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Connaught Series: picking playoff heroes for 24 national championships

Posted on 21 May 2017 in Around the Soccer World

Most valuable players More

Fred Jopson, Canada Soccer Life Member, passes away

Posted on 15 April 2017 in Around the Soccer World

Jopson was both a BC Soccer and Canada Soccer Life Member More

Bill Thomson, Life Member, passes away

Posted on 10 March 2017 in Around the Soccer World

Soccer Hall of Fame honoured member More

Dino Soupliotis, FIFA referee, passes away

Posted on 29 January 2017 in Around the Soccer World

Dino Souplioti, 1933 to 2017 More

John Buchanan, coach & manager, passes away

Posted on 26 January 2017 in Around the Soccer World

Honoured member of the Soccer Hall of Fame More

Toronto fans mark memorable season at MLS Cup

Posted on 11 December 2016 in Around the Soccer World

A BMO Field record 36,045 fans More

Canada ready for historic 2016 MLS Cup in Toronto

Posted on 8 December 2016 in Around the Soccer World

10 December 2016 Toronto FC v Seattle Sounders FC More

Toronto FC wins 2016 MLS Eastern Conference final

Posted on 1 December 2016 in Around the Soccer World

MLS Cup at BMO Field on 10 December More

Toronto FC fans celebrate big victory

Posted on 1 December 2016 in Around the Soccer World

Toronto celebrates More

Impact take 3-2 lead in Montréal-Toronto playoff rivalry series

Posted on 23 November 2016 in Around the Soccer World

Impact Montréal FC 3:2 Toronto FC Seattle Sounders 2:1 Colorado Rapids More

Soccer matches continue to draw record crowds across Canada

Posted on 23 November 2016 in Around the Soccer World

Record crowd of 61,004 fans More

Impact expect record crowd for Montréal-Toronto playoff match

Posted on 21 November 2016 in Around the Soccer World

More than 60,000 fans are expected More

University of Alberta wins Sam Davidson Memorial Trophy

Posted on 14 November 2016 in Around the Soccer World

Alberta 1:0 UQAM More

Laval wins Gladys Bean Memorial Trophy

Posted on 14 November 2016 in Around the Soccer World

Laval 2:1 UBC More

CS Mont-Royal Outremont wins annual Ontario-Québec final

Posted on 13 November 2016 in Around the Soccer World

CS Mont-Royal Outremont 3:2 Vaughan SC More

Toronto to meet Montréal in MLS playoffs

Posted on 7 November 2016 in Around the Soccer World

Toronto FC v Impact Montréal FC More

Big playoff weekend for three of Canada's professional clubs

Posted on 4 November 2016 in Around the Soccer World

Major League Soccer and North American Soccer League playoffs More

Winnipeg celebrates One Year To Go until 2017 Canada Games

Posted on 28 July 2016 in Around the Soccer World

One Year To Go More

Honoured hero Crossan, 85, passes away

Posted on 1 May 2016 in Around the Soccer World

Errol Crossan More

Hall of Fame journalist Cross, 92, passes away

Posted on 15 February 2016 in Around the Soccer World

Cross covered both the 1966 FIFA World Cup England and the 1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico. More

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Dave Turner has long been recognised as the best player from half a century of soccer in Canada. The first player to captain his team to four national titles, Turner was celebrated as soccer's “Best in 50 Years” in a 1950 poll by The Canadian Press.

Wrote the Winnipeg Free Press in 1928, Turner was "the daddy of them all and regarded as the best forward in Canada." As Westminster Royals FC captain, he lifted the Dominion title in 1928, 1930, 1931, and 1936. Now, more than 80 years after his fourth and last title, Turner's legacy has been bestowed two more honours: the most valuable player or hero of the Connaught Series in 1931 and 1936.

The Connaught Series was Canada's national competition from 1913 to 1939, crowning 16 different winners over the course of 24 championships. With the 2017 launch of the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame and in celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary, Canada Soccer has gone back into its records and identified the would-be playoff hero from all 24 championships.

Turner, the darling of Canada Soccer's first golden era of football, was the only champion crowned playoff hero twice.

In 1931, Winnipeg's Tommy Cavaghan wrote Turner "was without the slightest shadow of doubt the outstanding player on the field." Westminster beat Toronto Scottish in back-to-back matches and Turner scored the winning goal in the decisive game. Five years later, it took Westminster three matches to knock off Winnipeg United Weston FC, but this time Turner scored or assisted on six of Westminster's 10 goals in the Dominion final (three goals and three assists). As he did five years earlier, Turner scored the series winning goal.

Joining Turner in the record books, Jock Coulter was the playoff hero in 1928, scoring a record four goals in the series finale, while goalkeeper Aubrey Sanford was the playoff hero in 1930, posting two clean sheets in the Dominion final against former champions Montréal CNR. 

Back in 1913, St. Boniface's centre half Billy Innes was picked hero of the Dominion final. A year later, it was St. Boniface goalkeeper Walter Simpson who posted three clean sheets in four matches. In 1915, injured captain Billy Anderson picked Winnipeg Scottish FC's "Wee" Johnny Plenderleith as the hero of the Connaught Series.

After the Great War, Montréal Grand Trunk FC were the next winners in 1919, with perennial all-star Alec Smith the playoff hero. In 1920, it was 38-year old Hamilton Westinghouse captain Albert "Tiny" Thombs, both the top scorer and hero of the playdowns. After the final, he was given the game ball. In 1921, it was 36-year old Toronto Scottish FC captain Geordie Campbell, who The Globe noted "much of the honour of winning the cup must go to the versatile Geordie Campbell, as his sound judgment and sterling play on the field has been the means of putting the required confidence into the teammates to bring home the spoils."

In 1922, Calgary Hillhurst FC goalkeeper Andy Wilson was the hero as he posted a clean sheet in the final match against Toronto Ulster United FC. A year later, Nanaimo left half Dickie Stobbart was the hero, scoring the winning goal in the opening match and earning man of the match honours in the finale. In 1924, it was 21-year old Winnipeg United Weston FC centre half Bill Matthews, noted as "a team in himself at times."

In 1925, the hero was Toronto Ulster United FC outside left Jimmy Moir, who the Canadian Press called "the one man who was responsible for the eastern victory and the westerners’ downfall." In 1926, it was Winnipeg United Weston FC goalkeeper Eddie Derby, who was noted for playing one of the most brilliant games of his career in the series finale. In 1927, it was Nanaimo centre forward David Cowie who scored a record five goals in two matches against Fort William.

In between Westminster's great years, Montréal CNR centre forward Bill Finlayson was the hero of the 1929 Dominion final. The Scotsman scored four goals and two assists in the final two matches against United Weston FC. In 1932, the hero was Toronto Scottish FC centre forward Andy Stevens as opponents North Shore United simply "could not cope with his rushes." In 1933, Stevens missed the final, so teammate Hector MacDonald stepped up and played the hero's role by scoring three of Toronto's five goals against Prince Albert.

In 1934, the Connaught Series hero was 21-year old Verdun Park FC outside left Roland "Dempsey" Castonguay. A year later with Montréal Aldred, Castonguay was injured and outstanding scorer Larry Fitzpatrick was hurt twice, so Charlie Fitzpatrick led the way with three goals in the Dominion final. Hero Charlie Fitzpatrick was also involved in the winning goal in the decisive match.

In the last four years of the decade, four different British Columbia teams won the Connaught Series. Leading the way were Turner for Westminster Royals FC in 1936, James "Swede" Larson for Vancouver Johnston Nationals in 1937, Trevor Harvey for North Shore United FC in 1938, and Hap Smith for Vancouver Radials in 1939. Both Larson and Smith had two-goal games in their respective Dominion finals, while Harvey was a stalwart through his 1938 final. Still only 21 at the time, centre half Harvey shut down opposing forward George Chambers in the third match to keep the series alive; two matches later, he scored in the finale as Radials captured the Dominion honours. 


In celebration of our nation's 150th anniversary, the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame pays tribute to the early years of our Championship: the Connaught Series from 1913 to 1939. Every Sunday from May through September, Canada Soccer remembers the players, legends, teams, and champions from a golden era of football in the Dominion.

‎In Canada's 150th year, Canada Soccer will crown their 150th national champions across all adult and professional competitions since 1913. The 2017 competitive season will crown the Futsal Canadian Championship winners in April, the professional Canadian Championship winners in June, and the amateur National Championships women's Jubilee Trophy and men's Challenge Trophy winners in October.

 

 

 

Fred Jopson, a Life Member with both Canada Soccer and BC Soccer, has passed away. The long-time administrator was a founding member of the Canadian Youth Soccer Association back in 1969.

Jopson was vice-chairman of the Canadian Youth Soccer Association for 11 years, then a Canada Soccer Youth Committee member for another seven years after the old CYSA was absolved by Canada Soccer. He also served for over 25 years with the BC Youth Soccer Association and was the organisation's chairman in 1968 and 1969.

In 1993, Jopson was awarded the Sport BC Daryl Thompson Award for extraordinary contribution to sport over a long period of time and his contributions to amateur sport in British Columbia. In 1995, Canada Soccer named one of their select All Stars trophies in his honour, the Fred Jopson Trophy to the winners of the annual showcase for U-17 boys (from 1972 to 2013, the annual showcase served either U-18, U-17 or U-16 age groups over the course of 42 years).

Jopson was born 22 May 1919 in Vancouver. He grew up in East Vancouver and later spent much of his life in West Vancouver. He passed away at age 97 on 12 April 2017.

Bill Thomson, a Canada Soccer Life Member and honoured member of the Soccer Hall of Fame, has passed away. The former educator, coach, and Canada Soccer technical director was 73 years old.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Thomson moved to Canada in 1967 and worked as a teacher. From 1974 to 1985, he spent 12 years with Canada Soccer, serving as Technical Director and Director of Coaching. He also served as Canada's team manager at both the 1975 Pan American Games and Montréal 1976 Olympic Football Tournament. He later served as an assistant coach at the 1982 Summer Universiade in Mexico and then head coach of the Ottawa Pioneers in the Canadian Soccer League.

He worked for the Coaching Association of Canada from 1985 to 1990 and the Director of the National Coaching Institute at the University of Victoria from 1990 to 2008.

A former Scotland youth international, it was noted in Thomson's obituary, his “charm, wry sense of humour and infectious smile will be sadly missed. His passion, patience and loyalty will stand as examples of the best kind of husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend."

A CSL all-star team coach in 1987, Thomson was recognised with the Canada Soccer Award of Merit in 1989. He became an honoured member of the Soccer Hall of Fame in 2007 and was honoured as a Canada Soccer Life Member in 2012.

Thomson was born on 3 April 1943 and passed away on 9 March 2017.

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