1977 National Soccer League
President: Joe Piccininni
First vice-president: John Fisher
Second vice-president: Jose E. Sousa
The NSL also operated with two divisions, a First Division and a Second Division.
Referee-in-chief: Steve Sohuyko
Referees included Paul Avis (Rexdale, Ontario), Bill Bouwmeester (Chatham, Ontario), Nevio Novacco (Chatham, Ontario), Charlie Haslem (London, Ontario) Frank Pavicic, Bill Divorski, Borge Devantier (Belle River, Ontario), Mimmo Calavretta and Phil Clarke (London, Ontario).
Review of the season
The season opened with three games on Sunday April 24. At Lamport Stadium Italia defeated Panhellenic 3-0. Hamilton Italo-Canadians tied Serbian White Eagles 1-1. Windsor Stars beat Toronto Croatia 3-1 in front of 1,000 fans at Mic Mac Park in Windsor.
First Portuguese opened their season on Wednesday April 27 with a 2-0 win over Hamilton Italo-Canadians.
Early in May First Portuguese signed Marinho. The former Sporting Lisboa and Portuguese star made his NSL debut against Windsor Stars on May 15 in Windsor. The match finished in a 1-1 tie.
On June 24 they suffered their first defeat in 16 games when they lost to London City in London. On July 3 Panhellenic beat First Portuguese 5-0 in front of a season-record crowd of 5,000.
The final league game of the 1977 season was played on Thursday October 6 when Hamilton Italo-Canadians beat Panhellenic 6-1.
Montreal Castors won the league championship with 56 points, two points more than Toronto Italia who finished the season with 54 points.
After a disastrous season Serbian White Eagles left the NSL but returned again for the 1979 season. Macedonia also left the league.
Leading goalscorer – Saban Romanovic (Panhellenic)
Panhellenic’s forward Saban Romanovic was the leading goalscorer in the 1977 NSL season.
Leading goalkeeper – Paolo Cimpiel (Toronto Italia)
Italian goalkeeper Paolo Cimpiel started his professional soccer career with Trapani in the Italian League. He won the Mitropa Cup with Bologna in 1961. In the 1976 season he won the North American Soccer League championship with Toronto Metros-Croatia. He was the National Soccer League’s leading goalkeeper in the 1977 season.
Division 1 Final Standings
|Serbian White Eagles||36||0||29||7||24||137||7|
In December 1976, Club Roma applied for, and was granted, a franchise in the National Soccer League and changed their name to St. Catherines Roma. They were a member of the National Soccer League and the Canadian National Soccer League from 1977 through to 1997.
Review of the season
St. Catharines Heidelberg won 1-0 over Bradford Marshlanders on May 1 at Bradford High School in Bradford. It was the Marshlanders first league game of the season.
Toronto Falcons were Second Division league champions and earned promotion to the First Division.
Ottawa Tigers won promotion the First Division.
Division 2 Final Standings
|St. Catharines Roma||18||8||6||4||38||25||20|
|St. Catharines Heidelberg||18||4||10||4||22||35||12|
1. Billy Telford (Ottawa Tigers) 25 goals
2. Casey Soltysiak (Buffalo Blazers) 16 goals
1. Jerzy Patola (Toronto Falcons)
Promotion-relagation play off
October 2, 1977 Toronto
Toronto Croatia 3 (Dennis D’Hugo 2, Steve Loparic)
Ottawa Tigers 1 (Tom Henderson)
October 10, 1977 Mooney’s Bay, Ottawa
Ottawa Tigers 2 (Bill McGill, Mike Wharton)
Toronto Croatia 0
President’s Cup (National Soccer League Cup)
President’s Cup Finals
Panhellenic won the NSL Cup
April 3, 1977 Warren Tower High School, Warren, Michigan
Detroit Vardar SC 0
Windsor Stars 4
June 5, 1977 War Memorial Stadium, Buffalo
Buffalo Blazers 1
Lazio (Italy) 6
Read about the match here.