1971 National Soccer League

League president: Ian Dickson replaced by Joe Piccininni
League secretary: Ivan Habus

Clubs and players

Hamilton Croatia were led by the Sinclair brothers, Jim and Malcolm.

Ottawa Sons of Italy changed their name to Ottawa Tigers. The Tigers started the season by losing their first 11 matches.

Review of the season

In the NSL opening game Toronto Croatia beat First Portuguese on May 2 in frontt of 6,000 fans at Stanley Park.

League president Ian Dickson had to resign due to medical advice in July 1971. Dickson had suffered his second heart attack a month earlier. He had been league president for four years. 

Total attendance at Stanley Park for the whole season was 145,000. Up 15,000 from the previous season.

Results and standings:

Final league table         GP W  L  T  GF GA Pts
Toronto Croatia            26 22  1  3 58 14  47
First Portuguese           26 17  5  4 45 19  38
Hamilton Croatia           26 14  7  5 38 31  33  
Toronto Ukraina            26 14  9  3 47 28  31
Sudbury City               26 14  9  3 55 34  31 
Olympia                    26 11 10  5 49 40  27 
London German-Canadians    26 12 12  2 57 54  26
St. Catharines Heidelberg  26 11 12  3 42 42  25
Serbian White Eagles       26  9 12  5 37 39  23
Hellas                     26 10 13  3 36 41  23 
Hungaria                   26 11 14  1 40 52  23
Ottawa                     26 ??   
Hamilton Apollos           26  3 18  5 23 69  11
Kitchener Kickers          26  2 18  6 31 65  10 
  
Leading goalscorer:
1. Ferruci Deni (Sudbury) 23/24 gls
 
Leading goalkeeper:
1. Zeljko Bilecki (Toronto Croatia) 12 shutouts

Quarter-finals

October 4, 1971 Stanley Park, Toronto
First Portuguese 5 (Antonio Rodrigues 2, Emilio Hernandez 2, Armando Costa)
Olympia 2 (John McGurk, John Wark)

October 5, 1971 Stanley Park, Toronto
Ukraina 2 (Keith Summers 2)
St. Catharines Heidelberg 1 (Jim Douglas)
1-1 after full time.

Semi-finals
October 7, 1971 Stanley Park, Toronto
Toronto Croatia 1 (Bruno Pilas)
Hamilton Croatia 0

October 8, 1971 Stanley Park, Toronto
First Portuguese 3 (Antonio Rodriguez 2, Paulino Ferrari)
Toronto Ukraina 0

Play-off final
October 11, 1971 at Stanley Park
Attendance: 7,000
Toronto Croatia 1 (Bruno Pilas)
First Portuguese 0

NSL Cup (Winner to play for national trophy)

Semi-finals
August 23, 1971 Stanley Park, Toronto
Attendance: 4,267
First Portuguese 1 (Carlos Correia)
Toronto Hellas 0

August 14, 1971 St. Joseph’s High School field, Ottawa
Ottawa Tigers 1
Sudbury City 1
*Called with 5 minutes left of OT because of rain

Replay:
September 25, 1971
Ottawa Tigers 0
Sudbury City 2 (Ferrucio Deni, George Courtney)

Final
September ??, 1971
First Portuguese
Sudbury City

Export Cup – Canadian Open Championship
October 17, 1971 Toronto
Attendance: 4,373
Toronto Croatia 3 (Bruno Pilas, Alija Solak, Marijan Bradvic)
Vancouver Eintracht 0

Exhibition games:
June 16, 1971 Stanley Park, Toronto*
Toronto Croatia 3 (Jure Miocic, Marijan Bradvic, Julius Espeleta)
Inter-City League All-Stars 1 (Frank Ceolin)       
* Played for the Ibrox Disaster Fund. $ 700 raised for those killed at the Rangers vs. Celtic game in Glasgow.

July 3, 1971 Stanley Park, Toronto
Attenance: 7,137
Toronto Croatia 0
Dinamo Zagreb (Yugoslavia) 1 (Drago Vabec)

July 18, 1971 Hamilton
Attenance: 3,000
Dinamo Zagreb 10
Hamilton Croatia 0

July 21, 1971 Varsity Stadium, Toronto
Toronto Metros Selects 0
Wisla Krakow (Poland) 2
Selects: Dick Howard (Alan Bettinson, Ukraina) – Brian Rowan, Antonio Madeiras (Arthur Dobbs, San Fili), Joao da Costa, Coro (First Portuguese) – George Simcic (Croatia)(Sergio DeLuca, San Fili)), Angus Dennison (Caledonia)Paulino Ferrari, Ukraina)) – Alija Solak (Croatia), Julio Amador, Felix, Ian MacHattie (Lewis Eversley, Hungaria) 

August 14, Stanley Park, Toronto
Attendance: 7,000
First Portuguese 1 (Jose Luiz)
Benfica (Portugal) 3 (Rui Jordao 2, Carlos Pereira)