Soccer in Toronto 2004 Review
by Rocket Robin
February 7th, 2005.
Toronto Lynx (14 home games 7 wins--7 losses). The Lynx miss the playoffs again this year with a final record of 10W-16L-2T. Their early record of a poor start meant that many fans knew how difficult a playoff run was less than halfway through the season. The crowds looked to be larger than last year but didn't show up in the announced attendance. There seemed to be less padding for announced numbers than in other years from what I observed. At the end of the season, head coach Duncan Wilde resigned and went back to coaching the Lynx Youth Academy. Former goaltender Hubert Busby Jr was announced as coach. He has been involved in coaching from the last few years including a stint with the CPSL Ottawa Wizards and is a former Lynx player.
Toronto Inferno (7 home games 2 wins--5 losses). I was disappointed in this year's edition of the team. The players tried hard but the first half of the season their bench was extremely short. There were no substitutes to bring into some of the early games. The players would just tire out. Their overall record was 3W-11L. The team lacked National team players except for Melanie Booth. Most of the Canadian Nats ended up playing for Vancouver. Inferno games were poorly attended.
**During the off season, the Toronto Lynx organization bought the team from the previous owners**. I could see that had something to do with the team expanding their soccer academy to include girls. The ownership should provide stability with the team being able to play all their games at Centennial Stadium rather than the two or three fields they got shuffled around to each year.
CPSL (an eleven team league this year from Southern Ontario).
Awkwardly divided into two geographic divisions with the Toronto area teams being split into each division. Since they played a perfectly balanced schedule this year, I didn't see a reason to run anything but one table. The Eastern conference of five teams had the three strongest teams all play against each other before crossing over to the playoff winner of the Western conference. A great variety of teams all had reason to celebrate. The Canada Open Cup winner Windsor Border Stars; Conference winners were Hamilton Thunder in the West and Toronto Supra in the East over a 20 game schedule, and a tournament of playoff teams found Toronto Croatia on a long winning streak win the Rogers Cup. London City discovered the eventual league's leading scorer Paul Munster while he was rehabbing. Only the expansion Durham Storm had a disastrous year; not winning until the second last weekend of the season. The teams were more than competitive against international teams Boavista from Portugal, La Sangiorgese from Italy and Portmore United from Jamaica.
National Team Games
Well these were easy to follow. There weren't any games in Toronto this year. A new stadium is finally going to be built in this city but it was awkward deciding on it. The CSA (Canadian Soccer Association) was falling all over themselves in the last two years first announcing that a site at Exhibition Stadium was ideal. That got bumped to the site of the University of Toronto and the same suits were saying how great that was then local residents got an order that the stadium would have to be realigned so that sight was lost. Then the York University proposal got moved to the top and...there they were again about this being the best proposal ever. Well this city will wait to see if the stadiums ready by 2007 to be one of the hosting cities for the Men's Under 20 World Cup.
My soccer watching might be curtailed in 2005 as my time is being restricted by family commitments. I probably thought that at the beginning of last year too but I ended up seeing 16 Toronto Lynx regular and exhibition games, the 7 Toronto Inferno games, and 57 CPSL games. I kept updating my sight which is something that tails off even by some club teams as the season nears its end. I found an outlet for my game reviews at socceronline.com. My web site style looks very outdated. I'm not one who has a lot of pictures although that would increase my hit count. I have more than 2000 'pages' of soccer and music trivia news and reports so I have to watch my web space. The mainstream newspapers of Toronto have no stories about the players or the games so I can see I still have a roll to fill.
**quite a reaction from that statement on the message board I post to. If I'd forgotten about a press release from last Fall, about how the Toronto Inferno were acquired. This was a message I received from the Lynx owner Bruno Hartrell:
Hi Robin, Nice posting. The Lynx did buy the franchise from the USL not from Marmo. We were offered it after the League decided to terminate the Inferno rights for non-payment of dues(among other things). The USL called us up and said they were terminating the rights and that they had serious interest from two other parties in Toronto. The purchase price was $25,000 u.s .These facts are 100% accurate, you can quote me but don't pass on my email address. Thanks, BH
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