ANATOLY (The Wall) STARUSHCHENKO APTLY NAMED

Goalkeeper Anatoly (The Wall) Starushchenko is well named and for those fortunate enough to see the cliff hanger championship final won 2-1 by Continentals FC  at Lamport Stadium in downtown Toronto on August, it became obvious as the match progressed that opposition Scarborough were facing a special challenge with its numerous second half rallies on the Continentals’ net.

Continentals took an early second half 2-1 lead in the final match of the 2022 season and as the 40 minutes remaining in regular time went by, Scarborough became relentless and desperate to score an equalizer, fighting for a chance at extra time and eventual victory in the fast-paced increasingly physical encounter. The two sides were the most successful during the past five years in the Canadian Soccer League and the match was one of the most attractive during the current season.

Starushchenko, 34,  would be a standout with any team is the impression from a stadium seat. The Ukrainian-born ‘keeper appears always to get in the way of a ball that might reach the net. Yet his journey in soccer while impressive, fails to reveal the rewards expected for an obvious special player during the 15 years he has toiled in the higher levels of the game on both sides of the Atlantic.

Starushchenko played most of his soccer in Ukraine and Tajikistan in Central Asia before signing for FC Vorkuta in 2019 where he featured prominently in first division league titles, championships and the ProSound Cup victory .

Continentals FC look for more of Anatoly Starushchenko in 2023.

A WELCOME WORLD CUP

With a November 20 Sunday morning kickoff of host Qatar against Ecuador, the World Cup gets underway and it’s always of special interest to CSL members — players, club officials and volunteers – many with their homeland teams taking part. We all have at least one team to cheer for in Canada, while some members have two with Serbia, Bulgaria, Croatia, England coming to mind.

A special thought for our Brantford Galaxy’s Bosko Borjan with son Milan Borjan in goal for Canada and let’s not forget that two players in this World Cup for Canada– Jonathan Osorio and Atiba Hutchinson = were players in the CSL.

The group matches are daily with Canada’s first game against Belgium (2nd in the FIFA rankings) this coming Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 2 pm. Quarterfinals start December 9 and 10, Semifinals December 13 and 14, the third place will be played on December 17. The World Cup Final is December 18.

Stan Adamson

 

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HAMILTON CITY’S STEFAN MITROVIC IN DEMAND

It doesn’t take a crystal ball to suggest that midfielder Stefan Mitrovic is well on his way to a strong future on both sides of the Atlantic.  Mitrovic played his way through youth soccer in Hamilton followed by a brief period with Toronto FC academy before entering the professional game with the CSL’s Hamilton City during April 2018 and through the 2019 season.

The Serbia-born Mitrovic – his family moved from Krusevac, Serbia to Hamilton, Ontario early 2003 when Mitrovic was a few months old – is now of interest to both Canadian and Serbian national teams. He qualifies for both and has so far made appearances for the Serbia U-20, Serbia U-21 and gained a full cap with a 4-1 winning debut against Sweden on September 24, 2022

Mitrovic played 12 matches for Hamilton City during 2018 and the 2019 season and was then signed by Radnicki Nis of the Serbian SuperLiga, making 57 appearances before being transferred to Red Star Belgrade in 2022. As an aggressive attacking midfielder with the now strong European experience Mitrovic, 20, would be an asset with the Canadian national team despite his leanings so far with Serbia.  Mitrovic was invited to the Canadian national team camp early 2022, but the call-up was cancelled when there was a COVID 19 threat.

Whatever the outcome during the upcoming World Cup games with both Canada and Serbia taking part, it looks as though Canadian coach John Herdman will be using some persuasion to bring Mitrovic on board, while the Serbian-born player will make the final decision.

 

Stan Adamson

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COACH MAGDENOVSKI UNDER CONTRACT WITH BGHC 1

Sasa Vukovic is making an early start to his club’s preparations for the 2023 season. The owner and general manager of Hamilton City is concentrating on his coaching in an effort to move the combined BGHC 1 team more competitive.

File Magdenovski is under a new 2-year contract as an assistant coach following the one year agreement when signed on arrival from his native Macedonia in 2021.

“ File has a strong technical background in Europe and we again look forward to his coaching and fitness skills as we step into a new season,” said Vukovic.

Hamilton City and Brantford Galaxy merged during the restrictions of the Covid 19 pandemic to be represented as BGHC 1 and this arrangement between the two close neighboring communities just west of Toronto is expected to continue into 2023.

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IT’S GOALS THAT COUNT

There was plenty of excitement but no surprises from the bench when Mykola Temniuk struck that winning goal for Continentals FC early in the second half of the 2021 CSL championship final against Scarborough SC at Lamport Stadium in downtown Toronto that Saturday night last August 27. There was no surprise when the talented Ukrainian striker tied the game 1-1 just before half time after opponents Scarborough took a 1-0 lead shortly after kickoff.

Temniuk is a prolific goalscorer with a history of similar match-winning efforts in Europe and in Canada. After establishing himself as a standout in the amateur leagues in Ukraine, followed by a season in Poland, Temniuk returned to Ukraine where his goalscoring assisted FC Ahrobiznes Volochysk in its promotion to the Ukrainian Second Division. Temniuk was also the league’s leading goalscorer with 18 goals in 18 games.   

Temniuk signed for FC Vorkuta in 2019 to be the CSL’s leading goalscorer that season, helped by a hat-trick on June 15 and ending the season with 18 goals to top the first division scorers. That was the year FC Vorkuta’s led the first division with a goals tally of 66 while winning the first division title.

The long-time adage ‘it’s goals that count’ is given emphasis by the FC Vorkuta/Continentals goal scoring record while winning 11 titles in the six seasons since entering the Canadian Soccer League in 2017.

 That’s surprising. And outstanding.

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CSL STRIKER HITS $1 MILLION MARK

It sometimes takes a decade, but a promising striker from earlier days in the Canadian Soccer League has finally hit the $1 million a year mark.

Jonathan Osorio, who started playing soccer in Brampton and Mississauga on the fringes of Toronto and was signed on a professional contract with the CSL’s  SC Toronto in 2012 to be  awarded the semi-pro league’s Rookie of the Year award while one of the league’s top scorers, has reached a milestone with an annual salary of $1,026,250 with his present club Toronto FC.

Osorio played 17 times for SC Toronto in 2012, helping his side finish third in the CSL first division to make the championship playoffs before being eliminated by Serbian White Eagles.

Doneil Henry, a talented centre-back with Toronto FC, who in 2009 and 2010 also took his first step into professional soccer in the CSL, is presently earning an annual salary with the Toronto MLS team of $403,000. 

Seven Toronto FC players earn more than $1 million, including recent signing Lorenzo Insigne being the highest paid with an annual salary of close to $15 million. Insigne, who was signed from Napoli of the Italian Serie A, has a four-year contract to mid-2026. Toronto FC captain Michael Bradley is paid $1.5 million.

 There are 11 players with Toronto FC in the information released by the MLS Players Association that were earning during the past season less than $100,000 annually.

Osorio is one of a procession of CSL players  to reach a high level in Canada or other parts of the world, including midfielder Atiba Hutchinson who made a brief appearance for York Region Shooters of the CSL before being transferred to the Toronto Lynx of the U.S.-based A-League. Hutchinson was then signed by Oster of Sweden, is now captain of Besiktas of Turkey and captain of the Canadian World Cup team on its way to Qatar. He has made 97 national team appearances.

The list of CSL players having reached top flight soccer has grown since Hutchinson stepped on a ground in Scarborough for the York Region-based Shooters in 2002, and the list continues with one of the most recent been Israeli-born striker Fadi Salback who was  transferred by FC Vorkuta (now Continentals FC) to FC Podiliava Khmelnytskyi of the Ukrainian Second Division.

 Stan Adamson

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ENIO PERRUZZA MEMORIAL TROPHY COMPETITION DELAYED TO 2023

The Enio Perruzza Memorial Trophy competition, originally scheduled to be played at the end of the 2022 season, has been postponed to early season 2023.

The right stadium availability late in the season and other difficulties led to a recent Canadian Soccer League decision to move the competition into next year.

 Enio Perruzza, who died unexpectedly on January 15, 2021 at the age of 54, announced over 3,000 mostly Canadian Soccer League and Ontario Cup matches over two decades. Known in the soccer community in southern Ontario as the voice of the CSL, Perruzza’s booming voice also raised the volume at international matches involving high level teams from overseas, including Benfica, Red Star Belgrade, the Mexican under 20 side and the Italian military team. Perruzza  held a pride also in being invited to announce 18 Ontario Cup finals and the occasional appointment to provide colour commentary on television.

“Enio was an important member and colleague in the CSL for many years while serving the soccer community and a delay enables us to pay tribute adequately,” said Dragan Bakoc, president of the CSL.

 

Canadian Soccer League  2022 – SUMMARY

 CSL LEAGUE TITLE: Serbian White Eagles   RUNNER-UP: York Region Shooters

 CSL CHAMPIONSHIP

 QUARTER-FINALS

Serbian White Eagles and York Region Shooters gained a bye to the semi-finals.

Continentals FC 2, Toronto Falcons 0

Scarborough SC 3, BGHC 2

 SEMI-FINALS

Serbian White Eagles 0,  Continentals FC 2

Scarborough SC 3,  York Region Shooters 1 (after extra time)

 CSL CHAMPIONSHIP – FINAL

Scarborough 1 Continentals FC 2

 

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THE TWO SIDES TO SERBIAN WHITE EAGLES

There is little doubt that the Canadian Soccer League has earned a reputation for attractive soccer with good pace while being confined for decades to a regional location in the middle of the country. The league has become well-known also for importing many high level players and a select number of coaches on visas. Most return to their various countries, usually in Europe, while others decide to remain in Canada and eventually become Canadian citizens.

 There are two sides to Serbian White Eagles. On one side the club has been a prominent player in the import game, resulting in considerable success on the field of play, while the less known and less obvious side is the encouragement and development of its young kinship that has resulted in a number of players of star quality in the Canadian soccer community.

 The transfer of good players from overseas to the Canadian club began in earnest when in 1973 nine players were brought from the former Yugoslavia to form a more serious professional structure and  more competitive in the National Soccer League, the forerunner league of today’s CSL. Serbian White Eagles has usually exhibited a proud stance and anything less than impressive does not bode well in the local Serbian community.

 Success came in 1975 when Serbian White Eagles became the first Canadian team to qualify for the CONCACAF Champions Cup. The Toronto area team lost to Mexican side CF Monterrey in Mexico, but  to reach the final was a gigantic step which attracted a lot of attention in the community and with the media.

 Serbian White Eagles then took a step back to play at the amateur level and re-grouped in 2006 to become a member of the semi-professional Canadian Professional Soccer League, today’s CSL. Dragoslav Sekularac, a former Yugoslav international with more than 40 national team appearances and a reputation for having been one of the top players in Europe, was brought to Canada as head coach. It all paid dividends as Serbian White Eagles were back in the spotlight to become one of the most successful clubs in the CSL’s long history. The team was also one of the most popular attractions in Canadian soccer while breaking records with high home and away attendances.

 While players brought from Europe take most of the credit for the Toronto team’s considerable success, there has also been an underlying player development program going on in the local community and the recent appearance of Dejan Jakovic in the past season’s CSL games is a reminder of this.

 Born in the former Yugoslavia, Jakovic was kindergarten age when in 1991 he arrived with his family to settle in Canada. He played his youth soccer in Toronto, Brampton and Vaughan and also at the University of Alabama. He was a standout to eventually be considered good enough to earn a trial with Red Star Belgrade. Jakovic was retained to play several games for the top Serbian club and it was during this period he was also considered by coaches at home to be one of the top youth defenders in Canada. He was impressive while appearing for Canada’s under 23 side and debuted for the Canadian national team in a winning game against Martinique in 2008. During the following decade, Jakovic made 41 national team appearances.

 Jakovic signed for DC United of Major League Ssoccer in 2009, making approx. 100 appearances over four seasons as a well-established defender. He then ventured to Japan to accept a contract with Shimizu 5-Pulse, a top club in that country, playing for three years before returning to MLS with New York Cosmos and Los Angeles FC. This was followed by a brief stint with Las Vegas Lights of the USL.

 Returning to Canada in 2021, Jakovic joined Forge FC of the Canadian Premier League and was then signed by Serbian White Eagles in the 2022 season, playing his first game, a 1-1 draw against Toronto Falcons on June 26.

 At 37 and in the twilight of a great career Jakovic played in his usual centre-back role while playing out the CSL season. At 6ft. 2 inches he was one of the tallest players on the field, showed good positional play including moving up for his team’s corner kicks, challenged hard when necessary, distributed the ball with accuracy and exhibited a style that reflected the great player he has been, and still is to this day. “It’s great to have Dejan on the side and he’s made a big difference,” said club president Dragan Bakoc at a game early August.

 Following a slow early season start, Serbian White Eagles went on to win its fifth CSL regular season title since entering the league in 2006.

 

Stan Adamson

 

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CONTINENTALS WIN CHAMPIONSHIP SQUEAKER…….

Continentals FC and Scarborough have dominated the CSL Championship during the past four years and the domination continued when the former FC Vorkuta (now rebranded Continentals FC) won a 2-1 squeaker at Lamport Stadium in downtown Toronto Saturday night.

Continentals (FC Vorkuta) won the CSL Championship in 2018 and 2020, while Scarborough lifted the trophy in 2019 and 2021.

The well-played encounter was both end-to-end yet there was an abundance of good midfield play that produced a final that pleased the fans while the eventual winner was in doubt through to the final whistle.

Scarborough defender Misel Klisara struck an early goal minutes following the kickoff to give the current CSL champions a 1-0 lead, a low drive from the edge of the box that entered the right post, leaving Continentals goalkeeper Anatolli Starushchenko little chance for the save.

Both side’s came close as the first half progressed and Continentals found the equalizer at 44 minutes when the prolific Mykola Temniuk scored his first of two goals from 14 yards with a shot partially saved by Starushchenko before it entered the net. It was 1-1 at the break.

Temniuk scored his second from eight yards and the winner at 48 minutes, giving Continentals a 2-1 lead and on the edge for most of the second half still to play. There were numerous furious attempts by Scarborough to be on level terms, searching for a chance to go into 30 minutes of extra time. A free kick on the edge of the box taken by Scarborough’s Milos Scepanivic at 85 minutes went inches over the bar.

Continentals came close to adding to the score when Oleksii Boiko drove just wide of the left post at 89 minutes after Starushchenko left his goal to assist in a clearance.

Continentals defender Mykyta Tkachev was shown the red card by referee Carlos Rodriguez for Violent Conduct with minutes remaining, a 2-1 score in favour of Continentals FC at the final whistle.

Continentals FC

Anatolii Starrushchenko (Goalkeeper), Oleksandar Alieksieiev (Defender), Maksym Banasevych (Defender), Jesus Edardo Compean Conzalex (Defender). Borys Orlovskiy (Defender), Andrii Sorokyn (Midfield), Serhii Ivliev (Midfield), Serhii Pitel (Midfield), Bogdan Borovskyi (Midfield), Vitalii Tymofienko (Midfield), Mykola Temniuk (Forward), Substitutes: Andrei Churchin (Goalkeeper), Mykyta Tkachev (Defender) in 57 min., Dmytro Pronevych (Midfielder) in 68 min., Basel Rashrash (Midfielder), Serhii Ursulenko (Midfielder)in 55 min., Oleksii Boiko (Forward) in 73 min., Viktor Raskov (Forward).

General Manager: Denys Yanchuk

Head Coach: Andrie Malychenkov

Assistant Coach: Viktor Raskov

Director: Igor Demitchev

Scarborough

Christan Moraldo (Goalkeeper), Petar Vukadin (Defender), Sven Arapovic (Defender) Misel Klisara (Defender), Odain Omaro Simpson (Defender), Vladimir Zelebaba (Midfielder), Camaal Reid (Midfieler), Amador Torres Castillo (Midfielder), Neven Radakovic (Midfielder), Maximilian Never (Midfielder), Gonzalo Matias Cabrera Celis (Forward). Substitutes: Joao Emmanuel (Defender), Marko Johansen (Defender) in 34 min., Leandro Aguilar (Defender), Edgar Oswaldo Osorio Rios (Defender), Saul Oertega Gutierez (Defender),  Oyedele Luqman (Midfielder). Cesar Dorantes (Midfielder), Zoran Knezevic (Forward) in 74 min., Milos Scepanovic (Forward) in 71 min., Moussa Limane (Forward) in 71 min., Murillo Gabriel (Forward), Jair Cruz (Forward), Jose Jair Gonzalez (Forward), Taha Ilyass (Forward) in 45 min.

Head Coach: Mirko Medic

Assistant Coach: Vladimir Dragicevic

General Manager: Kiril Dimitrov

Match Officials

Carlos Rodriguez (Referee)

Temur Qayoumi (Assistant Referee 1)

Jad Hachmi (Assistant Referee 2)

I Papanicolaou 4th Official

CSL CHAMPIONSHIP –  2022 – SUMMARY

QUARTER-FINALS

Serbian White Eagles and York Region Shooters gained a bye to the semi-finals.

Continentals FC 2, Toronto Falcons 0

Scarborough SC 3, BGHC 2

SEMI-FINALS

Serbian White Eagles 0,  Continentals FC 2

Scarborough SC 3,  York Region Shooters 1 (after extra time)

CSL CHAMPIONSHIP – FINAL

Scarborough 1 Continentals FC 2

Venue: Lamport Stadium, Toronto

WHAT’S NEXT ?

Soccer – more soccer. The Canadian Soccer League is 2/3 through its 2022 season with the regular season completed and Serbian White Eagles winning the league title and Continentals FC the CSL Championship.

The league turns now to paying tribute to one of its own and long-time member of the Canadian soccer community with a  season-ending competition, for the Enio Perruzza Memorial Trophy to kickoff during September to the final in October.

Enio Perruzza died unexpectedly on January 15, 2021 at the age of 54 following a period during which he had long since recovered from heart surgery.

Dubbed as the voice of the CSL while the announcing for the league for  over 20 years, Enio Perruzza called more than 3,000 games in the Canadian soccer community.  Perruzza’s booming voice became known  beyond the Canadian Soccer League to Ontario Cup matches and international matches involving high level teams from other parts of the world.

Announcements with dates will be made soon.

Stan Adamson

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SCARBOROUGH VS CONTINENTALS IN DOWNTOWN FINAL….The CSL Championship

Continentals FC were almost outplayed in the early stages of its semi-final match with Serbian White Eagles at Esther Shiner Stadium on August 20. But that all changed when with almost 30 minutes gone in the first half Serbian White Eagles goalkeeper was ejected for a rarely called offence of handling the ball outside the box.

While having an extra man certainly brought Continentals into the game with greater confidence, which made the difference between the two teams in the eventual outcome, will the team from the northern edge of Toronto follow through with the same level of confidence against a lively Scarborough side in the final game ?

Continentals and Scarborough meet in a downtown final Saturday.

While Continentals slipped in the regular season standings, the team has an obvious strength and good depth with players such as goalscorer Mykola Temniuk who joined the renamed FC Vorkuta in 2018 following more than 50 appearances and scoring 30 goals with Ahrobiznes Volochysk in the tough Ukrainian First League, others such as forward Olaksil Boiko and midfielder Bogdan Borovskyi are showing fine form.

Scarborough has been in the championship final each of the past five seasons, winning the trophy in 2019 and 2021 and while defeated just once in this year’s league campaign that was a loss to Continentals FC on July 30. The earlier match between these two teams on June 18 ended in a scoreless tie.

But Kiril Dimirov, Scarborough GM and occasional player who is still capable of making a difference on the field of play, continues to be at the peak of optimism in forecasting his club’s presence once again in the final, and a prediction the game that will end with the east Toronto side lifting the championship trophy.

While the team averaged a respectable two goals per league game there is little doubt that having been the team to concede the least goals – eight in the regular league schedule – has been the main asset of Scarborough throughout. It may be the influence and focus of head coach Mirko Medic who was a standout defender in Europe and one of the top defenders in the Canadian Soccer League’s long history including a Defender of the Year award in 2009 while with Serbian White Eagles.

The CSL Championship Final is played at Lamport Stadium on the west side of downtown Toronto. It’s located on King Street West, just east of Dufferin St. 

CSL CHAMPIONSHIP –  2022

QUARTER-FINALS

Serbian White Eagles and York Region Shooters gained a bye to the semi-finals.

Continentals FC 2, Toronto Falcons 0

Scarborough SC 3, BGHC 2

SEMI-FINALS

Serbian White Eagles 0,  Continentals FC 2

Scarborough SC 3,  York Region Shooters 1 (after extra time)

                 CSL CHAMPIONSHIP – FINAL

  • Scarborough SC vs Continentals FC
  • Saturday, August 27 at 8 pm, Lamport Stadium, Toronto

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CONTINENTALS FC vs SCARBOROUGH in CSL Championship Final

Scarborough will extend an unusual achievement to now be in the CSL championship final for the sixth time in succession when the Toronto east side team meets opposition Continentals FC at Lamport Stadium in downtown Toronto on August 27.

Scarborough defeated York Region Shooters 3-1 in the second game of a double-header semi-final at Esther Shiner Stadium Saturday, while Continentals FC eliminated Serbian White Eagles 2-0 in the opener.

Serbian White Eagles kicked off with confidence in the first game of a double header following a regular season ending with a four-game winning streak that decided the league title. Several early attempts following kickoff  came close to scoring, including a drive by midfielder Nikola Durkovic intended for the left corner and saved by Continentals’ goalkeeper Anatolii Starushchenko. Serbian White Eagles’ defender Adrian Cann drove over the bar at 13 minutes, and other near misses followed.

But it was a breakaway opportunity for Continentals that changed the course of the game at 28 minutes when White Eagles’ goalkeeper Marko Kostic met the ball in a 50/50 challenge on the edge of the box. Kostic was still handling the ball inches outside of the 18 yd. line, causing the assistant referee to raise the flag and leaving a yellow or red card decision for the offence up to the referee. The referee chose the red card which suggests a deliberate attempt to stop an obvious goalscoring opportunity.

Kostic was replaced by Bojan Zoranovic who was beaten by a deflected shot by Continentals midfielder Bogdan Borovskyi three minutes later and the ball crossed the line inside the right post for a 1-0 lead.  Serbian White Eagles had near misses closing in on the end of the first half, including a strong drive from 20 yars that crashed the crossbar. It was 1-0 at the interval.

Continentals midfielder Basel Rashrash struck from seven yards at the 78th minute for a 2-0 result at the final whistle.

Continentals’ coach Viktor Raskov commented following the game of Serbian White Eagles being a good team “But following the goal we were in a position to control the game and that went well with our players,” he said.

Scarborough took the lead at seven minutes on a goal by Misel Klisara and York Region Shooters tied on a goal by forward Mahmood Mehdi at the 33rd minute mark. The second half was well played and at times physical with frequent cautions and ended with a 1-1 tie and extra time.

York Region Shooters defender Sabree Doka was shown a second yellow card and was ejected, followed by a Scarborough penalty kick for Klisara’s second goal 17 minutes into extra time, a 2-1 lead resulting from a hand ball in the box.  

Scarborough forward Taha Ilyass struck Scarborough’s third goal 23 minutes into extra time for a 3-1 result at the final whistle.

Scarborough head coach Mirko Medic was surprised to not be playing against Serbian White Eagles in the upcoming final following that team’s recent form in winning the league title, “but we are pleased to be in there after missing so many early chances to score. We picked it up and then played well. I now look forward to the final with Continentals and expect a tough game,” he said

The CSL Championship Final is set for Saturday, August 27, an 8 pm kickoff at Lamport Stadium in Toronto

 

 

 

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