June 2, 2006 CSL story on London City (from London Free Press)

City looks to find ways to win at home

Fri, June 2, 2006


After a strong performance in Strathroy on Wednesday, London City manager Harry Gauss is interested to see how his soccer team fares in its regular season home opener tonight at the Cove Road field.

If London comes up short against the St. Catharines Wolves following the 8:38 p.m. kickoff, Gauss might want to consider spending the rest of the Canadian Soccer League season barnstorming around Southwestern Ontario.

"For some reason, our team hasn't always played its best at home," Gauss said. "It's been analysed to death. No one can come up with a reason for it. It shouldn't happen. I'm looking forward to seeing how we play after a good effort on Wednesday."

That good effort helped London beat the Windsor Border Stars 2-1 to christen Strathroy's Henk Van Dyk Field in Locust Cup action before 800 fans. Gauss appreciated the hard work put in by the Strathroy-Caradoc Minor Soccer Association and hoped his team put on a good show, including electric City appearances by Strathroy high schoolers Craig and Jason Boytchuk.

"The crowd went nuts to see the hometown boys in the game," Gauss said.

The win gave London a 4-1 points lead over Windsor with two games to go in the Locust Cup standings, not surprising since City often steps up and shines in showcase events. But the 2003 Open Canada Cup champs are thirsting for a playoff berth and a shot at a championship in a revamped CSL.

"We have a team built to move forward," Gauss said. "But we also have Haidar Al-Shaibani, who was selected top goalie in the CPSL (now CSL) last year. We have Dennis Peeters at midfield, who had a standout year. We have the players. We just need to make sure we stay healthy and keep everyone on the field."

Once again, City has front-loaded its schedule with home games and the mad dash toward a playoff spot will mean having to pick up points on the road at the end of the year. They will play their final five regular season games on the road.

But London should be able to score on any pitch and is putting hope in young Prince Edward Island newcomer Michel Daoust, who potted one of the two goals against Windsor.

Gauss isn't trying to put any pressure on the first-year player, but his instincts have already reminded the coach of Irish scoring machine Paul Munster, who lit up the soccer circuit for City in 2004.

"He's that same kind of player as Munster, who has the ability to come out of nowhere and create a scoring chance," Gauss said.

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