Brian Williams narrates this great piece on how the Croatian roots run deep in the Toronto scene.
Source: TSN Website
Source: TSN Website
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.
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.
The Toronto Azzurri Soccer Club will deliver the highest quality sport programming, with support from our Community’s most knowledgable Soccer experts, within a “Centre of Excellence” Facility to create a fun environment while building character and leadership skills for all its participants.
With various partners, the Toronto Azzurri S.C. will build a Toronto Azzurri Youth Sports Village that provides programs to youth in Northwest Toronto. Those programs will develop positive character and deliver the skills necessary for success in life, both through the conduit of sports. In doing so, we will furnish other communities with flexible, practical templates for their own use and success.
Like many others, we want to make life better for those less fortunate than us. Like them, we blaze a path to do that. Like them, we face significant challenges. And like them, we cannot succeed alone. So we will bridge those challenges together. We will house multi-purpose indoor/outdoor facilities for innovative programs in several disciplines. From the world’s most popular, soccer, to one of the world’s oldest, tug of war, as well as several other activities. Through them we will develop the noble character our club members exemplify, and teach skills that are core to a productive life. These characteristics and skills last a lifetime.
Our high performance approach to soccer will be exported and adapted to various other sports, and ventures ranging from community work to job training to academic and life skills mentoring. Our objective, for those who participate in our Village, is success in whatever their chosen pursuits.
In facing our community’s long term challenges, we recognize there are many causes needing help, and too few people able to give that. Through a creative learning cycle, we will develop people from being less fortunate to being highly-skilled, impassioned assets to our communities. In turn, they will lead others in their successful path. In doing so, we will replace the vicious cycle of despair with a new cycle of hope.
We deeply value the following attributes, which have been core to our success. They can be core to anyone’s success in virtually any pursuit:
Knowledge – Knowing what we need to know, learning that, and applying it. Knowledge + Planning = Preparation
Opportunity – Recognizing and properly using opportunities. Opportunity + Preparation = Success
Leadership – Providing the guidance, motivation knowledge to lead others to achieve goals, no matter how high the obstacles or delayed the gratification. It is not enough to merely create leaders; we must create leaders who will themselves create newer ones.
Passion – Channeling passion as a positive force, providing force, providing efforts, motivation and determination. From passion comes sacrifice, and from that eventual rewards.
Respect – Teamwork, partnerships, and any collaborative efforts require respect of others. Individual success also requires respect of oneself. In either case, it cannot be given; it must be earned.
Character – Our temperament, personality and spirit make up our character, who we are. However, who that is can be made better, character made strong.
We Teach Soccer and Build Character!