Details of the Sunday October 22nd, 2006 CSL Awards Banquet at the La Contessa Banquet Hall & Convention Centre in North York at 2:00pm.
Attendance was 17 tables times 12 per table equals 204 although there was one table empty and a few spare spots not taken at a few tables.
At 2:30pm, CSL Commissioner Cary Kaplan and Executive Director Stan Adamson called guests to order to announce dinner will be served. However first a few opening comments. Stan Adamson says it was a good year for ‘Italy’ with them winning the World Cup, Italia Shooters winning the CSL championship, and Ottawa St Anthony Italia winning the (CSL administered) Open Canada Cup and later the national championship. Adamson said the media coverage for world soccer in general in Canada is getting better. He mentions the new soccer radio show on (Toronto station) The Fan590. The CBC now has stepped in with a seven year agreement to broadcast soccer on its television and radio stations and website. FIFA president Sepp Blatter has said there’s an upsurge in interest in Canada with the CSA. Toronto FC in the MLS now means there will be more sportswriters on the reporting beat. Adamson joked that Vince Ursini the treasurer from the CSA was here today and would explain the $6.5 million dream home that Canada’s national women’s team coach lives in.
Natasha Ursini says grace and then at 3:00pm dinner is served.
At 3:50pm Adamson is back and introduces guests that are here tonight. Vince Ursini from the CSA, FIFA rep/broadcaster Dick Howard, former player/coach Hector Marinaro, CSA lawyer Ira Greenspoon, OSA official Bruce Henderson, Dan Berger who now is in charge of renting out the new national stadium being built in downtown Toronto. He then runs through a list of sponsors Locus Sports and All Seasons trophies and about two dozen others.
Here are the trophies: Now certainly some of the winners were known because they are just based on team positions and individual stats but this year there was no sheet over the trophies before the dinner so we could walk up and see the engravings of who won. Sure tell the winners before the dinner to ensure they’ll show up but it does leave some suspense if we aren’t sure who’s going to win. Another thing was since the trophy company was one of the league's sponsors they had brochures at the reception desk so I knew how much the trophies were worth. Hmm that's the 16 inch size worth $70!
1. National Conference winner—Oakville Blue Devils
2. National Conference runner-up—Brampton Stallions this award was accepted by media guy Dave Rumack. Laval Dynamites and Stallions were the only teams that didn’t have representatives there…Laval because of the distance from Montreal and Stallions who are still steamed from having to ‘forfeit’ their quarterfinal match after their field was ruled unplayable partially because of another CSL quarterfinal taking place on the same day and the city renting out their field to a recreation league earlier in the day.
3. International Conference winner—Serbian White Eagles
4. International Conference runner-up—Toronto Croatia
5. CSL Champions—Italia Shooters (well we saw them presented with that trophy after last week’s playoff final) 6. CSL Runner-up—Serbian White Eagles (Well no surprises so far as these are just straight results).
7. Fair Play Award—Caribbean Selects
8. Cary Kaplan speaks about the next presentation and this player as the league MVP as part of the ‘9’-‘11’ combo that 'terrorised' the league with 50 goals combined. With 23 goals Sasa Viciknez (age 32) from Serbian White Eagles.
9. President's Award (picked by the other team owners)--Isac Cambas from Toronto Supra Portuguese. It was mentioned how he was one of the early voices to form an International conference.
10. Best Official--Mercey Watfa
In a short acceptance speech he said he had made a mistake after watching game footage in the CSL final game by missing a hand ball call for Serbian White Eagles (I mentioned it in my game report only after I'd asked Dick Howard because it happened so fast even I wasn't sure). It would have given Serbian White Eagles a penalty kick late in the game. "Too late" came a call from the White Eagles table.
11. Best Coach (this one voted on by other coaches)--Tony DeThomasis from Italia Shooters. He took over midway through the season after Carmine Issaco left.
12. Goal Scorer--Gabriel Pop from Serbian White Eagles (27 goals)
13. Defender of the Year--Fil Rocca from Windsor Border Stars
14. Goalkeeper of Year--George Azcurra of Toronto Croatia
15. Rookie of the Year--Uarlem Castro (age 25 and born in Brazil) from Toronto Supra Portuguese. It was also mentioned he scored 20 goals including 5 on September 24th against Caribbean Selects.
Cary Kaplan gave a speech about the league's image.
He commented on the All Star team assembled for only one game against Clyde FC from Scotland. He said that will be something they will commit to more often next year.
The new name CSL will be a big league eventually stretching across the country. He said the first two games of the year hosted by Windsor Border Stars and Serbian White Eagles had combined attendance of 3000 fans. He said over 50000 fans in total this year watched a game this year and that is double the attendance of last year. The league now has a 200 page rule book of conduct (where before it was only 15). He then thanked all the teams by name one by one--Toronto Croatia for 50 years, Italia and Supra for switching their names and making the International conference work. White Eagles for the tremendous season on field and in attendance. London City for running the Open Cup and Astros for running the playoffs. He mentioned that the Blue Devils may move over to Burlington (from Oakville). He mentioned that the sponsorship had increased from 3 to 30 in the last year.
He will open up the Open Canada Cup even further with invites to Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps and Toronto FC. The league has gone from 'surviving' to 'thriving'.
Stan Adamson ended up giving a final thank you to the media and to me in particular saying he thought I'd been to all 132 games (I'd counted up earlier in the day and including exhibitions and playoffs, it totalled 50). Ack. I should have stood up for the applause but he'd moved on to talk about something else.
That broke up the meeting for this year.
Cary Kaplan had answered a few questions for me earlier. The new national stadium could easily hold with its two separated stands the Toronto Croatia vs. Serbian White Eagles fans or international exhibition matches; however it will rent out for $5000 per event. All talk about any expansion or even which teams will be back next year won't be decided until their general meeting in January.
Sasa Viciknez of Serbian White Eagles is presented with the League MVP from Commissioner Cary Kaplan.
Director of Officials Walter Kirchner presents Referee of the Year Award to Mercey Watfa.
Dick Howard presents Coach of the Year Award to Tony DeThomasis of Italia Shooters.
CSA executive Vince Ursini presents Top Goal Scoring Award to Gabriel Pop of Serbian White Eagles.
Guy Bradbury, CEO of the Ontario Soccer Association presents Defender of the Year award to Fil Rocca of Windsor Border Stars.
John Marisco the CSL Marketing Director presents Goaltender of the Year Award to George Azcurra of Toronto Croatia.
CSL legal councillor Ira Greenspoon presents Rookie of the Year Award to Uarlem Castro of Toronto Supra Portuguese.
I get thanked by CSL Executive Director Stan Adamson
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