1969 National Soccer League

President: Joe Piccininni
Directors: Zoltan Czimbalmos, Harry Bogdanow and Nick Martel
Secretary-treasurer: Conrad Schmidt

Preview

At the annual meeting at the Seaway Hotel, on Saturday March 8, 1969, Alderman Joseph Piccininni was elected president of the NSL. He replaced Bill Boytchuk who had been president of the league for seven years.

Windsor Teutonia dropped out from the previous season and the National League added five teams before the season to become a fourteen-team league. New clubs were Toronto Italia, London German-Canadians, Arsenal Oakville, Hamilton Homer and Montreal Inter Italia.

Review of the season

The season started with a crowd of 6,000 attending the opening game between Italia and Hellas. Of these a healthy 5,348 paid to get in. The teams battled to a scoreless tie.

With no professional team left in Toronto, the semi-pro league enjoyed success at the gate and already after six weeks more attendance marks had passed the 1969 total of 23,700. First Portuguese were the biggest success taking $18,000 at the gate, double of what number two Hellas took in.

The league kept their semi-pro status with players recieving an average of $30 a game plus bonuses for wins and ties. In an interview during the season with the Toronto Star, Croatia’s Marijan Bilic compared the league with the third division in Yugoslavia and added that the league only had about 14-15 good players.

Toronto Croatia was suspended as a result of linesman George Bailey suffering broken ribs after an attack by a Croatia player on August 23. Toronto Croatia put up a $1,000 bond with the Ontario Football Association as part of the reinstatement.

On Tuesday September 2 the largest crowd of the season, nearly 7,000, watched First Portuguese and Toronto Hellas tie 1-1. The two teams were leading the league with 27 points each.

In their final game of the season, First Portuguese won the league title when they beat Toronto Hungaria 2-0 on October 9. More than 4,000 fans watched the game. The victory gave First Portuguese a total of 38 points for the season.

Total attendance for the year was 84,000

Sudbury Italia, Toronto Italia, Arsenal and Montreal Italia dropped out after the season.

NSL All-Stars

The NSL All-Stars played two exhibtion matches this season. In the first match they lost 7-3 to the touring Hungarian team Ferencvaros, the All-Stars led 3-2 at the interval. In the second match they played Rochester Lancers at Aquinas Stadium in Rochester. The Lancers won the match 3-1 in front of 650 fans, their lowest gate of the season.

Results and standings

Final standings

ClubsGPDPTS
1. First Portuguese2638
2.26
3.26
4.26
5.26
6.26
7.26
8.26
9.26
10.26
11.26
12.26
13.26
14. Arsenal Portuguese26

NSL League Cup Final
October 26, 1969 Toronto
Toronto Italia 2
Toronto Hungaria 1

Exhibition games

July 27, 1969 Stanley Park, Toronto (att: 1,500)
NSL All-Stars 3 (Matateo 2, Andrea Vincente)
Ferencvaros 7 (Laszlo Branikovits 3, Dezso Novak, Horvath, Katona, Miklos Nemeth)

August 17, 1969 Aquinas Stadium, Rochester (Att: 650)
Rochester Lancers 3 (T. Vigh, Metidieri, Bonfiglio)
NSL All-Stars 1 (Bertolin)

October 29, 1969 Toronto
Attendance: 2,000
Toronto Hellas 1 (Carlos Metidieri)
Boavista (Portugal) 3 (Maura 2, Celso)

November 2, 1969  Stanley Park, Toronto (att: 2,000)
First Portuguese 1 (Lucas Matateo)
Boavista (Portugal) 1 (Antonio Moura)
*First Portguese won on penalties 3-2 (Andre Vincente taking all three of them!!)