Lively Tales About Dead Teams

CSL (1987-1992)

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The Canadian Soccer League played seven seasons of summertime outdoor soccer from 1987 to 1992.  Organizers formed the league in the wake of Canada’s first-ever qualification for the World Cup in 1986 and two years after the demise of the North American Socccer League (1968-1984), which featured once-popular teams in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and elsewhere.

The league drew a number of NASL refugees in its early years, including Drew Ferguson, Gerry Gray, Ray Hudson, Bob Lenarduzzi, Dale Mitchell, Mike Sweeney and Carl Valentine.  Many of the ex-NASL players in the CSL had starred for Canadian NASL clubs such as the Vancouver Whitecaps and Edmonton Drillers and established roots in those communities.  The league was also a popular destination for top indoor soccer players such as Ted Eck and Domenic Mobilio, looking for outdoor opportunities and a summertime paycheck.

League membership was wobbly at best, with teams coming and going every year.  The league finally gave up the ghost after the 1992 season.  Three former CSL clubs – the Montreal Supra (changed to Impact), Toronto Blizzard and Vancouver 86ers – linked up with the American Professional Soccer League (1988-1996) and soldiered on.

The dominant club in CSL history was the Vancouver 86ers franchise, which appeared in five of six CSL championship games, winning four times.


Canadian Soccer League Franchise List

Franchise Years Active CSL Champions
Calgary Kickers 1987-1988 1987
Calgary Strikers 1989 None
Edmonton Brickmen 1987-1990 None
Hamilton Steelers 1987-1991 None
Kitchener Spirit 1990-1991 None
London Lasers 1990 & 1992 None
Montreal Supra 1988-1992 None
North York Rockets 1987-1992 None
Nova Scotia Clippers 1991 None
Ottawa Intrepid 1988-1989 None
Ottawa Pioneers 1987 None
Toronto Blizzard 1987-1992 None
Vancouver 86ers 1987-1992 1988-1989-1990-1991
Victoria Vistas 1989-1990 None
Winnipeg Fury 1987-1992 1992

Written by AC

June 23rd, 2012 at 12:25 pm

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One Response to 'CSL (1987-1992)'

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  1. I’m looking for colour pictures that show the home kits of these APL and CSL teams in specific years:

    LA Heat (1988)
    Edmonton Brickmen(1989)
    Hamilton Steelers (1990)

    Appreciate your help!

    Di Cunningham

    17 Apr 17 at 8:20 pm

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