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This article is about the original Toronto Blizzard of the NASL. For the second team to use the name, see Toronto Blizzard (1986-1993)
Toronto Blizzard
Toronto Blizzard logo
Full name Toronto Blizzard
Nickname(s) Blizzard, Metros, Metros-Croatia
Founded 1971
Dissolved 1984
Ground Varsity Stadium
(Capacity: 22,000)
League North American Soccer League
Home colours
Away colours

Toronto Blizzard was a professional soccer club based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada that played in the North American Soccer League.

Contents

History

The Toronto Metros were a soccer team based out of Toronto that played in the NASL. They played from 1971 to 1974. Their home field was Varsity Stadium. The Metros merged with National Soccer League side Toronto Croatia in 1975 to form NASL club Toronto Metros-Croatia.

The Toronto Metros-Croatia were formed in 1975 when the Toronto Metros merged with Toronto Croatia of the National Soccer League. The team competed in the NASL between 1975 and 1978 and was able to become champion of the NASL by winning the 1976 Soccer Bowl. Following the 1978 season, the team split.

The Toronto Blizzard came into existence when the Global Television Network purchased the struggling Toronto Metros-Croatia on February 1, 1979.[1] Following the purchase, Toronto Croatia returned to the National Soccer League. Croatia had left the NSL to merge with NASL side Toronto Metros in 1975 to form Metros-Croatia. The Metros had won the NASL Soccer Bowl trophy in 1976 with the aid of Portuguese soccer legend Eusebio.

The Blizzard were members of the North American Soccer League from 1979 to 1984, the last year of league operations. The team were runners-up for the league championship in 1983, losing the Soccer Bowl to the Tulsa Roughnecks 2-0 in front of nearly sixty thousand people at Vancouver's BC Place Stadium. They were runners-up again in 1984 when they lost to the Chicago Sting two games to none in a best of three championship series. The club was coached in these final two years by Bobby Houghton, assisted by Dave Turner and featured Roberto Bettega, David Byrne, Cliff Calvert, Pasquale De Luca, Charlie Falzon, Sven Habermann, Paul Hammond, Paul James, Conny Karlsson, Victor Kodelja, Trevor McCallum, Colin Miller, Jan Möller, Jimmy Nicholl, Ace Ntsoelengoe, Randy Ragan, Neill Roberts, John Paskin, Derek Spalding, and Bruce Wilson in its lineup.

The Blizzard qualified for the play-offs on only two other occasions, in 1979 and 1982, losing in the first round each time. Prominent players during the first four years included Clyde Best, Jimmy Bone, Gianpaolo Boniperti, Drew Busby, David Byrne, Cliff Calvert, Tony Chursky, David Fairclough, Colin Franks, George Gibbs, Jimmy Greenhoff, Graham Hatley, Victor Kodelja, Sam Lenarduzzi, Peter Lorimer, Ivan Lukacević, Mike McLenaghen, Willie McVie, Alan Merrick, Charlie Mitchell, Juan Carlos Molina, Jan Möller, Francesco Morini, Ace Ntsoelengoe, Rob Prentice, Randy Ragan, Neill Roberts, Malcolm Robertson, Peter Roe, Jomo Sono, Gordon Sweetzer, Blagoje Tamindzić, Jose Velasquez, and Bruce Wilson.

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Year-by-year team record

Metros

Year League W L T Pts Reg. Season Playoffs Avg. Attendance
1971 NASL 5 10 9 89 3rd, Northern Division Did not qualify 5,993
1972 NASL 4 6 4 53 4th, Northern Division Did not qualify 7,173
1973 NASL 6 4 9 89 1st, Northern Division Lost Semifinal (Philadelphia) 5,961
1974 NASL 9 10 1 87 2nd, Northern Division Did not qualify 3,458

Blizzards

Year League W L T Pts Reg. Season Playoffs Avg. Attendance
1979 NASL 14 16 133 3rd, National Conference,Eastern Division Lost Conference Quarterfinal (New York) 11,821
1979/80 NASL Indoor Did not enter
1980 NASL 14 18 128 3rd, National Conference, Eastern Division Won 1st Round (Los Angeles)
Lost Quarterfinal (Chicago)
15,043
1980/81 NASL Indoor 5 13 4th, Northern Division Did not qualify
1981 NASL 7 25 77 4th, Eastern Division Did not qualify 7,287
1981/82 NASL Indoor 8 10 2nd, American Conference, East Division Did not qualify
1982 NASL 17 15 151 3rd, Eastern Division Lost 1st Round (Seattle) 8,105
1982/83 NASL Indoor Season cancelled
1983 NASL 16 14 135 3rd, Eastern Division Won 1st Round (Vancouver)
Won Semifinals (Montreal)
Lost Soccer Bowl '83 (Tulsa)
11,630
1983/84 NASL Indoor Did not enter
1984 NASL 14 10 117 2nd, Eastern Division Won Semifinals (San Diego)
Lost Championship (Chicago)
11,452

Championships

Ownership

Head coaches

Assistant Coaches

  • Canada Dave Turner (1982-84)

Players

Argentina Argentina
  • Juan Carlos Molina 1982
Bermuda Bermuda
Canada Canada
England England
Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland
Italy Italy
Nigeria Nigeria
  • Damian Ogunsuyi 1979
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland
Peru Peru
Rhodesia Rhodesia
  • Robert Godoka 1979
Scotland Scotland
South Africa South Africa
Sweden Sweden
Turkey Turkey
  • Gungor Tekin 1981
United States United States
West Germany West Germany
Yugoslavia Yugoslavia

References

  1. ^ Wangerin p.192

Bibliography

Wangerin, David. Soccer in a Football World: The Story of America's Forgotten Game. WSC Book (2006). goran bakoc - yugoslavia 1992 1993


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