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Canada Cup winner Ottawa Wizards one of the top teams of Canadian soccer
Adrian Azcurra of Toronto Croatia avoids a challenge from Tony Marshall of Vaughan Sun Devils (on ground) in the semi-final game that was decided on penalty kicks for a 3-2 Croatia win. Peter Curic of Toronto Croatia watches.

Just how good are the Ottawa Wizards ?
Well, let’s put it this way--the Wizards have been defeated just four times out of 38 league games played since the team from Canada’s capital joined the CPSL for its launch in season 2001.

The Wizards won the league title last year--their inaugural year and while doing so, added the CPSL League Cup—called the OZ Optics Cup, so named because the Ottawa Wizards parent company sponsored the popular annual event which this season became the CPSL Canada Cup in recognition of the strong support for the CPSL from the federal government.

Just how good are the Ottawa Wizards ?
Well, let’s put it this way--the Wizards have been defeated just four times out of 38 league games played since the team from Canada’s capital joined the CPSL for its launch in season 2001.

The Wizards won the league title last year--their inaugural year and while doing so, added the CPSL League Cup—called the OZ Optics Cup, so named because the Ottawa Wizards parent company sponsored the popular annual event which this season became the CPSL Canada Cup in recognition of the strong support for the CPSL from the federal government.

On Sunday, following two days of some of the toughest and most exciting soccer seen since the Canadian Professional Soccer League was launched in 1998, Ottawa Wizards won the Canada Cup. The Wizards defeated Toronto Croatia in the final by the narrowest of margins. Not just the score, which happened to be 1-0 on a goal by last year’s leading scorer in the CPSL, Kevin Nelson in the 55th minute, but the play was end to end without either defence giving much away. Toronto Croatia, winner of the CPSL Western Conference this year, fought every step of the way and you can be sure the players realized just as the fans that as the game progressed, the first goal could well be the winner.

Kevin Nelson (left) and Kwame Telemaque of Ottawa Wizards
celebrate Nelson's winning goal at the 55th minute of the Canada Cup Final.
It turned out to be an east vs. west final—Ottawa Wizards wrapped up the Eastern Conference two weeks ago.

The Wizards have considerable depth—in their playing staff and behind the scenes. Few realize that no less than nine players have played for a national team—either the full national side or an Olympic team or an under 21 squad and in some cases, all three. The most outstanding is midfielder Peter Mponda from the Central African nation of Malawi who has been capped 33 times—the most ever by that country. There’s also the captain, Shurland David—played for Trindad & Tobago in the World Cup qualifiers. But if you go behind the scenes in addition to the considerable investment of owner Omur Sezerman in the team and the ground at Carp near Ottawa, and the relentless drive of GM Jim Lianos, you’ll come across people like Hubert Busby who is listed as a back-up goalkeeper, who is 33 now and has a pro career in England, Portugal and in the A-League here in North America. Busby is the full-time director of coaching with the Kanata Soccer Club and works quietly with conditioning and has other input where his experience helps a team now considered one of the best club sides in Canada.

 
Kwame Telemaque in fine style for Ottawa Wizards in their 1-0
win over Brampton Hitmen.
Ottawa Wizards won the CPSL Canada Cup by defeating Montreal Dynamites in a 7-3 two-game total goals aggregate, London City 3-0 in the Wild Card game on the opening day of the Canada Cup Weekend, 1-0 over a gallant Brampton Hitmen in the semi-final and the 1-0 win over Toronto Croatia in the final on Sunday, September 29.


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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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