BORDER STARS CPSL's NEWEST TEAM
Border Stars is the name of the most recent addition to the Canadian Professional Soccer League, a name chosen for the team representing Windsor, but with strong interest and participation by members of the soccer community both sides of the Canada-U.S. border.
The team name, and other details were announced at a well-attended news conference at Windsor Friday when members of the media, team representatives, players from Windsor and the Detroit area of Michigan, and officials including from the Canadian Professional Soccer League and its member clubs all combined to create the atmosphere of expectation as the club was launched for the return of professional soccer to this part of Canada and the United States.
“We welcome everyone and we appreciate everyone’s support in a venture that we feel is going to be exciting and entertaining,” said Jeff Hodgson, president of the new Border Stars Professional Soccer Club at the gathering held on the FieldTurf soccer surface at the Novelletto-Rosati Sports Complex.
Hodgson, 32, a former professional with Detroit Rockers, who played also for Arizona Sandsharks and Windsor Croatia and was a former standout midfielder at Western Michigan University, is expected to also play for the Border Stars when the CPSL season gets underway on May 21. The team will play out of Windsor Stadium with its natural grass, with two or three games also to be played in Michigan.
CPSL president Vincent Ursini, who took part with Hodgson in the ceremonies to unveil the new Border Stars logo, was visibly impressed by the enthusiasm of his league’s newest member.
“This is a wonderful mix of mostly young people who know the game well and who have the strong business skills and experience to make a success of the franchise,” he said.
The CPSL’s London City, which won the Open Canada Cup in 2003, was represented by general manager and head coach Harry Gauss who was instrumental in working with the Windsor entry through to the eventual acceptance by the league’s board of directors at the beginning of January.
“It’s taken a long time, but seeing this group and all they are putting together, it’s been well worth it—they will be an excellent franchise and it’s going to make for an interesting rivalry in the Western Conference.” said Gauss. In addition to Border Stars and London City, the Western Conference will include St. Catharines Wolves, Hamilton Thunder, Brampton Hitmen and Toronto Croatia.
English-born Pat Hilton previously with Blackburn Rovers of the English Premier League and who holds a National UEFA ‘A’ coaching license, will coach the Border Stars and players signed so far include Alan Placek, a goalkeeper previously with Detroit Rockers and Cincinnati Riverhawks, J.J. Dowhan, a forward formerly with Windsor Croatia, Jeremy Harkins, a midfielder/forward previously with Cincinnati Riverhawks, Dan Kolic, a forward with Windsor Croatia, Tati Errecalde, a midfielder with Detroit Rockers and one of several players with indoor experience having played for the NPSL’s Toronto Shooting Stars.
Steve Arce, a midfielder who played for Canada’s youth squad, Justin Marshall, a defender from Windsor Croatia, Tino Scicluna, a defender with Detroit Rockers, Scott Patriquin, a defender with Detroit Rockers, London Lasers and who spent some time in the Scottish First Division are also in.
Stuart Black, a defender formerly with Detroit Rockers and who is no stranger to the CPSL, having played for York Region Shooters, is on the roster and so is Aaron Byrd, a defender from the University of Detroit.
Border Stars rounds out 12 entries for the CPSL’s 2004 season, which will get underway on May 21 for a 5-month long campaign through to Thanksgiving Day on October 11.