September 15, 2005 CPSL Press Conference--Launch of International Division (from CPSL website)

Thursday - September 15, 2005

The Canadian Professional Soccer League will launch an International Division of professional teams representing a number of ethnic communities in the GTA in 2006 and three existing CPSL teams are leading the way.

Toronto Croatia, Vaughan Shooters and Toronto Supra will be members of the new division with Vaughan Shooters taking on an Italian name and continue to be based in York Region, while Toronto Supra will represent the Portuguese community in Toronto. Teams representing the Chinese, Latin American, Korean and Greek communities are also included in those considered to be possible candidates.

This was announced by CPSL commissioner Cary Kaplan surrounded by flags of many nations at a press conference held at the Harbourfront Centre on Thursday morning. “There is considerable interest in such a league which some years ago produced very good soccer, lots of passion but lacked the business plan. This time, there will be good soccer within a proper business model and a well-run strategy to make it work,” he told a media gathering.

Team members also spoke in favour of the move, including Theo Krajacic, spokesperson for Toronto Croatia. “We have maintained our identity over many years and we were proud to bring the North American soccer championship to Toronto in the 70’s, so this is great news and we believe the plan will be highly successful,” he said. Soccer is a game for all Canadians and has been embraced by all levels of Canadian society and today is the most-played team sport in the country. The desire of players and administrators to represent an ethnic group and play against each other has remained strong, however, and the CPSL will provide that in a professional forum beginning next year – World Cup year.

The league remains steadfast in its mandate to also expand professional soccer in many communities in Central Canada and eventually other parts of the country on a regional basis and this goal is not affected by the addition of a division to accommodate those teams wanting to play at a high level while representing their country of origin.

The CPSL International Division will kickoff May, 2006.

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