Jump to content

CPSL President Steps Down

Recommended Posts



Monday, February 28--Vincent Ursini has stepped down as president of the Canadian Professional Soccer League.

Ursini tendered his resignation at the league’s Annual General Meeting Sunday, citing as the main reason his greater involvement with the governing body Ontario Soccer Association with its 500,000 registered players, coaches and game officials.

Ursini, an accountant, and a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, is presently the Ontario soccer body's treasurer and is a member of its executive committee. Revenues at March 31, 2004 detailed in the OSA's Consolidated Financial Statements released in November exceeded $7 million, with expenses at $6.5 million.

Ursini, 45, also holds a position on various sub-committees including the OSA’s busy league management board.

It’s no secret that the former player turned administrator, whose achievements include a major role in The Soccer Centre project, constructed by the Ontario Soccer Association on Martin Grove Road near Highway 7 in Vaughan at a cost of $10.6 million seven years ago, is being persuaded to join the Canadian Soccer Association as its director of finance this coming May.

Ursini joined the fledgling CPSL as a director in 1998, just one year after the league launched. A year later he was appointed treasurer and in 2000 was appointed president of what is now Canada’s only complete professional soccer league. The CPSL has 12 teams in Ontario and Quebec with a mandate to expand on a region-by-region basis across Canada.

Under Ursini the CPSL expanded from eight to 12 teams, from Windsor to Montreal with the majority of its players on a professional contract. He stressed the importance of becoming better known through the news media while soccer generally taking a back seat to the mainstream North American sports of hockey, baseball and basketball. He launched a CPSL Soccer Show on television and pressed for increased presence in print, radio and on Web sites.

Two years ago the CPSL started the Open Canada Cup as the beginning of a national club championship, open to all senior teams in Canada. This year, the league is launching into women’s soccer with a higher level of competition than presently exists. Recently, Ursini said it was difficult for him to accept that the best Canadian women’s teams had to go to a U.S. league because a comparable loop does not exist in Canada.

Bruno Ierullo, general manager of the CPSL’s North York Astros, spoke for the teams in expressing the league’s gratitude to Ursini at the meeting on Sunday. “ He has worked long and hard to bring this league to where it is today and we in the CPSL have all benefited from his exceptional dedication,” he said.

The CPSL is seeking a replacement and an announcement is expected before the season kicks off in May.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ursini's resignation is not unexpected.

He let it be known for the past while that he was looking to move on to more important positions in soccer and that the league would have to find a replacement for him.

While he did an lot to keep the league running and functioning over his past tenure, no doubt someone will take his place.

Surely, all the complainers on this board concerning Ursini and the CPSL will take joy at his departure. I do not, but, sometimes a clean slate is a good thing.

The CPSL is big enough now to actually hire someone to take the presidency and move it forward. Let's hope it does.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

CPSL plans to have women's division

The Ontario Soccer Association is concerned about a lack of players.

KATHY RUMLESKI, Free Press Sports Reporter 2005-03-01 02:06:00

Officials from the Canadian Professional Soccer League say a women's division will be on the field this summer. "We're on track. Everything is going forward," said Ryan Gauss, who will manage London City's entry. "We are going through the proper channels to get (approval)."

However, the vice-president of the Ontario Soccer Association, which is the body that would approve women's play, said the CPSL could hurt its men's program if it doesn't receive approval for the women first.

"It could put the whole league in jeopardy," John Knox said. "That's the last thing we want to see."

He said a non-sanctioned women's division would be considered an "outlaw league" that would have trouble getting referees.

OSA director and former CPSL president Vince Ursini, who served the league until Sunday, said the CPSL plans to hold an all-star tournament over three months, with the hope of running a league next summer.

"We're trying to step on as few toes as possible," he said.

He said he didn't believe the CPSL would ever run an outlaw league.

Knox did not like the idea of a women's tournament over three months, calling it "a farce."

He said a CPSL women's division could have a "damaging effect" on the Ontario Women's Soccer League, which has been campaigning to stop the CPSL because of a fear of losing players.

Ursini was upset with the OWSL's position.

"It's a selfish attitude," he said. "It's like coaches holding back talented players because they want to win the Ontario Cup."

Knox also said the North American W-League has four Ontario teams, including the London Gryphons, needing talented females.

"At the present time, the (OSA) league management and most of the board don't believe there are sufficient quality women's players in the province right now," Knox said. "If the CPSL is given permission to form a women's league, where are they going to get their players from?"

Knox, who acknowledged the CPSL has a proven track record, said he is hoping to reach a consensus with all parties involved.

He'd like to see a top-flight women's league in the province but believes it is a couple of years away.

"The present W-League teams, if they would come on board and work with us and the CPSL and the OWSL to form a top-level women's league here, we would support that 100 per cent."

A meeting between all parties, including the W-League teams, will take place April 2.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Elite women's league gets no respect

Always powerful ingredients for a Hollywood script, power and sex underline an unfolding soccer story.

It's not likely to win any Oscars.

The establishment of a proposed elite women's soccer league remains unclear because one party sees its power threatened and has taken what can only be interpreted as a sexist stance to consolidate it.

The Ontario Soccer Association has sought to nix a women's side of the Canadian Professional Soccer League with what appears to be an effort to keep the focus of the women's game on mass participation.

The CPSL, which wants to embark on a six-team elite league the first season in enclosed parks, feels there are ample reasons to establish a top-level loop.

Of course there are. Anyone who has witnessed girls' and women' play the past decade can tell you of the astonishing skill levels they have seen.

Fans who watched the national women's team on TV know all about it.

One of the great moments in Canadian sport recently came from the foot of young Kara Lang. When she struck the top corner from 20 metres at the under-19 world championships in 2002, a lot of people stood up and took notice.

It underscored the level at which women play the game. Just as hockey fans have come to appreciate the kind of game the Olympic gold-medal women's team can muster, soccer fans have become aware of the talents and fine skills of elite female players.

The OSA is in danger of becoming known as the Old Sexist Alliance if it continues to oppose a league that wants to take the game to a higher level. The argument that the Ontario Women's Soccer League exists (well-controlled by the OSA) is a non-starter.

Especially the argument that the new league would be draining off talent. If anybody should know, the OSA should be aware there is enough talent to go around and then some, even with the London Gryphons of the U.S.-based W-League in existence.

There are about 140,000 female soccer players registered in Ontario. Some estimates, when non-registered players are included, hike that to well over 200,000.

Plenty, in other words, for a feeder system to stock multiple leagues, especially when young girls see a clearly defined outlet for their talents as they mature.

The CPSL women's loop intends to operate not as a regular league in the coming summer but rather as a tournament league covering three months. Splitting hairs, the OSA charges, probably accurately.

The CPSL is under the governance of the OSA. And since the OSA is responsible for game officials, there's the threat it will restrict its refs and linesmen. But qualified refs and linesmen who have left the game are available.

Moreover, OSA control is not absolute. It falls under the umbrella of the national body, the Canadian Soccer Association and its decisions.

One fact remains: You can't stifle talent. And if there's a forum for it, talent will gravitate toward it and grassroots numbers will increase in anticipation of that.

What the OSA should be considering is a means to keep women players in Canada and not head south to play. Any top-level loop that can boast all the perks of a men's league ought to help that.

At the moment, elite girls' teams from around Ontario are as strong as any nation in the world. In other parts of the world, mind you, females playing soccer haven't quite caught the imagination of the people who control the game.

Here's a wager: It's a safe bet a Canadian women's team will win a World Cup long before a men's team if there are growing elite stages on which to prepare.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...