BUSY FIVE-MONTH SEASON IN STORE FOR A DIVERSE CSL

BUSY FIVE-MONTH SEASON IN STORE FOR A DIVERSE CSL

12 Apr 2022

The Canadian Soccer League will uphold its long standing reputation of playing attractive soccer by fielding teams in a busy upcoming five-month season with players from out of the country, while at the same time giving every opportunity for promising Canadians to play in its first entry professional environment.

The long standing CSL, a rebranding of its forerunner National Soccer League with roots going  back to the 1920s and for many decades the nearest Canada came to having a coast to coast loop in the only country to compete in the World Cup without having a truly national league.

But the CSL, like the NSL, has thrived on skilled players from abroad and is determined to continue a practice that is attractive to watch and considered beneficial to the development of local players.

FC Vorkuta has in recent times had numerous players from Europe while at the same time has maintained a roster that includes developing local players showing promise. Vorkuta has been successful in attracting high level European clubs to put Canadians on trial, leading to players being signed.

New entry Toronto Falcons are being shaped by former FC Vorkuta GM Samad Kadirov and Zhane Gendunov who, on the other hand will kickoff their CSL debut this new season with almost entirely Canadian players. “We are focused on the local players for the time being and believe we can be competitive while accelerating their development,” said Kadirov .

Serbian White Eagles will have four players arriving from Europe during April, with an additional five being processed to arrive during pre-season training in May.

Current CSL champions Scarborough SC will have players from Europe, South America, Mexico and elsewhere in an effort to successfully defend last season’s title victory. A multi-year contract with head coach Mirko Medic is in the works. “We need to secure Mirko who brought the championship to Scarborough in his first year with us,” said GM Kiril Dimitrov.

York Region Shooters returns to the CSL following a four-year absence after winning the championship on a 5-4 penalty kicks decision over Scarborough SC in 2017. The Shooters’ roster for the upcoming season is expected to be diverse, of various nationalities who are now permanent residents of Canada and in some cases are Canadian-born.

The CSL Championship playoffs will highlight the upcoming season, and the league is introducing an Enio Perruzza Memorial Trophy competition in tribute to Enio Perruzza who announced more than 3,000 soccer matches during a 34 year period, including visits by Benfica, Red Star Belgrade, the Mexican under 20 side,  the Italian military team and games on television. But most were  Canadian Soccer League games and Enio Perruzza eventually became known as the voice of the CSL.  Perruzza died January 2021 at the age of 54 following a heart condition and surgery.

The CSL season will kick off late May through to late October.

 

Stan Adamson

 

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