Originally posted to Voyageurs Soccer Talk message board.

(London Ont. soccer fan is very critical of the CPSL league and a booster of the WOSL league, however he was at the semi-final games and so I've posted his comments).

Primus Cup semis -- CPSL
by London Ont. soccer fan

Well I went to see these games and must say that only the Olympians are close to being a pro team in my opinion and then only when Darren Tilley is on the field. The rest are premier amateur men's league calibre although they would all do well at that level admittedly. The 3-1 Croatia win over St Catherine's in particular was a pretty terrible game for a self-styled pro league and neither team appeared to be particularly fit. I would have to say that neither of these teams would be able to win the London area's WOSL premier on this performance although they'd certainly both be very much in the hunt for the title. I couldn't believe the dissent the players got away. Maybe refs in London are just pretty strict about that stuff but if a league wants to attract youth teams along to build an audience this was not the way to go about it. The way the defence of both teams dawdled up to half way when their team had possession was basically schoolboy stuff and caused a lot of problems for St Catherines in particular as Croatia knew how to exploit it with by sending the ball up quickly out of defence. I was really not impressed with this game and neither were most of the rest of the spectators from the comments I heard.

Olympians beat Glenshields 1-0 in the second game. The Olympians have a good team but the presence of Darren Tilley from the A League appears to be causing serious dissension within the team. Some of the players appeared reluctant to pass him the ball and the #16 threw a hissy fit about him to an old guy in the bleachers at half-time who I assume is the team owner. I never rated Rick Titus the other A League addition when he played for Toronto Italia in the NSL and he still doesn't look the part of a pro player to me. Kouzmanis looked good though and set up Rick Titus to head in the goal with a free kick on the corner of the box. Seeing a guy like Tilley who is basically a journeyman lower division pro in English terms put the quality of the rest of the team into perspective for me. He stood out a mile. The Olympians are better than the rest of the CPSL but still a little bit short of lower division European pro level. Their superior fitness level would help them greatly against most CPSL opposition I would have thought but not so much tonight as Glenshields are a very fit team with a much better team spirit than any of the other 3 teams in the Primus Cup semis. By the end after Tilley had been subbed off as the coach probably saw his presence was causing more morale problems than anything else and after Tilley promptly dissappeared ostentatiously off to the dressing rooms in the huff with about 15 minutes to go Glenshields were pressing hard for an equaliser. The Olympians would have won the game easily however if they played as a team with Tilley fully a part of things. The one other thing that really stood out apart from all that was their keeper's throws. The last time I saw a keeper throw the ball as far and as accurately as this guy was when AC Milan were in London almost 10 years ago. Most impressive but overall the game was nothing spectacular although a lot better than the first one.

The crowd? Not too good and worse than I thought it would be given that 4 teams were involved. Take away players, team and league officials and London German Club types and there can't have been many more than 100 paying customers and quite possibly fewer than that. I would be surprised if even $1000 was collected at the gate from what I saw. Very few people were hard core members of the London soccer community, 15-20 at most. A few families with kids that play youth soccer were there from London maybe from Kensall Park city's youth club but it was mainly people from out of town from what I could tell. The 400 figure in the Free Press for Friday's game was probably pure fabrication judging by what I heard in the bleachers tonight. The guy behind me during the Olympians game mentioned that there were a lot more people around Saturday than on Friday and that he had almost been alone in the bleachers the night before.

Posted on Sep 30 2000, 9:13 PM
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