Canada Soccer

Canadian soccer timeline from 1979 to 1982

Posted on 27 May 2012 in Canadian Soccer Timeline

Canada participated in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers for a fifth time in 1980 and 1981. From 15 teams in CONCACAF, only two teams qualified for the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain: El Salvador and Honduras. In FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in 1980, Canada posted one win and three draws to finish first in the North American group ahead of Mexico and USA. In FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in 1981 (CONCACAF's final round), Canada posted one win, three draws and one loss and did not advance.

Canada's amateur team participated in Olympic and Pan American Games Qualifying in 1979, but did not advance.

 

Canadian Soccer Heroes

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Bob Bolitho

Defence | Victoria, BC

Bob Bolitho was both a Challenge Trophy and Soccer Bowl champion, first winning a national title with London Boxing Club in 1975 and then winning a professional title with Vancouver Whitecaps in 1979. He participated in the Montréal 1976 Olympics and took part in two cycles of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. In 2004, he became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame.


Ian Bridge

Centre Back | Victoria, BC

CONCACAF champion Ian Bridge represented Canada at both the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Tournament and the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. In all, he took part in three cycles of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, even scoring a pair of goals in the CONCACAF final round in 1981. In 2003, he became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame.


Tony Chursky

Goalkeeper | New Westminster, BC

Tony Chursky represented Canada in three cycles of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers from 1972 to 1980. He also represented Canada at the Pan American Games Mexico 1975. A Canada Games champion in 1973, he was a Soccer Bowl finalist with the Seattle Sounders in 1977. He became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame in 2004.


Gerry Gray

Midfielder | St. Catharines, ON

Gerry Gray represented Canada at both the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Tournament and the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. He participated in two cycles of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, although missed games in 1985 because of a leg injury. He also scored one goal at the Olympics. In 2001, he became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame.


Robert Iarusci

Centre Back | Toronto, ON

A four-time Soccer Bowl champion in the old North American Soccer League, Robert Iarusci set a national record by making 20 consecutive appearances for Canada from 1977 to 1983 (a record since surpassed). In FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, he pushed Canada to within a goal of qualification for Spain 1982. He was an inaugural member of The Soccer Hall of Fame in 2000.


Bob Lenarduzzi

Full Back | Vancouver, BC

CONCACAF champion Bob Lenarduzzi represented Canada in three cycles of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, culminating with an appearance at the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. He also represented Canada at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics and was a Soccer Bowl and Mita Cup champion at the pro level. In 2001, he became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame.


Tino Lettieri

Goalkeeper | Montréal, QC

CONCACAF champion Tino Lettieri played in two of Canada’s three matches at the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. He was the lone player to represent Canada at both the Montréal 1976 and Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Football Tournaments. In 1983, he was the NASL’s North American Player of the Year. In 2001, he became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame.


John McGrane

Defence | Hamilton, ON

John McGrane represented Canada at the Montréal 1976 Olympics and two cycles of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, pushing Canada to within a goal of qualifying for Spain 1982. A Canada Games silver medal winner, he played professional football in Los Angeles, Montréal and Minnesota. In 2008, he became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame.


Wes McLeod

Midfielder | Vancouver, BC

Wes McLeod played in two Soccer Bowl finals with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, losing in 1978 to the Cosmos and 1979 to the Whitecaps. He also took part in two cycles of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, pushing Canada to within a goal of qualifying for Spain 1982. He also represented Canada at the Montréal 1976 Olympics. In 2005, he became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame.


Dale Mitchell

Forward | Vancouver, BC

CONCACAF champion Dale Mitchell retired as Canada’s all-time goals leader, a record that stood 19 years before it was tied in 2011. Of his 19 “A” goals, nine of them were scored in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. He also scored goals in other competitions, including three at the 1984 Olympic Tournament. In 2002, he became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame.


Randy Ragan

Midfielder | High Prairie, BC

CONCACAF champion Randy Ragan represented Canada at both the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Tournament and the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. He was also part of Canada’s 1980-81 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers team, pushing Canada to within a goal of qualifying for Spain 1982. In 2002, he became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame.


Branko Segota

Midfielder | Toronto, ON

Branko Segota represented Canada at both the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Tournament and the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. In 1978, he was Canada’s top goal scorer at the CONCACAF Men’s Youth Tournament, helping Canada qualify for a FIFA youth tournament for the first time. In 2002, he became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame.


Mike Stojanović

Forward

Mike Stojanović was Canada’s star goal scorer in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in 1980 and 1981. In a two-year span, he scored five goals in 14 matches. At the club level, he was a 52-goal scorer in the old National Soccer League (Toronto White Eagles) and then a Second Team All-Star in the NASL. In 2009, he became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame.


Mike Sweeney

Midfielder | Duncan, BC

CONCACAF champion Mike Sweeney was one of four players that helped Canada qualify for its first FIFA youth tournament in 1979 and then its first FIFA World Cup in 1986. An Olympian in 1984, he retired in 1993 as Canada’s all-time leader with 61 international “A” appearances. He became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame in 2002.


Bruce Wilson

Left Back | Vancouver, BC

CONCACAF champion Bruce Wilson was Canada’s captain at the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. He not only set a national record by making 57 “A” appearances, but he also played in the 1984 Olympics. A Soccer Bowl champion in the NASL, he was a First or Second Team All-Star five times. In 2000, he was part of the inaugural class honoured by The Soccer Hall of Fame.

 




More Canadian Soccer History

Men's football : 1867-1912 | 1912-1945 | 1946-1954 | 1955-1958 | 1959-1970 | 1971-1974 | 1975-1978 | 1979-1982 | 1983-1986 | 1987-1990 | 1991-1994 | 1995-1998 | 1999-2002 | 2003-2006 | 2007-2010 | 2011-2014
Women's football : 1982-1992 | 1993-1996 | 1997-2000 | 2001-2004 | 2005-2008 | 2009-2012

 

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