Details of the CPSL press conference held Monday April 24, 2006 at the Arsenal Do Minho in Toronto at 7:00pm to announce International friendlies announced for May 2006.
The head table was composed on CPSL media rep Stan Adamson, Isaac Cambis president of Toronto Supra, Eduardo Vieira president of Hollywood Sports, Ken Stanojevich GM of Toronto Serbian White Eagles and Alex Posada a player for the new White Eagles team.
Isaac Cambis apologized for the short notice of this press conference because they were only able to finalize these games on Friday. (That's right, I got an e-mail on Saturday night about this meeting). He explained the 2006 set up of the league with its International Division and how glad his team can finally use the word 'Portuguese' in its name. The CPSL league will be more competitive and play at a different level. Toronto will have international Alex Posada on the team (more about him later). They are also negotiating and will get a player from the Argentinian First Division.
Eduardo Vieira the president of Hollywood Sports talked in Portuguese so I didn't understand a word. The ethnic media payed more attention. Hollywood Sports looks from the game announcement posters as a major sponser of the tournament.
Ken Stanojevich the GM of Toronto Serbian White Eagles thanked the CPSL and promises to build a strong team. They are importing five players and will bring in four more (more about that later). Their head coach will be Dragislav Sekularac who is one of the best players in the 1960s. The are hoping to build support to 15000 fans per game (hmm maybe he means when they play internationals).
Stan Adamson is back to say international soccer exhibitions brings attention from the media. It also brings in more fans to be exposed to the Canadian game. It's also become a strategy of international teams to build their overseas markets [kits and scarves anyone?]. The CPSL is the only prosoccer league that's completely Canadian (well he was a bit plainer on explaining that than my quote). This is a Canadian game but this league has a community division of the cities in southern Ontario and Laval and an international division attracting fans to watch their old home country.
OK let's get some details of this tournament!
Friday May 12th at 7:30pm....Toronto Serbian White Eagles vs Santa Clara from Portugal
Friday May 12th at 9:30pm....Toronto Supra vs SC Braga from Portugal
Sunday May 14th at 4:00pm....Toronto Supra vs Toronto Serbian White Eagles
Sunday May 14th at 6:30pm....SC Braga vs Santa Clara
The games are doubleheaders held at Lamport Stadium (Voyageurs G-Man will love this). Admission is $40 for game day tickets purchased in advance or $60 for the four game package. If bought at the door the day of the game, tickets will be $10 more.
I could understand why they didn't announce the travelling Clyde team from Scotland playing Borderstars and a CPSL All Star team but they didn't mention the Sunday May 21st Toronto Supra vs Angrense Portugal game at 7:15pm at Brockton Stadium.
Stan Adamson said there will be a staggered schedule between divisions. Last year everyone played each other twice but this year it might be three games vs division opponents to save on travel. (Ok great for Toronto international teams who won't have to leave town and easy for fans to get to road games but killer for Laval vs Windsor or London. He admitted that last year's midweek playoff games were a mistake (remember Laval flying in to Toronto on two planes and the stadium lights cutting off in Streetsville at 11:00pm sharp?). He said staggered playoffs have about an 80% chance of being passed by the owners which would mean the two best teams would meet in the finals rather than International champs vs Community champs. (That should be easy with the semi-finals and finals being held in one city on the same weekend).
Alex Posada hadn't said a word during the conference probably because his English was very limited. With a translator I plotted his playing history. He played for Columbia at the World Cup in 1998 in France as a central defender. His most recent team was Quito de Portivo of Ecuador but has also played at America of Columbia and Deportivo Pereiro of Columbia. He was born March 6th, 1977 so he's only 28. (well if that's right it would be 29 but still a lot younger than a has-been that I would have originally thought).
Ken Stanojevich filled in more details on his new head coach Dragoslav Sekularac who was a Yugoslavian international and also played and was the head coach of Red Star Belgrade. He played on an 'All World' team (similar to those testimonials that Pele always played for). He was at a road game Yugoslavia vs Chile and he was so good that the Chilean fans carried him off the field on their shoulders after the game. The nine import rule was also cleared up too. I expected that five imports would be allowed on the field at the same time with four on the bench but, no, the CSA (Canadian Soccer Association) has changed their rules and all nine would be allowed on the field at the same time! [oh-oh did the NASL ever have it that bad?]
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