Details of the Toronto Lynx Press Conference held Wednesday April 17th, 2002 at 11:30am at The Travelodge Hotel Keele&Wilson in Toronto.
by Rocket Robin [RR]
The Master of Ceremonies at this year's event was well known broadcaster and official Dick Howard. The head table consisted of team president Nicolle Hartrell, CPSL media relations official Stan Adamson, youth development official Gary Miller, the German Consulate's Dr Ulrich Hochschild, Lynx head coach Peter Pinnozzoto, and team captain Marco Reda.
Dick Howard thanked the media who turned out, some corporate VIPs from Pizza Pizza, Price Pfister faucets, Sunoco, Tim Horton's, Travelodge Hotels (who will provide the visiting teams hotel rooms), Umbro, and Western Union.
Stan Adamson reviewed the new Lynx and CPSL affiliation. There are two new teams in the CPSL this year Hamilton Thunder and Toronto Lions. There are now applications in (or intent) from the cities Kingston, Hull and another Quebec team, Windsor, Kitchener, and (?)Brantford(?). There's been interest from Alberta and BC to have an affiliation and he mentioned the Pacific Coast League by name. The groups will act 'more professional'. The two newest teams have larger budgets than the founding CPSL members. The league knows its place as Division 2. They will work together to make Canadian soccer stronger but they need help and support from the CSA.
Gary Miller from Bryce International discussed the new agreement with the Lynx and a professional academy with full time professional coaches for player development. There will be a development team for boys age 14 and up which this year will play six home and six away games against North American Y-League teams.
Dr Ulrich Hochschild is Canada's Consolar General from Germany and he had some things to say about the exhibition game between Toronto Lynx and TSV 1860 Munich being played Saturday May 18th, 2002 at York University at 3:00pm. 1860 are currently the 8th place team in the Bundesliga. The team was founded in the year 1860 but is actually very modern. Their stars should include Thomas Haessler who was part of Germany's 1990 World Cup championship team. Don't expect to see Martin Max, the league's leading scorer as he was named to the German World Cup squad for this year's World Cup. Same for Davor Suker who should be on the Croatian national team. Expect Australian international Paul Agostino and Czech defender Tomas Votava. The team has German, a Brazilian, Austrian and Australian players. Thanks to Lufthansa Airlines and other sponsers. This is part of a Canadian-German festival which will include music, art including German Expressionalists, theatre, and special films. Dick Howard advises the Lynx to play hard under this world spotlight and mentioned how Paul Stalteri [original Lynx player in 1997] was picked up and plays in Germany.
Lynx coach Peter Pinizzotto was introduced by Dick Howard as currently the longest serving A-League coach and Peter first thanked the owners. He reviewed the disappointing 2001 season. This year they had over 100 players try out and he's favoured Canadian players making up 70-80% of the roster. He was pleased with the Lynx last week in Houghton New York where they had a 2-1 record despite resting five or six players with injuries and losing a tough game to the A-League champs the Rhinos. His goal this year is making the playoffs. He has 16 players now and is currently negotiating for two or three more to fill the roster. The team starts out with a brutal eight game road trip and he hopes to be .500 by that point for a chance at the playoffs.
Next he introduces the players:
The Lynxster (mascot)...[RR: hope he's not taking a roster spot, he'd almost demolished one of the tv camera spotlights!]
Assistant coach:...Les Henning [Wow, I'd seen Juan Carlos Ramirez Gaston at the preseason games but Peter told me later they're taking a different vision].
Goalkeeping coach:...Paolo Silva.
Team doctors:...Dr Robert Gringmuth and Dr Freed.
Goaltenders:...Pedro Vieria and Theo Zagar.
Defenders:...Milan Kolic (back after a year in Montreal)...Joe Mattachione...Marco Reda (team captain and just back from the Cleveland Crunch indoor team)...Adrian Serioux, Mauricio Vincello.
Midfielders:...Robbie Aristodemo...Brian Ashton (assistant captain)...Nick Budalic (midfielder/forward)...David DiPlacido...Shawn Faria...Bobby Randhawa.
Forward:...Elvis Thomas (an original Lynx player from 1997 and 1998, he told me later he'll be able to take the time off from the school that he teaches [well think of all the teachers that take maternity leave]...returning after missing a year Nick Vignjevic...newcomer from Trinidad&Tobago but A-League veteran Aristo Knights
Team captain Marco Reda said he'd offer no predictions this year but he compared this year's team with the one that was an Eastern Conference finalist two years ago.
Dick Howard said he was impressed with the stability in ownership and coaching.
Entertainment was provided by the Tajaba Academy who had two girls dance to "All That Jazz". Their troupe will provide halftime entertainment again this year.
The Freestyle Jugglers--Richie and Willie came out and did some ball tricks. 'Richie' is trying out for the CPSL Vaughan SunDevils and 'Willie' as in Willie Giummarra has nailed a spot with the CPSL Hamilton Thunder.
A guy from CHIN radio asked Peter Pinnizzotto a question in Italian and later translated a reply as the Lynx will add a few more players to the roster and the difference this year is the four or five new players are better than last year's roster.
The Toronto Ultras supporters club was thanked at least two or three times during the press conference.
Buffet Lunch is open! Mingle with the players who have to eat fast and get off to afternoon training.
I asked Stan Adamson to provide details of a second game that TSV 1860 Munich would be playing while they are over here. Three days before their game against Toronto Lynx that means Wednesday May 15th at 8:00pm at Budd Park in Kitchener Ontario they will play a CPSL All Star team.
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