1987 National Soccer League

League commissioner: Rocco LoFranco

Preview

The annual general meeting was held in December 1986. At the meeting one team was added, North York International. A further league meeting was held on January 11, 1987 where it was expected that a second Toronto expansion team, Cabbagetown, would be added. Also plans for a junior division was made. 

In February the NSL added Toronto International and Chile Lindo.

Later they added Mississauga Lakers and Nacional Latino.

Clubs and players

Chile Lindo was another new team from Toronto. They were coached by Carlos Rivas. They quickly became known for the poor behavior by their players and fans, and recieved a record fine of $5,000 from the NSL.

Mississauga Lakers joined the league after winning the Petro Canada League in the 1986 season.

When the Toronto Blizzard left for the new Canadian Soccer League, the old backers of Dinamo Latino decided to field a new team in the NSL. The newly-formed team was called Nacional Latino. Luis Caruso coached the team.

Toronto Croatia started the season with Brunos Pilas as their head coach but he was later replaced by former NK Zagreb coach Vid Horvath. They operated with a $100,000 budget, most of which was used to pay player salaries. They signed five imports including forward Drago Santic from Hajduk Split, Nenad Omicharod from Sarajevo and Les Shrle from Greece.

New team Toronto Internacional was coached by Ted Pope. They had been playing in the Canadian Indoor Soccer League in the 1986-87 winter season. Among their leading players were Rodrigo Mafla and Marinel Risnita, both formerly of Toronto Italia. After the season goalkeeper Velomir Siljanoski moved to Toronto Italia.

Toronto Italia won the two knockout trophies, the Ontario Cup and Canada Cup. Italia provided four players to the NSL All-Stars. Hardley Scott joined Italia in July after he was released by the North York Rockets. Coach of the team was German Sanchez.

Windsor Wheels hired Yugoslavian Mirko Bazic as their coach. He was a former coach of Borac Banja Luka in Yugoslavia. Bazic was hired on a two-year, $15,000 per year contract. The roster included goalkeeper Rob Agostini; forwards Edson Dias and Mark Tirikian. The club operated with a $150,000 budget. Striker John Perciballi joined London Marconi in mid-July.

Review of the season

Windsor Wheels opened their NSL season by defeating Mississauga Lakers 4-0 on Sunday May 17. The game was watched by 500 fans at Windsor Stadium. On the same day St. Catharines Roma and First Portuguese tied 0-0 in another opening game.

Toronto Croatia started their NSL season at Windsor Stadium on May 24. In front of a crowd of 450 Windsor Wheels beat Croatia 2-1.

Toronto Italia started the season slowly but was the best team in the NSL in August and September.

Windsor Wheels won the league championship and Canadian Championship.

Toronto Italia won the NSL Playoff Championship, NSL Cup and Canada Cup.

Leading goalscorer – Marc Tirikian (Windsor Wheels)

Marc Tirikian grew up in Detroit. After being the leading goalscorer at Kalamazoo College he tried his luck in France with Olympique Avignonnais. In 1987 his goals helped Windsor Wheels win the National Soccer League championship and the Canadian Championship. During the 1987 season he scored 17 league goals.

1987 NSL All-Stars

Otto Orf (Toronto Italia); Jack Sanza (London Marconi), Billy Boucas (Windsor Wheels), Jens Kraemer (London Marconi), ???? (Panhellenic); John Contanas (Panhellenic), Edison Diaz (Windsor Wheels); Boris Kukolja (Toronto Croatia), Hardley Scott (Toronto Italia), Carlos Salguero (Toronto Italia), Carmen Groe (Toronto Italia)

National Soccer League Results (Incomplete)

May 22, 1987 London
London Marconi
Toronto Italia

May 24, 1987 Windsor Stadium, Windsor
Windsor Wheels
Toronto Croatia

May 24, 1987 Toronto
First Portuguese
London Marconi

July 2, 1987 Centennial Stadium, Etobicoke
Toronto Croatia
Toronto International

Toronto Croatia 5
Mississauga Lakers l

ST CATH. ROMA 2 LONDON 2
PANHELLENIC 1 T. ITALIA O
T. INTERNATIONAL 2 Nacional Latino 0

CHILE LINDO 1 T. INTERNATIONAL 0
Windsor Wheels 6
St. Catharines Roma 0


NSL Cup
T. CROATIA O T. ITALIA 0.

August 7, 1987 London
LONDON MARCONI VS INTERNATIONAL

September 6, 1987
Toronto Italia 1
London Marconi 1

September 7, 1987
Nacional Latino 2
Windsor Wheels 1

National Soccer League standings

National Soccer League Play-offs

Semi-finals

September 30, 1987 Windsor Stadium, Windsor
Windsor Wheels 0
London Marconi 2 (Vito Pettinato, Lou Fotia)

September ??, 1987
Toronto Italia defeated Toronto Croatia

Final


October ??, 1987
Toronto Italia 2
London Marconi 0

National Soccer League Cup

NSL Cup Final

September 20, 1987 Centennial Stadium, Etobicoke
Toronto Italia 1 (Hardley Scott)
Windsor Wheels 0

September 24, 1987 Windsor
Attendance: 750
Windsor Wheels 3 (Franjo Domic 2, Paul Pecoraro)
Toronto Italia 4 (Hardley Scott 2, Carmin Groe, Carlos Salguero)

Toronto Italia won the two-game total-goal series

Canadian Championship*

October 5, 1987 St. Léonard
Sherbrooke Univestrie 0
Windsor Wheels 1 (Mark Tirikian)
*Contested between the winner of the Ontario NSL League and the Quebec NSL League champions. 

Canada Cup**

September 26, 1987 Centennial Stadium, Etobicoke
Toronto Italia 3 (Carlos Salguero 2, Hardley Scott)
St. Léonard-Corfinium 0

**Contested between the winner of the Ontario NSL Cup and the Quebec NSL Cup