May 5, 2010 CSL pre season press conference (from CSL web site)

DOMENIC DI GIRONIMO NEW CSL COMMISSIONER - Several announcements at busy CSL press conference

The Canadian Soccer League will kickoff its 2010 regular league schedule on May 8 under a new commissioner, it will sport a new name following a sponsorship by Italian sportswear supplier Givova and the league will televise more than 50 games on Rogers TV.

These, and other announcements were made at the league's pre-season press conference Tuesday.

A new First Division with 13 teams will play from kickoff on May 8 through to October 3, followed by the playoffs and the CSL Championship at the end of October. There are four new teams - Brantford Galaxy, FC Hamilton Croatia, Milltown FC (representing the community of Milton, Ontario) and Montreal Impact Academy which will play its games at the Saputo Stadium.

One team, Trois-Rivieres Attak will not return in 2010, but will be back in 2011. They are dormant in 2010 and Montreal Impact Academy assumes the role of the reserve team of the USL's Montreal Impact.

There will be 10 teams in the CSL Reserve Division which has a kickoff date of May 29.

The CSL has appointed Domenic Di Gironimo its new commissioner to take over from Cary Kaplan who resigned at the end of last season following 4 years in that position. Di Gironimo, an entrepreneur Toronto area businessman, was a partner with Quebec team Trois-Rivieres Attak, has extensive administrative experience in other sports and good experience in dealing with sports' governance. He presently holds the position of president, the Canadian Ball Hockey Association.

Italian sportswear company GIVOVA joins with the CSL as its main sponsor - the league will be known as the GIVOVA Canadian Soccer League - part of the company's thrust into the North American marketplace. GIVOVA is expanding throughout the world.

Rogers TV will air a record 45 regular season CSL games, plus playoffs and the championship game mostly in Ontario, but some games will be seen in New Brunswick and Newfoundland through Rogers Super Sports Pak. Adding playoff games and the CSL Championship Final at the end of October means more than 50 games will be televised.

Days Inns - Canada is also a major sponsor. The popular hotel chain is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Wyndham Hotel Group in 59 countries and in Canada the Days Inns has more than 90 properties and prominent in or near the communities in which the CSL clubs are based.

The large media gathering with a number of principals from soccer's governance heard from the Canadian Soccer Association's John Knox, the Ontario body's CEO Guy Bradbury, Willy Jong, supervising producer for Rogers TV, Eric Barber, senior director, national sales with realstar hospitality, who represented Days Inns - Canada and former Canadian National Team player Bob Iarusci, who was prominent with Metros-Croatia and New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League. He expressed optimism of Canadian soccer's future and encouraged everyone to help move the CSL forward.

Di Gironimo outlined his vision of a future CSL and what his league can do to help shape Canadian soccer. Emphasis was placed on Canada's players, the development of youth players and a Canadian solution designed to repatriate superior players together with a sufficiently attractive domestic competition to keep many players in Canada. An Advisory Board is being assembled to suggest key decisions and policies to achieve targets.

A strong development system, said Di Gironimo, will not be confined to players but would help broaden Canada's base of coaches and match officials. "The future of Canadian Soccer on the world stage begins with a strong development system," he said.

The CSL opener is Saturday, May 8 when TFC Academy hosts Portugal FC at the BMO Field in Toronto, a 7 pm kickoff.

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