Canada Soccer

Class of 2009: Mike Stojanovic

Posted on 6 June 2009 in Awards & Recognition

Listen to Mike Stojanovic

Mike Stojanovic may have been an unknown when he first arrived in Canada, but it didn’t take long for him to prove he was a step ahead of everyone else on the pitch. In his first season with the Toronto White Eagles in the National Soccer League, he scored an impressive 52 goals and led his club to a regular-season championship.

"I was strong, very quick," says Stojanovic. "You give me half a step and I’m gone."

After a brief stint in Toronto, Stojanovic was gone to the North American Soccer League where he again answered the question, "who is Mike Stojanovic?" He played five seasons for the Rochester Lancers (1976-1980) and was named an NASL Second Team All Star in 1977. He then played two seasons with a stronger San Diego Sockers side (1981-82) and won NASL Player of the Year honours in 1981.

By the time he was finished (including a brief stint with the Golden Bay Earthquakes in 1982), he ranked ninth on the league’s all-time goal-scoring list.

"I was like a thunderstorm from the centre," says Stojanovic. "When I came into the box, I was like a hurricane."

In 1980, Stojanovic got the chance to represent Canada in FIFA World Cup™ Qualifiers. Over two seasons, he helped Canada post six wins, six draws and just two losses as the team came within a goal of qualifying for the 1982 FIFA World Cup™ in Spain. He scored three goals in nine official qualification matches.

"For one goal didn’t qualify to go to Spain," says Stojanovic. "Even today, I am dreaming of why we didn’t go to Spain."

Today, Stojanovic takes his place amongst Canada’s legends as a distinguished member of The Soccer Hall of Fame.

"This is something very special to any person who is inducted into the Hall of Fame," says Stojanovic. "This is worth more than any money (and) any gold - this is something that lives forever."

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