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April 18, 2006 USL Toronto Lynx press conference (by Rocket Robin)

Details of the Tuesday April 18th, 2006 press conference for the Toronto Lynx held at the Travelodge Hotel--Toronto Airport branch at Carlingview and Dixon Road at 11:30am.

The meeting was called to order by Dan Donlevy from The Fan590 radio who also calls the Lynx games for Rogers Television with Peter Mallette. This is the 10th anniversary of the Toronto Lynx.

He introduced the head table consisting of Matt Dare and Dr Robert Gringmuth from the medical team, coaches Duncan Wilde and Billy Steele returning after a year's absense, and player coaches Theo Zagar and Joe Mattachione. Guests from the audience Stan Adamson, Dick Howard, Peter Mallette, Jeremy Bahnie, Alex McDonald (from the Special Olympics) and three members of the dance team. Sponsers included Tim Hortons, Pizza Pizza, Legea, and Woodbine Racetrack.

First speaker is head coach Duncan Wilde.

He is pleased with better rules than in 2004 when there was golden goal overtimes in the regular season and also a better starting schedule when they played their first six games on the road. He announced his assistant coach as Billy Steele who's worked with him for the last six years. The medical team is back together. Joe Mattachione is the team captain and now has a coaching role as does goalie Theo Zagar. This is the eighth year with the Lynx for both Joe and Theo.

Joe Mattachione briefly outlined what their coaching roles will be for the year. It sounded like a scouting role for providing insight into other teams in the league. He hopes for a good start for the year.

Duncan Wilde is back to introduce the players for the 2006 Lynx. He can't introduce some players who are still waiting clearance but here's who he did introduce:

5 Tony Menezes---27 caps for Canada's national team.

6 Andres Arango--returning defender

9 David Diplacido--back after spending the end of last season with Montreal Impact.

10 Ryan Anstey--the best young striker from his open tryouts.

12 Marco Bedenikovic--first returning player who played last year with CPSL Oakville Blue Devils.

13 Jamie Dodds--led Lynx in goals and assists last year.

15 Mathew Palleschi--from CPSL Vaughan Shooters who Wilde consisders one of his two best young strikers. He played the last four games of the year with Montreal Impact.

17 Chris Williams--one of the first graduates from the Premier Soccer Academy.

28 Chris Baker--1st year through the Lynx Academy. his last two years were spent with the Junior Lynx. Their backup goalie.

19 Jeremy Shepherd--the other best young striker. from the Junior Lynx and Oakville Blue Devils.

14 Cameron Medwin--from CPSL Vaughan Shooters.

Absent but announced as signed:

34 Huffman Eja-Tabe--played last year for the Lynx.

11 Darren Baxter--has had three weeks of training with the Lynx this spring. Played part of the season with CPSL Oakville Blue Devils. He was actually checking through customs at the Pearson Airport and arrived at the end of the press conference in street clothes.

20 Robbie Aristodemo--he will miss the first two games of the season while finishing the season with the MISL Baltimore Blast.

Wilde said the team opens up with two road games which is easier than last year's opening six on the road. He needs local fan support and hopes they get behind the team for a playoff run in September.

Wilde wasn't the Lynx head coach last year. He coached the CPSL Oakville Blue Devils to the championship and ran the Premier Soccer Academy. Last year he concentrated on the Super Y league teams. The Lynx now have six teams--three boys and three girls. There are combined 120 to 130 players in the program. They have eight boys with Dale Mitchell's U-20 national team program. He has six boys in Division 1 US schools. The boys have won three conference titles since the program was started. The Lynx are now affiliated with US teams so they can play in their championships. They are further ahead than last year as some of their girl's programs were only set to run seven to nine weeks last year. Their U-16 boys played at the prestigious Dallas Cup earlier this month.

Their regular season opens up on the road April 22nd against Virginia Beach Mariners. Their first home game is Sunday May 13th against Rochester Raging Rhinos. Two Lynx media days will be at Centennial Stadium with May 3rd for the Lady Lynx and May 9th for the Lynx.

The press conference ended at 12:00pm as there were no questions from the media but plenty asked in one on one interviews with players and coaches after. Neither of the Hartrells were in attendance. (just as well after an incident years ago when Nicole blasted the media for their lack of coverage).


Might as well mingle and find out what I can find out on my own....

Stan Adamson is still organizing the CPSL press conference for mid May. The deadline for entries for the league this year has passed and so there will be twelve teams:

Seven teams in the community conference: Laval Dynamites, Windsor Borderstars, London City, St Catharines Roma Wolves, North York Astros, Brampton Stallions, and Oakville Blue Devils.

Five teams in the international conference: Toronto Croatia, Italia Shooters, Portuguese Toronto Supra, Serbian White Eagles, and Caribbean Selects.

Although there will be a 22 game schedule, the schedule will be unbalanced. There will be an Open Canada Cup again this year with amateur teams joining these teams to vie for the trophy.

Brampton Stallions owner Joseph Fuliere said his team is playing this year and they've had dozens of players come out for practices and tryouts. He has some former Lynx trying out too.

Tony Menezes joined the Lynx with some enquiries from his father who knew some local contacts with the Lynx. The legend is true about him being discovered for the national team program by some e-mail contacts with the Canadian Soccer Association. He has played in Brazil both against and on the same team as world cup star Romario who has signed for the new USL Miami franchise.

David DiPlacido said he was contacted by the Montreal Impact about trying out this spring. He finished out the season with Montreal Impact last year getting to the league semi-finals. The team had rented a condo for him. This year he decided to come back to the Lynx to be near his family.

Joe Mattachione is completely healthy. Hmm that's right he was last year too and tore his ACL in their second game last year and missed much of the season.

Matthew Palleschi who played for the Vaughan Shooters, assistant coach Billy Stewart with Oakville Blue Devils and myself reminisced about last year's . reminisced about last year's CPSL final game with Ryan Gamble coming off the bench in extra time to score the winning goal. Gamble was reported to have said "let me into the game, I'll score and then I'll retire". I'll put that as tied for the best goal I've ever seen (along with Paul Stalteri scoring for the Lynx in 1997), both on bullet blasts from 40 yards out.

The dance team will be more like the Toronto Raptors dance team. There were tryouts. They're different than the last year's dance academy production and all members must be at least 19.

Yikes I got asked by a few people what I thought about the team surviving until 2007 and having to compete with the Toronto MLS franchise. Hmm I joined the side that thinks they might move on down the QEW to Hamilton. Last year the team won only 3 games out of 28. Who would think I'd be grateful if they could just recover to the 10 win level when Duncan Wilde was coach in 2004?

The new uniforms are the usual yellow and black or black and yellow with a slightly different design and Legea as the kit supplier. No 'Oakville Nissan' sponsership logo this year.

Rocket Robin


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Lynx press release:




2006 Roster Unveiled

TUESDAY APRIL 18, 2006 (TORONTO, ON) The Toronto Lynx Soccer Club today announced the signing of defender Tony Menezes. The former Men’s National Team member has earned 27 caps for Canada and was a member of the Gold Cup champion squad in 2000. Menezes was introduced to the media this morning at the annual Toronto Lynx Press Conference/Meet the Lynx Luncheon held at the Travelodge Hotel Airport in Etobicoke. The 6’1 Menezes, 32, was born in Mississauga but emigrated to Brazil with his family at a young age. Pending his international clearance, he will be a key member in the 2006 Lynx squad as they begin their quest for a USL Division 1 playoff berth this Saturday, April 22, in Virginia Beach against the Mariners at 7:30 PM.

The Lynx also unveiled a number of key signings as the club introduced the bulk of their roster for the upcoming season. Midfielder David DiPlacido re-signed with the club after being traded to the Montreal Impact mid-season in 2005. He will be joined in the midfield by the Lynx’ leading scorer last season, Jamie Dodds, and Huffman Eja-Tabe who return from last year’s squad. Darren Baxter returns to the club after a one-season absense from the Lynx midfield. Defender Andres Arango has re-inked as well and along with Menezes and Chris Williams will form a formidable backline. Defender/Midfielder Cameron Medwin joins the club for his rookie season after being a key member of the CPSL’s Vaughan Shooters for the past three seasons, were he led the club to the championship final in each season.

Three rookie forwards are expected to make significant contributions to the Lynx attack this season: Ryan Anstey, Matthew Palleschi and Jeremy Shepherd have signed with the club for the season. Anstey joins the Lynx from the University of Prince Edward Island, where he was named Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Player of the Year in 2005. Matthew Palleschi comes to the club via the Vaughan Shooters (CPSL) and Humber College, at which he earned the team MVP as a rookie in 2002. Jeremy Shepherd was a member of the inaugural Toronto Lynx Super Y League U14 squad in 2000, and played for the CPSL champion Oakville Blue Devils in 2005. Duncan Wilde feels that “Shepherd and Palleschi were the two premier strikers in the CPSL last season, and they will be very important members of our squad this season.

Finally, Theo Zagar will return between the pipes in 2006, in addition to serving as an assistant coach with the club. Zagar has three times been named the club’s most valuable player, and will serve as an excellent mentor for Chris Baker, who has signed with the team for 2006 and will begin the season as the club’s backup keeper. Baker, 20, joins the club from the Lynx Jr’s Super Y League team, leading the U19’s to conference championships in the past two campaigns.

Following this weekend’s season opener in Virginia Beach, the Lynx head to Vancouver on April 29 for a match with the Whitecaps. The club returns home for their 10th home opener on Saturday May 13 at 4:00 against the visiting Rochester Raging Rhinos.




416-251-4625 ext. 23

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story from Toronto Star:

Lynx are hoping youngsters will provide punch

Williams among the newcomers

Team looks to end playoff drought

Apr. 19, 2006. 01:00 AM



The Toronto Lynx hope to revitalize their roster with players like Chris Williams.

The 25-year-old midfielder has pedigree, spending part of last season in Germany. And he's competitive, saying he wants to help instil a "winning mentality" in a team that lost 16 of 28 games in the USL first division last year.

But he's also got an eye on the 2007 season.

"That MLS team is coming," he said. "And when it does, there's something to look forward to."

During yesterday's meet-the-team news conference, new Lynx head coach Duncan Wilde described how playing five of its first six games on the road will challenge his young team. Afterward, though, officials acknowledged that the Lynx's stiffest competition will come from within Toronto, when Major League Soccer fields a team here next year.

Both teams will play out of the new 20,000-seat stadium at Exhibition Place, which should open next May.

"It will stunt our growth. That's pretty clear," said Lynx co-owner Bruno Hartrell. "If you've got two pro teams competing for the soccer crowd, it stands to reason you've got to share it."

But Hartrell also thinks the new team can help his club. In a new stadium he's confident the Lynx can average 5,000 fans at home games. With an average ticket price of $8, attendance like that would mean the Lynx would break even for once.

The MLS team is also a tantalizing prospect for young Lynx players, who want more money and tougher competition, but not the hassle of travelling to play overseas.

"Everybody says they want to go to Europe, but we've got families here," said first-year Lynx player Marko Bedenikovic. The 22-year-old University of San Francisco grad spent parts of last season in Hungary and France.

Hartrell doesn't mind local players using the Lynx as a launching pad to a larger league, but he would like a formal arrangement to make the Lynx a farm team.

He hasn't talked to MLS club officials yet but thinks they'd like the idea because the league will force Toronto's team to carry Canadian players.

"It's in their best interest to develop Canadian talent," he said.

Wilde, who also coached the Lynx in 2004, will have to manage his players' ambitions while trying to resurrect a team that hasn't made the playoffs in five seasons.

The squad totalled only 17 points last year, and 31 in 2004.

"If we don't take a minimum of 32 points we'll be nowhere near the playoffs," he said.

And he hopes to reach the playoffs with a squad that retains only eight players from last year's 22-man roster.

Former national team member Tony Menezes signed with the Lynx on Monday.

In addition to Bedenikovic, high-scoring striker Jeremy Shepherd joins the Lynx from the Oakville Blue Devils.

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Looks like the team will be a bit more solid than last year although they don't seem to have much depth depending on who is still to sign. Don't see Rick Titus mentioned. Menezes and Titus would be a pretty punishing back line for a USL club.

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