A NEW BEGINNING TO KICKOFF A NEW SEASON – ProSound Cup starts Saturday
PICTURE: It’s a new beginning for the CSL while driven by Primetime Management, but FC Vorkuta will aim yet again to start defending a championship victory with a championship winning attitude that keeps adding titles and trophies with each passing year. The CSL season opens with three games at Centennial Stadium in Etobicoke this coming Saturday, August 14.
A front office new-look Canadian Soccer League, with perennial champions FC Vorkuta, recent league title holders Scarborough SC, and Serbian White Eagles with a record of two CSL championships and a history going back to 1974 as the first Canadian soccer club to compete in the CONCACAF Champions Cup, all appear to be the core strength of seven teams about to kickoff another pandemic abbreviated CSL season on Saturday, August 14.
The semi-pro loop, which fields seasoned professionals on a temporary visa from Europe while playing alongside some of the most promising younger Canadians, is expected to maintain its well-earned reputation of playing an attractive brand of the world game.
This year, the league includes the newly-formed BGH City FC following a merger of Hamilton City SC 1 and southern Ontario neighbors Brantford Galaxy FC. Brantford Galaxy entered the CSL in 2010 and attracted much attention as the first expansion franchise in CSL history to win the CSL Championship in its inaugural year. Hamilton City also reached the CSL Championship final in its inaugural year, but were defeated by Serbian White Eagles by a goal scored in the last minute of play in that 2016 match for the title.
The CSL has two competitions for the upcoming 2021 schedule, the ProSound Cup, an invitational competition of CSL teams Vorkuta, Scarborough, Serbian White Eagles and BGH City, together with entries Atletico Sporting Toronto, St. Catharines Hrvat and Toronto Tigers in a league format spanning 10 weeks, all games at Centennial Stadium in Toronto’s west-end. The ProSound Cup will be followed by playoffs for the CSL Championship. FC Vorkuta is the current defending champion.
Scarborough SC will host Toronto Tigers for the 3 pm opening game at Centennial Stadium on Saturday, to be followed by BGH City vs FC Vorkuta at 5 pm and Serbian White Eagles vs Atletico Sporting Toronto at 7.
BGH City vs FC Vorkuta at 5 pm is a change from the earlier announced FC Vorkuta vs St. Catharines Hrvat game which has been re-scheduled for Friday, August 20 at 9 pm.
“We are really excited and looking forward to playing in a competition with the CSL, an organization with such a professional outlook. The games will give us a chance to see how our team has advanced over time,” said Martin Mamic, head coach of St. Catharines Hrvat who also holds executive positions of VP and Sporting Director.
Atletico Sporting Toronto, launched in 2019 with head coach Ronald Brinez, a former player at high levels in Colombia and Brazil, and Toronto Tigers are also expected provide a strong bid in its attempt to win the trophy.
The new-look CSL is driven by Primetime Sports Marketing, a Canadian sports management company led by principals Phil Ionadi and Peter Kovacs who have designed a competition format with brevity to accommodate the restrictions of the pandemic, but which reflects also a new beginning for the CSL, a league prominent in the Canadian Soccer community for 84 years. Primetime Management has also been engaged to assist the CSL in its growth at the semi-professional level in mid-Canada during the coming years.
AT THE STADIUM
On kickoff day, Saturday, August 14 a limited number of spectators are allowed into the stadium from 2.30 pm until the final whistle of the third game at approx, 9 pm. An opening day pass for all three games is available at the gate for $10. Spectators are required to wear a mask or face covering in a manner that covers their mouth, nose and chin, unless they are entitled to an exemption. Physical distancing is required.
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