From the start in 1926 the National Soccer League was intended to be an inter-provincial league. However, the outbreak of World War II changed that and it became a Montreal-based league during the War. In the early 1950’s the National League started to rebuild itself in Toronto, and by use of its league rights the power of the league shifted back to it being a mainly Ontario League.
Recognizing the higher level of play that had developed in Toronto, the Hakoah club in Montreal opted out of local competition and joined the Ontario-based National Soccer League for the 1954 season.
Hakoah’s opening game was played on Saturday May 8 against the famous Ulster United team from Toronto. In steady rain 500 soccer fans turned up at a very muddy Delorimier Stadium in Montreal.
Otto Kratochvil gave Hakoah the lead after 12 minutes. Then former Tottenham Hotspur star Les Medley passed to Alf Davis, who made it 1-1.
Tony Lazzeroni scored Hakoah’s winning goal in the 56th minute.
Montreal Hakoah finished the 1954 National Soccer League season in fifth place in the eleven team league. Ulster United finished in second place and won the 1954 NSL playoff championship.
Montreal Hakoah: Bill Gill; Martin, Bill Shepherd; Drake, Young, Menyes; Moon, Oto Kratochvil, Ian Murray, Tony Lazzeroni, Doug McMahon. Alernates: Hughes, Reston, Ronnie Rajotte
Ulster United: George Anderson; Douglas, McLachlan; Fred Cameron, McKay, Archie McDowall; Donachie, Harvey, Alf Davis, Bob Kennedy, Les Medley. Alternates: Holmes, Carroll, Plummer.