the goalscoring title and Rookie of the Year for 2004 transferred from London City to Slavia Prague near the end of last season, continues to do well with the Czech Republic club despite a nagging instep injury which now looks like it is clearing up. He was voted the Slavia star of the month by the fans at the end of January. The injury was picked up in the last match of the Tipsport Cup in Prague on January 26 but Munster still made the trip to Turkey for a training session ..
The CPSL's Border Stars are in the American Indoor Soccer League (AISL) final following their first place finish with a 6 - 2 record in the overall standings. Cincinnati Excite are the opposition, they finished the season in second place with a 5 - 3 record. With home advantage for Border Stars, the game will be played at the Novelletto Rosati Complex in Windsor, a 7.30 p.m. kickoff on Saturday. Moving outdoors, Border Stars are lining up their International Youth Soccer Tournament set for Windsor May 20 - 22 with a host of teams already entered from Canada and the United States. Enquiries should go to Jeff Hodgson at (313) 995-4162 or Mark Steffens at (313) 268-1792.
Goran Miscevic of Metro Lions (now Oakville Blue Devils) is conducting tryouts for a team to go to Pforzheim, Germany May 10 to 18 for the 66th International Youth Tournament. The Canadian team will be competing against top under 19 teams from Germany, Denmark, Switzerland and England
Toronto Croatia of the Canadian Professional Soccer League was visited by Zlatko Kranjcar, the Croatia national team coach last month who was accompanied by Ivan Rotim of the Croatian Soccer Federation and Tomislav Zidak, a journalist. The trio, with Tomislav Gudasic from the Croatian Consulate, met at The Soccer Centre in Vaughan with CSA director of coaching Ray Clark, OSA executive director Guy Bradbury, FIFA man Dick Howard, the CPSL's Stan Adamson and Theo Krajacic of Toronto Croatia. The Croatian delegation was interested in establishing a contact with Canada with a view to North American tour and games with Canada, the United States and Mexico.
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