Before the start of the 1996 season Toronto Italia merged with former CNSL member club Toronto Jets. The club kept its Toronto Italia name and moved their home games to Rainbrow Creek Park in Woodbridge. They regularly attracted up to 400-500 fans for their games in the Canadian National Soccer League.
Toronto Italia played in blue socks and shorts, with white shorts and numbers. The team was coached by Peter Pinizzotto. President was Pasquale Fioccola and General Manager was Joe Mallozzi.
During their 12 game CNSL schedule Italia won 10 and tied two games. They finished the regular league season in first place in the standings with 32 points, six more than second place club St. Catharines Wolves.
Toronto Italia also won the 1996 Canadian National Soccer League Playoff Championship. In the finals they defeated St. Catharines Wolves 5-0 and 6-0.
Forward Michele Gioia was the 1996 CNSL Leading Goalscorer.
Goalkeeper Joe Ciaravino was the CNSL Goalkeeper of the Year.
00 Mihaly “Mike” Ivanescu – Goalkeeper.
1 Joe Ciaravino – Goalkeeper. 19 years old. Formerly of Toronto Jets.
2 John Annisi – Defender. Formerly of Toronto Jets.
3 Franco Spadafina – Defender. 26 years old.
4 Richard Alexander – Defender. Formerly of Toronto Jets.
5 Tom Perks – Defender. Formerly of Toronto Jets.
6 Jack Zomparelli – Midfielder. Formerly of Toronto Jets.
7 Miguel Ferreira – Midfielder. Formerly of Toronto Jets.
8 Luca Centurione – Midfielder. 22 years old. Born in Lanciano, Italy.
9 Ryan Gamble – Forward. 23 years old. Born in South Africa. Formerly of Toronto Jets.
10 Ruben Gonzalez – Midfielder.
10 Raul “Lalo” Maradona – Midfielder/Forward. 29 years old. Born in Argentina. Brother of Diego.
11 Marco Antonucci – Forward. 24 years old. Born in North York, Ontario. Started his career with Armourdale SC. Formerly of Toronto Blizzard, North York/Toronto Rockets and Toronto Jets.
12 Anthony Zanini – Forward. Formerly of Toronto Jets.
14 Garvin Houston – Midfielder. Formerly of Toronto Jets.
15 Steve Spizzirr – Forward.
15 Marco Vaiano – Midfielder/Forward.
18 Phil Ionadi – Midfielder. Grew up in Ontario. Played soccer at Belhaven University. Formerly of North York Rockets.
20 Nick Maxwell – Midfielder.
22 Michele Gioia – Forward. 24 years old. Born in Pisticci, Italy. Formerly of Italian League club Spezia Calcio and Toronto Jets.
23 Phil Caporrella – Midfielder/Forward. 23 years old.
Photo kindly provided by Rocket Robin. Please visit his great site: www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com