Toronto City was a Canadian soccer team based in Toronto, Ontario. Between 1961 and 1967, teams using this name competed in both the Eastern Canada Professional Soccer League and the United Soccer Association.
|Full name||Toronto City Soccer Club|
|Owners||Larry Myslivec, Ed Fitken |
and Steve Stavro
In 1961, along with industrialist Larry Myslivec and journalist Ed Fitken, Steve Stavro, a Macedonian Canadian businessman who would go on to own Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, formed the Toronto City Soccer Club which played in the newly created Eastern Canada Professional Soccer League. During its inaugural season the team featured several prominent footballers including Northern Ireland international Danny Blanchflower, England internationals Stanley Matthews and Johnny Haynes and Scottish internationals Jackie Mudie and Tommy Younger, notable as the last time the England, Scotland and Northern Ireland captains played on the same side. Younger also coached the team. City won the league in 1964, and in November of that year they offered the role of "manager-coach" to Stan Cullis. In January 1966 Stavro fell out with the league administrators and withdrew the team from the league.
In 1966 Stavro helped form the United Soccer Association and entered a team called Toronto City in the new league. The USA originally intended to launch its league in the spring of 1968. However a rival league, the National Professional Soccer League, announced it was ready to launch in 1967. Not wanting to lose ground to its rival, the USA decided to fast track its launch. Without any players of its own, it opted to import whole teams from Europe and South America. It was intended that these teams would represent the franchises during the inaugural season, giving them time to build their own squads for the following season. Toronto City was subsequently represented by Hibernian of the Scottish Football League.
Together with Cleveland Stokers, Detroit Cougars, New York Skyliners, Boston Rovers and Washington Whips, City competed in the Eastern Division. These teams were actually Stoke City, Glentoran, C.A. Cerro, Shamrock Rovers and Aberdeen respectively. City finished eventually finished third, behind the Stokers and the Whips. In December 1967 the US and the NPSL merged to form the North American Soccer League. As a result of this merger some of the USA franchises, including Toronto City folded. This was partly to avoid cities having more than one club in the new NASL, and City lost out to its NPSL rival Toronto Falcons. Stavro sold his team back to the league for $160,000.
|1961||ECPSL||11||10||3||25||1st, league||Lost in semi-final|
|1962||ECPSL||8||9||7||38||2nd, league||Lost in final|
|1963||ECPSL||3||16||6||12||Last (6th) in league||Did not qualify|
|1964||ECPSL||14||4||6||34||1st in league||Won championship|
|1965||ECPSL||5||13||6||16||Last (5th) in league||Did not qualify|
|1967||USA||4||3||5||13||3rd, Eastern Division||Did not qualify|
- "Mr Cullis's Offer". The Herald. Glasgow. Reuter. p. 4. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
- Hardie, David (24 July 2009). "When the Hibees became Toronto". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
- Waring, Ed (1967-12-08). "Pro soccer merger hinges on unified Toronto team". The Globe and Mail.
- Waring, Ed (1967-12-13). "Falcons' boss insists he has sole ownership of merged franchise". The Globe and Mail.
- "20 cities picked for soccer loop". New York Times. 1967-12-14.
- Waring, Ed (1968-03-29). "Legal action could boot soccer Falcons from Toronto". The Globe and Mail.