Mirror-Guardian: Metro Lions Miss Starters
by Winnipeg Fury

Lions miss starters in professional league debut

Sam Laskaris, Special to The Mirror
Jun. 26, 2002

Early indications are the Metro Lions will not have many growing pains.

The Scarborough-based Lions, who play their home matches at Birchmount Stadium, are an expansion entry in the Canadian Professional Soccer League.

The Lions did lose their first game in franchise history, 2-1 against the Oshawa-based Durham Flames.

But the local club has since reeled off two straight victories. The Lions defeated the Toronto Supra 4-1 and they earned another win this past Friday, edging the visiting Flames 3-2.

"We're pretty happy," said Tony Laferrera, Lions coach. "But we should be 3-0. Our first game we were leading 1-0 with two minutes to go. I can't explain it. And the players can't explain it. But (the Flames) scored two goals in two minutes on us."

The Lions have also been faring well even though they are not utilizing the players they would like to.

The Lions had worked out a deal to have three players from the national team of Ghana join them this season. But those players remain back home since the Canadian government has yet to grant them visas.

Also missing are two Ottawa-based players that Laferrera was counting on for this season.

Those players have yet to be inked due to financial differences about their potential contracts.

"The problem I have is that these are five potential starters that could be on the team," Laferrera said. "I have five spots open -- five spots that I thought I would have filled with them."


Laferrera said he is willing to continue waiting, especially for the players from Ghana.

"There's no deadline for them," he said.

"They can come over and play just the last game of the season for us. But we need to make a decision real fast. We've already put in a ton of work trying to get them over here. We have to decide if we continue with that or go in a different direction."

The Lions next game is Friday at home versus the North York Astros. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.

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