1972 National Soccer League

President: Joe Piccinini
Vice-presidents: John Fischer and Jose Sousa
Secretary: Ivan Habus
Referee-in-chief: Steve Sohuyko

Annual general meeting

At the annnual general meeting on December 4, 1971 the NSL added two teams and endorsed a west coast division. The two successful applications were Toronto Italia and Hamilton Italia. West Indies United, London Greek Olympians, Brasilia and Spartak had tier applications rejected. The NSL was working on getting four to six teams in British Columbia to join the league.

Alderman Joe Piccininni was elected as president for another two-year term. First vice-president John Fischer and secretary Ivan Habus was also re-elected. Jose Sousa was elected as second vice-president, replacing Tony Canic. Steve Sohuyoku was re-elected as referee-in-chief.

Clubs and players

Toronto Croatia were coached by Vladimir Simunic. Goalkeeper Zeljo Bilecki recorded 17 shutouts in league play.

New team A.S. Italia was backed by the Westwood group, a major force in junior soccer. They invested $85,000 before the season started. The team started out with nine local players and eight imports from South America. New head coach Luis Dabo had starred with First Portuguese in the 1971 season. In July the club signed former Serie A player Ulisse Gualtieri. Dabo was fired in the beginning of August and replaced by goalkeeper Oswaldo Toriani.

First Portuguese hired coach Luis Vilas, formerly a player with Juventus and Palmeiras, and an assistant coach with Benfica and Boavista in Portugal.

Manuel Ramalho was the new coach of the Ottawa Tigers and they had signed five professionals from Europe before the the season started.

Review of the season

The season opened on Sunday April 30 with Toronto Croatia beating Toronto Ukraina 3-0. Marijan Blaskovic scored the first goal after just four minutes of play. Blaskovic at the same time broke his left leg when he fell on the hard turf and missed much of the season. Mehmed Cejuar scored the other two goals. Croatia would go on to be unbeaten in league play.

                      GP W  L  T  GF  GA Pts
Toronto Croatia       28 21  0  7 83  10  49
Serbian White Eagles  28 20  5  3 69  20  43
Toronto Italia        28 17  3  8 76  14  42
Hamilton Croatia      28 17  3  8 75  30  42
First Portuguese      28 16  6  6 72  32  38
Toronto Ukraina       28 13  9  6 56  42  32
Hamilton Italo-Can.   28 13  9  6 45  52  32
St. Cath. Heidelberg  28 11  9  8 36  30  30
London German-Am.     28 12 11  5 49  45  29
Hamilton Apollos      28 10 15  3 39  46  23
Toronto Hungaria      28  7 15  6 45  53  20
Ottawa Tigers         28  7 17  4 36  56  18
Olympia               28  3 22  3 30  98   9
Kitchener Maple Leafs 28  4 23  1 36 102   9
Hellas                28  2 24  2 25 122   6
  
Leading goalscorer:  
1. Saban Romanovic (Serbian White Eagles) 23 goals
  
Top Goalie                           
1. Zeljko Bilecki (Toronto Croatia)  17 shutouts 

Playoffs:

Final:
Toronto Italia beat Toronto Croatia

NSL Cup Winner
Toronto Croatia

Canadian Open Championship
October 15, 1972 Toronto
Toronto Croatia 1 (Goran Peric penalty)
Vancouver Columbus 0

Exhibition games:
June 17, 1972
Toronto Italia 0
CUF Sarteiro (Portugal) 3

July 26, 1972 at Hamilton
Hamilton Italo Canadians 0
Italian Military XI  Exhib. 3 (Franco Bergamaschio 2, ???)