L.T. Posted July 16, 2004 Share Posted July 16, 2004 I thought some people may be interested in an article I wrote on the CPSL... CPSL Worth a Second Look July 16, 2004 www.ontariosoccerweb.com (Lino Terra, Editor) – When I mention ‘CPSL’ to local soccer fans, I get one of two responses. Casual fans invariably respond, “Never heard of it”, while more knowledgeable fans will scoff, “Bush league”. Upon further disussion I usually find that both the apathy and the negativity stem from off-field activities. The league has a horrible record of marketing itself, and the teams seem to be in a constant state of controversy and in-fighting, although I must say that thus far this season has been unusually calm and scandal-free. However, if you look past the off-field misadventures and actually attend a game, you may be pleasantly surprised. I recently attended a thrilling match between North York and St. Catharines at the Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan. It was a well-played, fast-paced game with many scoring chances and plenty of goals. The skill level was higher than I expected, and definitely an improvement over previous years. This was the first CPSL game I’ve been able to attend this year and I was encouraged to see such a quality game from two of the league's bottom clubs. The fact that two struggling teams could play such attractive soccer only bodes well for the overall skill level of the league. Seventeen-year-old Alex Braletic was a force for the North York Astros with two goals and plenty of chances. Astro midfielder Boris Krimus and St. Catharines’ goalkeeper Claudio Perri also stood out as top quality. A few of the improvements I noticed were very subtle but added to the quality of the match as an event. Firstly, the game was played on the Fieldturf of the Ontario Soccer Centre. The surface was immaculate and allowed the teams to play the ball around efficiently. After seeing some of the other fields used by CPSL clubs, I would have to say that the league should mandate all clubs upgrade to Fieldturf or similar artificial surfaces, as a minimum. Secondly, the addition of a fourth official helped the game run smoothly and gave it a bit of a professional feel. Of course, the league still has a lot of work to do if it actually wants to become a league that attracts fans that are not related to, or dating, the players. The game day atmosphere that permeates the air at even the lowest level European and South American matches is nowhere to be found at most CPSL matches. Most of the clubs have struggled to connect with the community – specifically the youth clubs that theoretically would provide the majority of the fan base. Regardless of the improvements that are made or planned by professional and semi-professional clubs in Ontario and across Canada, many people will continue to stay away in the hopes that something better will come along. Unfortunately, we are caught in the vicious cycle. Unless we, as fans, show that we support the soccer we have, investors will never take the risk of bringing top flight professional soccer (i.e. MLS) to this country. So if you find yourself with a night off from soccer duties for your son/daughter, why not take him or her out to a CPSL, Lynx, Fury, Inferno, Canadians or Chill game? Support your local team and catch some live, good quality soccer from the best seats in the house. What more could you ask for? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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