1963 National Soccer League

President: Walter Popowich

Review of the season

The newly-formed Toronto Hakoah club joined the league.

Another new club was Estonia.

The opening game of the 1963 season was played on Sunday April 28, 1963. Olympia and Ukraina played to a 3-3 tie with Paul Dowhaluk scoring the tying goal for the Ukrainians with three minutes left of the game.

On June 6 Ukraina set a new NSL record by beating Macedonia 16-1. Eleven of the goals were scored in the second half. Macedonia scored their goal when the Ukraina was speaking to a friend behind the goal. Shortly after the Macedonia team decided to drop out from the league, citing that they no longer could compete with the wages offered by other teams. In an interview with the Canadian Press the Macedonia secretary, treasurer, manager and ticket seller Danny Giouchos said “we’ve been caught in a squeeze play. We can’t keep up with some of the other teams in buying and paying star players”. It was said that some players in the NSL received as much as $100 a week. Top players in the ECPSL were said to be earning more than $200 per week.

Toronto Hungaria defeated Estonia 1-0 on July 4. Joe Cziraki scored the only goal of the game.

On Sunday night July 28 Italia Virtus defeated Hungaria 1-0. Franco Rosati scored the Italians goal.

On Friday September 20 Hakoah defeated Estonia 5-1. Jim Lefkos scored four of Hakoah’s goals.

Italian Virtus secured the league championship by beating Ukraina on September 26. Italian Virtus finished the season With 27 points, one more than Hakoah who had 26 points.

Toronto Ukraina beat Toronto Hakoah in the NSL play-offs finals to win the O’Keefe Trophy. Ukraina took the best-of-three series in two successive game. They won the opening game 2-0. In the second game they won 3-2 with Fred Patterson, Leo Dowhaluk and John Ihnatovych scoring the goals for Ukraina.

After the season it was rumoured that the league could lose possession of Stanley Park as they were struggling with huge debts. It was even a big question if there would even be a 1964 season with talks of the ECPSL creating a second division to accommodate more teams. Toronto Ukraina applied for a place in the ECPSL but were turned down.

After the season Hakoah dropped out from the NSL and tried to join the ECPSL. Instead they ended up playing the 1964 season in the Ontario Soccer League and in the 1965 they rejoined the National Soccer League. Estonia also dropped out of the league and joined the Ontario Soccer League.

Final standingsGPWLTPts
It. Virtus18123327
Hakoah18113426
Ukraina18115224
Hungaria18107121
Olympia1878317
Estonia18311410
Croatia1801711

Macedonia dropped out during the season.

Playoffs

Semi-finals

October 1, 1963 Stanley Park, Toronto
Attendance:
Hakoah 3
Hungaria 2

October 4, 1963 Stanley Park, Toronto
Attendance:
Hakoah 5
Hungaria 0

Hakoah won the best-of-three series in two straight games

October 3, 1963 Stanley Park, Toronto
Attendance:
Ukraina 1
Italia Virtus 0

October 6, 1963 Stanley Park, Toronto
Attendance:
Ukraina 1
Italia Virtus 0

Ukraina won the best-of-three game series in two straight games

O’Keefe Cup Finals

October 13, 1963 Stanley Park, Toronto
Attendance:
Hakoah 0
Ukraina 2

October 20, 1963 Stanley Park, Toronto
Attendance:
Hakoah 2
Ukraina 3 (Fred Patterson, Leo Dowhaluk, John Ihnatovych)

Ukraina won the best-of-three game series in two straight games.

Exhibition games

June 8, 1963 Stanley Park, Toronto
Attendance:
Hakoah 0
New York Hungaria 4

July 27, 1963 Edgerton Park, Rochester, New York
Attendance:
Rochester Ukrainians 0
Toronto Ukraina 1 (John Ihnatowych)