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1987 Canadian Soccer League season

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Canadian Soccer League
ChampionsCalgary Kickers
Division LeadersHamilton Steelers (East)
Calgary Kickers (West)
Matches played80
Goals scored212 (2.65 per match)
Top goalscorerNick Gilbert (10)

The 1987 Canadian Soccer League season was the first season of play for the Canadian Soccer League, a new Division 1 men's soccer league in the Canadian soccer pyramid.


The schedule was not a balanced schedule based on the league principle of playing each club home and away due to travel concerns.[1] The league was divided into two four-team division with each team playing each team in their division four times, twice at home and twice on the road, and playing the teams in the opposing division twice, once at home and once on the road for a total of twenty games.[2] Following the season, the top three teams in each division would advance to the playoffs, with the division leaders earning a first round bye, to designate a national champion club.[1]


The Canadian Soccer League was the second attempt to create a national professional league in Canada. Many teams were existing franchises from the non-professional provincial leagues, while others had come from semi-professional leagues, including Edmonton (Western Soccer Alliance), Hamilton (Canadian National Soccer League), and Toronto (CNSL and NASL), while some teams, such as the Vancouver 86ers were new.[3] The league opened with a good start with sizable crowds and a fairly high level of play, but teams soon began to feel the financial pressure, particularly in the smaller markets.[3]

The league's inaugural match took place on June 7, 1987 in Aylmer, Quebec between the National Capital Pioneers and the Hamilton Steelers and finished in a 1–1 draw, in a steady drizzle, in front 2,500 spectators.[4][5][6]

The Eastern Division in 1987 consisted of National Capital Pioneers, Hamilton Steelers, Toronto Blizzard, and the North York Rockets. The Western Division comprised the Calgary Kickers, Edmonton Brick Men, Vancouver 86ers, and the Winnipeg Fury. Calgary and Hamilton won their divisions and both advanced to the finals in the playoffs. In the final, Calgary defeated Hamilton 2–1, at home, in a winner-take-all one game final.

Regular season

East Division

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 Hamilton Steelers 20 10 6 4 32 22 +10 26 Playoff semifinals
2 National Capital Pioneers 20 7 9 4 22 15 +7 23 Playoff quarterfinals
3 Toronto Blizzard 20 6 8 6 22 27 −5 20
4 North York Rockets 20 1 7 12 15 39 −24 9

West Division

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 Calgary Kickers (O) 20 11 5 4 32 22 +10 27 Playoff semifinals
2 Vancouver 86ers 20 9 3 8 37 27 +10 21 Playoff quarterfinals
3 Edmonton Brick Men 20 7 6 7 27 24 +3 20
4 Winnipeg Fury 20 5 4 11 25 36 −11 14


Home team on top.

Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
1W Calgary (OT) 4
2W Vancouver 2 2W Vancouver 3
3W Edmonton 1 1W Calgary Kickers 2
1E Hamilton Steelers 1
1E Hamilton 1
2E Ottawa 1 3E Toronto 0
3E Toronto (OT) 2


Top scorers

Rank Player Club Goals
1 Canada Nick Gilbert Calgary Kickers 10
2 Canada Domenic Mobilio Vancouver 86ers 9
3 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Željko Adžić Hamilton Steelers 8
4 Canada Norman Odinga Edmonton Brick Men 7
South Korea Han Kim Winnipeg Fury
Canada James Easton Vancouver 86ers
7 Scotland Arnie Meers Vancouver 86ers 6
Canada John Catliff Calgary Kickers
Fiji Ivor Evans Vancouver 86ers
Canada Billy Domazetis Hamilton Steelers
11 Canada John Roumelis National Capital Pioneers 5
Canada Ed McNally National Capital Pioneers
Canada David Bryne Toronto Blizzard
Reference: [7]


The following awards and nominations were awarded for the 1987 season.[7]

Most Valuable Player

Player Team
Canada Nick Gilbert Calgary Kickers

League All-Stars

Player Position
Canada Sven Habermann (Calgary Strikers) Goalkeeper
Argentina Diego Castello (Edmonton Brick Men) Defender
Canada Greg Kern (Calgary Strikers) Defender
Canada Paul James (Hamilton Steelers) Defender
Canada Randy Ragan (Toronto Blizzard) Defender
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Željko Adžić (Hamilton Steelers) Midfielder
England Ray Hudson (Edmonton Brick Men) Midfielder
Canada James Easton (Vancouver 86ers) Midfielder
Canada Ed McNally (National Capital Pioneers) Forward
Canada Billy Domazetis (Hamilton Steelers) Forward
Canada Nick Gilbert (Calgary Strikers) Forward


Player Position
Canada Don Ferguson (National Capital Pioneers) Goalkeeper
Canada David Norman (Winnipeg Fury) Defender
South Korea Han Kim (Winnipeg Fury) Midfielder
Hungary Zoltan Metzaros (North York Rockets) Forward

Front Office

Person Role
Canada Bill Thompson (National Capital Pioneers) Head Coach
Canada Peter Welsh (Calgary Kickers) Assistant Coach
Canada Buzz Parsons (Vancouver 86ers) General Manager

See also


  1. ^ a b MacDonald, Archie (February 26, 1987). "Soccer rebirth". The Vancouver Sun. p. F3.
  2. ^ Bunke, Trevor (June 7, 1987). "Pioneers Primed for Kickoff". The Sunday Herald.
  3. ^ a b Litterer, Dave. "The Year in American Soccer - 1987". Sover. Archived from the original on March 3, 2009.
  4. ^ Gomez, Boris (May 28, 1987). "Ravens become Ottawa pioneers". The Charlatan. p. 10.
  5. ^ Lovegrove, Don. "CSL '87 Preview - Toronto-Hamilton Rivalry Renewed on Soccer Pitch". CSL Memories. Hamilton Spectator.
  6. ^ "Histoire du Championnat et de la Coupe du Canada" [History of the Championship and the Canada Cup]. Impact Soccer (in French).
  7. ^ a b "1987 CSL Stats" (PDF). Canadian Soccer League.
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1987 Canadian Soccer League season
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