London Free Press: Hitmen Find Target
Saturday June 8th, 2002
Hitmen find target in win over City
By Kathy Rumleski -- London Free Press
Jeff Brown has loved London ever since he came here to go to Fanshawe College.
The Guelph resident led the Falcons to the national college soccer championship final in 1993 and Fanshawe was where London City manager Harry Gauss found his star sweeper.
Now Brown is hoping to lead City to a playoff appearance this year in the Canadian Professional Soccer League.
Brown did all he could last night to help the cause, but the Brampton Hitmen picked last night to finally turn up their offence.
The Hitmen defeated City 4-0 at Cove Road Field, scoring for the first time this season and picking up their first win.
All four of Brampton's goals were scored by substitutes.
Kurt Mella scored twice. His first, a bullet from the left, came in the last minute of the first half and the second came after he converted a corner kick in the 62nd minute.
Brampton's next two goals came less than a minute apart in the 76th minute from Jeff Sousa and Maracin Wysocki.
Late in the first half, Brown blocked a shot that was right on goal. He also cleared many balls as the Hitmen attacked, keeping the score from going even higher.
It didn't help that Brampton had former Canadian national, Paolo Ceccarelli, in net, shutting down City's offence.
Brown, 32, has had the pressure on him this season with 13-year City defender Gerald Gallacher still out of the lineup.
"The responsibility is the same, but with Gerald in there, it makes my job easier," Brown said.
Gallacher missed all of preseason training studying for an architect's exam.
Gauss expects Gallacher to be out for another month, working to get game-ready.
Brown, 32, a sales rep for an industrial supply company, directs the team on the field, a duty he enjoys.
"It's a good bunch of guys. It's just more or less reminding people where to be."
Even though Brown has a 17-month-old boy, works full-time and has to drive in from Guelph, he said he'll continue to make the time to play for London.
"As long as . . . London will have me."
Last night, City drew the largest crowd yet in the young season, with more than 400 in attendance.
Gauss believes the World Cup is causing an interest in local soccer.
"Soccer fever happens every four years. That affects (attendance)."
City faces the tough Toronto Croatia squad next Friday at the Cove.
"A good rivalry has always been with Croatia. It's been going on for years. There's a large Croatian population in London," Brown said.
Croatia opened at home against the Hitmen, beating them 2-0. Croatia also pounded the powerful Mississauga Olympians last Friday, 4-1.
Following next Friday's game, London will face the Hitmen again June 22 in the first leg of their League Cup first-round tie at Exeter at 6:45 p.m.
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