November 10, 1999.
I want to get my own season review done before the CPSL awards afternoon at the end of the month.
I saw 30 of the 88 games this year so I'll base my judgement on that.
Toronto Olympians--10 games (Best Team)
This team won the three championships up for grabs this year. The League Championship for finishing first in the 14 game regular season, the Cup Championship, and the Playoff Championship. They remained undefeated for the whole season of 25 games. Their goals for and against were league bests of 101-17 and they had the three top scorers.
Toronto Croatia--13 games (Most Improved Team)
This year the team finished 2nd in the League standings and won their division of the Cup group and the finals of the Cup and Playoffs. In 1998, they had their worst year in memory.
Glen Shields Sun Devils--8 games
They had the most consistant attendance of any of the Toronto area teams I followed with crowds of their association's players and parents reaching 200. They finished out of the Cup semi-finals but 3rd in the League competition.
London City--4 games
They ended up finishing 4th in the League competition and missed the Cup semi-finals. They looked like they were challenging for 1st place early in the year but had played more games than any other team and finished with a '50-50' record. They did not have a League game the entire month of September while they waited for the playoffs to start.
North York Astros--12 games (tied for most disappointing team)
The Astros continued their decline since the middle of the 1998 season. They lost all their home games and attendance continued to decline. They had problems having enough players turn up for some games to avoid forfeits and no position substitutes. They have no link with any youth teams and were deserted by some 1998 starters just before the season began.
Oshawa Flames--4 games
This was the only new expansion team this year. They started fast but had too many ties and then slowed down. They finished 5th in the League but 2nd in their group of the Cup.
St Catharines Romas Wolves--3 games (tied for most disappointing team)
I didn't see this team very often but I know they lost some players from their 1998 team that was the only challenge to the Olympians that year. They did make the Cup semi-finals this year but finished 6th in the League.
York Region Shooters--8 games
They finished 7th in the League and also missed the Cup semi-finals.
There were a few improvements in the 1999 season that I want to mention. The season was completed the first weekend of October which was before the bitter cold and falling attendance that has caused in other years. Well the final weekend was unseasonably cold and wet. There were no games that had to be rescheduled this year.
The League needs to do more to get fans into the stadiums. I have heard a few preliminary ideas for next year and will post any plans and proposals as I hear about them.
I don't see any problem yet with the Toronto Olympians being the strongest team in the league. Haven't the Glasgow Rangers won their league nine years in a row in Scottish soccer? They just need to be pushed by another team that steps up for the challenge. The really great players could get lured by other leagues but they have a promising youth team with players ready to take their place.
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