March 21, 2007 CSL London City carries on (from CSL website)
NORTH AMERICA'S OLDEST PRO SOCCER TEAM
Wednesday - March 21, 2007
City marches on
London City of the Canadian Soccer League’s National Conference, is North America’s oldest professional soccer franchise in active competition.
It’s been 34 years since London City launched in the days of the National Soccer League and it has been a prominent team ever since while playing under the banners of the CNSL, CPSL and today’s CSL.
There have been ups and downs, championships won – the 2003 Open Canada Cup victory was one of the most notable - and there have been championships lost.
Players have taken off, including for big time European teams with some measure of success. Striker Paul Munster was signed by Slavia Prague of the Czech Republic, goalkeeper Scott Mueller trialed with St. Mirren of Scotland, forwards Semir Mesanovic and Cameron Medwin went to Europe and one of the youngest players to wear a London jersey, defender Tyler Hemming went to Grimsby Town of the English League and is now on trial with MLS team Toronto FC. Some returned to London City – not a common occurrence in the competitive world of soccer at the higher level.
This year Harry Gauss, the driving force behind the CSL team, is sidelined through illness – on the injury list you might say. But London City marches on. “I have some great people doing so much for the club right now, it’s amazing. But I’m grateful,” said Gauss between recent trips to see his doctor.
Son Ryan Gauss and Josie Storto, a long-time friend of the family with administrative experience in professional soccer, have been providing liaison with the league office, while brother Reinhart Gauss has stepped up his media relations work. The ever-dependable Ken Lee, who wears several hats including that of being the team photographer, has become even more available, and journalist Kathy Rumleski and Brian Mortimer, are just a few that have stepped in to help. It’s paramount, they feel, to keep the ship sailing while the skipper recovers.
Louie Fotia, a goalscoring forward, played for London City 26 years ago before he took off to play in Cleveland, then Italy. He returned to London and turned out yet again last season for London City. “A strong bond exists within this club. It takes the game seriously, yet has a strong appreciation for people, including the playing staff,” said Fotia. “It’s been true to me over the years and is just a great club to play for.”
London City recently announced its annual honours list, always on the St. Valentine’s Day anniversary of the club’s launch back in 1973. Midfielder Dennis Peeters was named MVP following an outstanding 2006 season, to add to 2005 CSL Rookie of the Year award and his selection to the CSL All Stars in a game with Rangers of Scotland.
Craig Boytchuk, a 19 year old standout goalkeeper from Strathroy, Ontario, took the top rookie award and defender Marco Peeters, brother of Dennis, was named the most dedicated player.
London City kicks off the 2007 season at the Cove Road ground in London on Friday, June 1 against 2004 league champs Toronto Croatia of the International Conference, an 8.38 p.m. kickoff, and tickets for this attractive opener are available now by calling (519) 672-5425.
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