Great teams: 1990 Toronto Italia

Before the start of the 1990 season Luigi Barzula Russignan, a well-known coffee magnate, came in as a sponsor of Toronto Italia. The club hired Ruben Campolo as head coach and signed a number of of players from Yugoslavia. Campolo was replaced by veteran Italia striker Carlos Salguero as coach during the season.

Italia started the season brightly with three straight wins. After a loss in the fourth game they went on to beat London City 5-2 and Windsor Wheels 3-0.

The Italians had a neck-to-neck battle with Toronto Portuguese, St. Catharines Roma and Toronto Croatia for league leadership throughout the 1990 league season. While the Croatians were known for their tight defense, Italia were known for their free-flowing attacking style of play.

Toronto Portuguese clinched the 1990 National Soccer League championship by beating Panhellenic 3-0 on September 12. Toronto Italia finished the 1990 NSL season in second place in the final standings, two points behind winners Portuguese.

Player profiles:

Velomir Siljanovski – goalkeeper. From Yugoslavia.

Juan Ferraina – reserve goalkeeper.

Dragan Jakimovski – sweeper. 32 years old from Yugoslavia. Formerly of Teteks, Vardar Skopje and FK Rabotnički.

Luis Lusquez – defender. Formerly of Boca Juniors in Argentina.

Alexander Nedev – defender.

Rick Titus – defender. 21 year old former University of Toronto player.

Stipe Skaric – midfielder. 24 years old. Started his youth career with Hajduk Split in Yugoslavia. Joined Toronto Italia in 1990 after spells with Maribor, Foggia in Italy, Hamilton Steelers and Toronto Croatia.

Elio Garro – midfielder. Signed from Boca Juniors.

Carmine Groe – midfielder. 26 years old. Born in Cosenza in Italy. Grew up in Toronto. Formerly of Toronto Blizzard.

Goran Jordanovski – midfielder. 28 years from Yugoslavia. Formerly of Teteks, Hajduk Split, Vardar Skopje and FK Rabotnički.

Carlos Salguero – forward. 35 year old veteran Argentinian striker. Started his career with Boca Juniors in Argentina. Also played in the North American Soccer League, Canadian Professional Soccer League and Major Indoor Soccer League.

Sante Cesario – forward. After the 1990 season he joined North York Rockets in the Canadian Soccer League. Then played for the Toronto Jets in the 1993 NSL Season.

Zoran Petkovski – forward. From Yugoslavia.

Horazio Medraglia – forward. 25 years old. Formerly with Toronto Blizzard and Winnipeg Fury in the Canadian Soccer League.

Saverio Valente – forward. 28 years old. Formerly of Argentinian clubs Boca Juniors and Club Atletico Temperley.

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