Defending champions Serbian White Eagles open CSL season May 26

Expansion teams FC Vorkuta, Royal Toronto FC also play opening weekend

TORONTO – Monday, May 21, 2017 – The current CSL champions, Serbian White Eagles, will open the 2017 Canadian Soccer League season when they host the returning SC Waterloo with a 7 pm evening encounter at Centennial Stadium in Toronto’s west end on Friday, May 26. The Southwestern Ontario team are back following a one-year re-organization.

The opening weekend will also feature expansion team FC Vorkuta at home to Milton SC at Esther Shiner Stadium in North York at 2 pm on Saturday, and this will be followed by a night match at 8 with Scarborough SC at home in Birchmount Stadium to  the visiting York Region Shooters.

There is one CSL First Division game on Sunday of the opening weekend when Brantford Galaxy travel to Toronto for a clash with new club Royal Toronto FC at Lamport Stadium, close to the downtown core. That’s a 6 pm start.

The two expansion teams, FC Vorkuta and Royal Toronto FC, will give a new-look to the Canadian Soccer League eight-team First Division,  to play a five-month long regular season campaign followed by the playoffs leading to the Givova Championship Cup Final early October.

Vorkuta FC, formed in Toronto in 2008, derives its name from a Russian town situated just north of the Arctic Circle.  The local group adopted the name as a dedication to that Russian community and its troubled past, and to represent the Russian speaking community in Canada.

Vorkuta FC played in the early days in a downtown Toronto senior amateur league before moving to the northern outskirts of Thornhill and Richmond Hill, winning league titles along the way. Players being signed for the CSL team are from the broader Eastern Europe and Canada.

Samad Kadirov has been an ever present force in the development of the Vorkuta team both on and off the field, while lawyer Igor Demitchev has been a leading sponsor to help move the club into the CSL, Canada’s only professional soccer league.

Royal Toronto FC has a strong academy background with a reputation for skills training and emphasizing a lifestyle for young players aiming to make an impression at higher levels. It’s a ‘total preparation’ attitude at Royal Toronto –  being ready when the opportunity comes along at the professional level in Canada and elsewhere.

Dario Brezak and Luka Majstorovic are the principals at Royal Toronto, a club that’s now reached a stage of adding a professional dimension to the organization and ready to step into the tough Canadian Soccer League. Each has experience with several CSL clubs, including Toronto Croatia, Milton and Toronto Atomic.

“We want our young academy players to be in a position of taking advantage of an opportunity that may come their way from Europe and other parts of the world and playing in the CSL is going to provide that necessary experience as they interface and eventually play with our professionals,” explained Brezak.

Returning teams in the CSL First Division from last season are Brantford Galaxy, Milton SC, Scarborough SC, Serbian White Eagles, York Region Shooters, while SC Waterloo is back after using 2016 to reorganize, and new teams FC Vorkuta and Royal Toronto FC rounding out the eight.

The CSL Second Division, considered a developmental loop for players moving into professional ranks, has in its 2017 league formation Brantford Galaxy B, Burlington SC, London City, Royal Toronto FC B, Serbian White Eagles B, Ukraine United, FC Vorkuta B and SC Waterloo B.
Serbian White Eagles defeated Hamilton City at Birchmount Stadium last October to win the CSL title, while the York Region Shooters reserve squad defeated Toronto Atomic reserves to capture the Second Division championship.

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