written August 1997.
I've heard rumours of the CNSL and Ontario Soccer Association getting together since last year when the OSA was going to start their own league but never got it started. Today in the paper came a column about an agreement I'd heard from the pressbox of a CNSL game last week.
Yes, one reason the rest of Canada hates us is that we believe the country rotates around this province. (Ontario Professional Soccer League might have been a more modest name).
from Toronto Star Thursday August 21, 1997.
Canada to kick off pro league in May.
National, Ontario groups agree to bury hatchet.
by Norman Da Costa
A rocky relationship over the last several years between the Canadian National Soccer League and the Ontario Soccer Association ended yesterday when the two bodies buried the hatchet and reached an agreement on a new professional league.
It will be called the Canadian Professional Soccer League and will kick off the opening season next May with eight or more teams. The deadline for entries is Sept. 15.
Each team will have a budget of $125,000. Former national league clubs that have already expressed an interest in playing include Toronto Croatia, Toronto Supra, Scarborough Astros, Toronto Italia, St. Catharines Roma, and London City. Two teams from Vaughan and one each from Mississauga and Scarborough are also likely to join.
Each team will be allowed to draft 25 players. Five of the players must be under the age of 20 with two required to suit up.
"Common sense finally prevailed and we decided on the merger for the good of the sport," said Brian Avey, executive director of the Ontario association.
"Since Ontario has more than 225,000 playing the sport it was only fair that we embarked on a pro league to give the young players a chance to pursue their careers."
The clubs will also have a developmental feeder system, bringing it in line with major soccer clubs around the world.
Michael DiBiase, president of the 75-yard-old national league, said his clubs supported the amalgamation.
"While a true national pro league playing coast to coast is unlikely to succeed in the near future, we believe a provincial setup is the only way to go."
Bill Spiers, a longtime soccer administrator, is the new chairman of the league. DiBiase is the new commisioner.
Other committee members include Peter LiPreti, president of the national league, Walter Kircher and Avey.
Well these teams sound familiar. The CNSL recently suspended two of their seven teams for the rest of the season but four survivors made the cut. The OSA had said they were not going to have any 'ethnic' teams but maybe they've backed off this condition.
Toronto Croatia (ethnic Croatian)
Toronto Supra (ethnic Portuguese)
Scarborough Astros (had merged with the now suspended North York Talons but for just one year).
St Catharines Roma (ethnic Italian, from Southeastern Ontario 'Golden Horseshoe').
London City (only team from Southwestern Ontario)
Toronto Italia (ethnic Italian, was idle in 1997 after A-League Toronto Lynx formed and hired coach and about six players this spring)
'two teams from Vaughan' (unknown probably will form to occupy the new multi million dollar soccer facilties of the city just north of the Metro Toronto border).
'Mississauga' (unknown, the city just west of Metro Toronto border).
The CNSL is currently on par with USISL Division 3 teams (the calibre may be watered down in the short term if too many teams are formed) but provide a feeder to the (A-League, Division 2) Toronto Lynx already.
I'll try to get more info soon.
(The 5th CNSL team still playing now is Kosova Albanians [ethnic Yugo-Albanian]). None of the teams mentioned are strictly ethnic in that the teams are composed of different racial and national backgrounds.
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