1975 National Soccer League

President: Joe Piccininni
Secretary: Ivan Habus

Toronto Metros-Croatia and the NASL

On February 5, 1975 the NASL member clubs approved the merger of Prosoccer Ltd, owners of the Toronto Metros, with Toronto Croatia. The team name was to remain Toronto Metros but the corporate name was changed to Toronto Metros Croatia Soccer Club Ltd from Prosoccer Ltd. This meant in effect that the strong Croatia team in the NSL moved to the NASL.

Division 1

Clubs and players 

First Portuguese


Founded: September 23, 1956
Stadium:
Owner:
Head Coach:
Key players: Rodney Desmeules, Armando Costa

First Portuguese had a strong squad of imported Portuguese players and Canadian semi-professionals, but it was former Swindon Town player Rodney Desmeules who was the main cog in their team play. Highlight of their season was a narrow loss, 1-2, against Greek powerhouse Olympiakos on August 10. The match was watched by 14,000 fans at the Varsity Stadium.

Hamilton City
Stadium:
Founded:
Head Coach:
Key players: Goalkeeper Robert Judd; forwards Paul McGee and Robert Cooke

Thanks to the goalkeeping of Robert Judd and the goalscoring of Irish imports Paul McGee and Robert Cooke Hamilton City finished seventh in the league.

Hamilton Croatia


Founded: 1957
Stadium:
Head Coach:
Key players: Defenders Kevin Grant and Stejpan Loparic.

Led by defenders Kevin Grant and Stejpan Loparic Hamilton Croatia finished as the best of the Hamilton-clubs with a sixth-place finish.

Hamilton Italo-Canadians
Founded:
Stadium:
Head Coach:
Key players: Joe Schiraldi

Despite importing several Scottish League-players Hamilton Italo-Canadians struggled defensively letting in 109 goals in their 38 league matches.

Homer
Founded:
Stadium:
Owner: George Karamberis
Head Coach: Gus Mesalogitis
Key players:

Homer president George Karamberis got several players from Greece for his team and a new coach in former Olympiakos player Gus Mesalogitis. Tony Dallas starred in goal and the Greek brothers Thanasis Inzoglou and Bob Inzoglou led the forward line. After the season they changed their name to Panhellenic.

London City Soccer Club


Founded: February 14, 1973
Stadium: Cove Road Field, London, Ontario
President: Markus Gauss
General manager: Harry Gauss
Head Coach:
Key players: Goalkeeper Stan Puskas; forwards John Hold and Charlie Papp

Returning players for London City included goalkeeper Stan Puskas and forward Charlie Papp. They also were helped again by importing former Margate FC players, including John Hold and Phil Brooman.

Macedonia
Stadium:
Owner:
Head Coach:
Key players: Goalkeeper Djordi Dimovski

Macedonia goalkeeper Djordi Dimovski played a huge part in the team letting in only 29 goals in 30 matches and was voted Goalkeeper of the year in the NSL.

Serbian White Eagles


Stadium:
Founded: 1968
Player-coach: Dragoslav Sekularac
Key players: Goalkeeper Blagoje Tamindzic; defender Tony Lawrence; midfielders Dragoslav Sekularac, Nick Ivetic and Tibor Gemeri; forwards Mike Bakic and Mirko Stojanovic.

Serbian White Eagles scored an amazing 105 goals in 38 games with Momcilo Stojanovic netting 41 of those goals. He was helped by forwards Milovan (Mike) Bakic and Milan Miladinovic. Player-coach Dragoslav Sekularac ran the midfield together with Nick Ivetic and Tibor Gemeri. Defender Tony Lawrence and goalkeeper Blagoje Tamindzic helped the White Eagles to only letting in 30 goals. As winners of the 1974 Canadian championship the Serbian White Eagles competed in the 1975 Concacaf Cup. After losing against Monterey in Mexico by 2 goals to nil they met the Mexicans at CNE Stadium on July 13. To the shame of the team and the league Serbian fans invaded the field and forced the game to be abandoned.

Toronto Croatia


Founded: 1956
Stadium:
Head Coach:
Key players:

After the merger that created the Toronto Metros-Croatia in the NASL, the loss of its best players led to Toronto Croatia struggling in the NSL.

Toronto Italia


Founded: 1972
Stadium:
Owner:
Head Coach: Pagliuso Fiorigi
Key players:

Toronto Italia won the league with a very strong team. Their team was a mix of experienced NSL-players and young promising Italian-Canadians. In goal was Luciano Bartolomeo. In defence 18-year old fullback Paul D’Agostini and future New York Cosmos player Robert Iarusci starred. The midfield was run by Carmine Marcantonio and Argentinian Peter Kozak. They also got help from the former Italian first division player Giovanni Vastola. The forward line included Portuguese star Jose Testas; John Fahy, 31-year old centre-forward; Canadian Under-19 player Carmelo Barbieri and former NSL leading goal scorer Saban Romanovic. Italia even made money and had a profit of $20,000 on their operation. Italia had an average paid gate of 3,490, they had sold 2,000 season tickets. Barbieri’s play earned him a move to Casertana in the Italian third division. The team was coached by Pagliuso Fiorigi.

Review of the season

Attendances in 1975 dropped from an all-time high of 245,415 in 1974 to 190,603. Much of the reasons given were the problems with having to wait for Lamport Stadium to get ready for soccer and games having to be played at smaller ballparks like Brockton Stadium. There were also too many uninteresting games played due to inter-divisional play between First and Second division teams.

There were 561 registered players in the NSL in the 1975 season, 302 of whom were amateurs, 259 of whom were semi-pros. Just under a quarter of the 561 players, 125, were Canadians.

After the season Hamilton City moved to Welland to become the Welland Lions Croatia. Homer changed their name to Panhellenic.

Results and standings

First Division       GP W  L  T  GF  GA  Pts
Toronto Italia        38 25  2 11  98  33 61
First Portuguese      38 26  7  5  79  35 57
Homer                 38 24  8  6  95  36 54
Serbian White Eagles  38 23  8  7 105  30 53
Macedonia             38 22 10  6  74  29 50
Hamilton Croatia      38 17 12  9  60  57 43
Hamilton City         38 15 17  6  63  57 36
London City           38 13 16  9  68  72 35
Toronto Croatia       38 11 21  6  40  57 28
Hamilton Italo-Can.   38  8 27  3  46 109 19
 

Leading goalscorers:                             
1. Momcilo Stojanovic (Serbian White Eagles) 41 goals   
 
Leading goalkeeper:
1. Djordi Dimovski (Macedonia)
 
Rookie of the Year:
Robert Iarusci (Toronto Italia)

Sources:
Toronto Star Archives
1975 and 1976 NSL Media Guides
http://www.newspapers.com