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Wednesday, December 3�Ottawa Wizards, CPSL champions in 2002, and Durham Flames, one of the league�s founding members, will no longer play in the Canadian Professional Soccer League.

That�s the decision of the CPSL�s board of directors following a meeting Monday night to consider a series of missed deadlines for payment of membership fees. The board ruled the franchises of these two teams are revoked.

Ottawa Wizards in happier days scoring goals
in the 2002 playoffs en route to the CPSL championship.

Ottawa Wizards joined Canada�s only complete professional soccer league in 2001 and made an immediate impact on the field by winning the league title that year, went on to win the newly-formed Eastern Conference and the overall championship in 2002. They won the Eastern Conference in the season just ended.

But the season was punctuated with objections and disagreements on league policy in the way the competition was structured, resulting in a series of confrontations including a failed application by the Wizards for a court injunction to prevent the final weekend of the popular Open Canada Cup being played.

Durham Flames has been a popular draw since its inaugural 1998 year under the name of Oshawa Flames but the team based at the Civic Stadium in that city struggled most of last season with just a single win in 19 regular league games played. There was one bright moment in the team�s performance during the Open Canada Cup, reaching the Cup Final weekend before losing to London City in a wild card game on August 29.

Vincent Ursini, president of the CPSL, expressed disappointment that the board had to make decisions that he described as being the most difficult since the league launched six years ago.

�Losing two teams is regrettable, however I�m satisfied we have provided every possible opportunity for the two teams to comply. We must consider all teams and the league as a whole and look ahead, especially in making a fresh start in the two territories no longer occupied,� he said in making an announcement this morning.

The CPSL is Second Division soccer in Canada expanding in Ontario and Quebec with plans to eventually branch out on a regional basis to other parts of the country.

Without Ottawa and Durham there are 11 teams and additional entries under consideration for the 2004 season which is expected to kickoff late May.


In addition to Toronto Croatia, which other club has won the CPSL championship twice?
St. Catharines Roma Wolves
Ottawa Wizards
Toronto Olympians
North York Astros

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