These men anchored what was the most successful era of Canadian soccer. Although, as time passed their loud soccer voices became only whispers.
In 2004 the Toronto Azzurri joined up with the North York Hearts to have a stronger high performance team. As a result the won the 2004 National Championship.
Bob Iarusci – Toronto Azzurri Chairman
A right back, Iarusci began his NASL career with his hometown Toronto Metros-Croatia, playing the 1976 and part of 1977. He played every game as the Toronto won the league championship in ’76. Iarusci played nearly the entire 1977 season in Toronto, but was traded at the end of the season to the New York Cosmos where he saw time in one game in 1977. He also played the 1978 season in New York, as they won consecutive Soccer Bowls. He was traded in the Spring of ’79 to the Washington Diplomats and played there two seasons. Iarusci returned to the Cosmos to played 1981 through ’83, and finished with the San Diego Sockers as the league folded following its 1984 season.
Iarusci played 26 times for Canada from 1976 through 1983 and captained the team for a number of games. He scored twice, both in qualification for the 1982 World Cup and playing as sweeper. The first goal on November 1, 1980, in a 2-1 win over the U.S. in Vancouver and the second in Canada’s last match of theCONCACAF finals tournament against Cuba. The game finished 2-2 and Canada, along with Mexico, failed to qualify, finishing a point shy of second place qualifier El Salvador.
Iarusci was an inaugural member of Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame, inducted in 2000. He is currently chairman of the Toronto Azzurri Soccer Club and vice president of the North York Hearts Soccer Club. He is a soccer analyst on The Fan 590‘s “The Soccer Show” and also a color commentator for Toronto FC home games on the station.