October 18, 2011 CSL--preview of semi-finals (from CSL website)

SHOOTERS CAN BREAK THROUGH - EVEN IF IT IS TORONTO CROATIA This weekend's semi-finals hard to predict 

Whichever teams from this weekend’s semi-finals advance to the CSL Championship Final on October 29, it’s going to be an attractive, intriguing end 
to a six-month long campaign, which happens to be one of the longest in CSL history.

Sunday’s semi-finals, a Toronto Croatia vs. York Region Shooters clash at Centennial Stadium in Toronto and the Capital City FC (of Ottawa) vs. 
Serbian White Eagles encounter at the Terry Fox Stadium in Ottawa, makes a championship final a week later hard to predict.

Toronto Croatia must be the favourite to advance. Just three losses in their 26-game regular season campaign while conceding a league lowest 21 goals 
for a strong second place finish in the standings cannot be ignored. All while winning the Croatian World Club Championship on July 2, a competition 
during June involving Croatian teams NK Croatia Zurich (Switzerland), Dinamo Ottakring from Vienna, Croatia Berlin from Germany and Canberra 
of Australia. Toronto Croatia is a big event kind of team – they also won this inaugural competition in 2007 and went on to win the CSL Championship 
that year. Toronto Croatia were also CSL champs in 2004. Some say this year they might just repeat. The prolific Tihomir Maletic – 17 goals in the 
regular season – can win big on his own.

Serbian White Eagles have history – and some great players today, like Sasa Viciknez, who not many years ago played in the European Champions League. 
Defender Mirko Medic is a standout and they have some real sharpshooters, like 

Milos Scepanovic and Alex Braletic. Serbian White Eagles can step up to the big games, as they did in winning the CSL Championship in 2008 and they 
were the finalists the following year. 

York Region Shooters faltered as the season progressed and just made the cut, finishing eighth. But when it comes to the latter stages of the 
playoffs, which is where we are at now, the Shooters rise to the occasion. The team from York Region won the CSL title in 2006 as Italia Shooters 
and in the years just prior they were known as the near-miss kids - they came oh, so close, several times.

On Sunday, the ever reliable Kadian Lecky is missing, but midfielder Carlo Rivas will be a force and Des Humphrey is always big in the big games. 
But the team is just that, a good combination of veterans and young talented players that can break though anytime, even if it is against Toronto Croatia.

Any team that gets this far in its first year must be admired. The CSL is tough competition and Capital City FC of Ottawa demonstrated how good 
coaching and management can play a part to win games on the field of play. Players recruited from Eastern Ontario, Quebec and the United States 
demonstrated a  grittiness of character, determined to win, attractive to watch. They won over a loyal fan base as the season progressed, all while 
going undefeated for long periods, a team constantly knocking at the top for First Division honours, all in their inaugural year. Players like 
Trinidadian forward Akil DeFreitas, goalscorer Sullivan Silva and the ever solid Clint Irwin in goal will be worth watching in the upcoming 
semi-final Sunday. How they go, may decide how the team goes.

      It’s the CSL semis:
   Sunday, October 23, Terry Fox Stadium, 3 pm
        Capital City FC vs. Serbian White Eagles

   Sunday, October 23, Centennial Stadium 7 pm
        Toronto Croatia vs. York Region Shooters

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