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Team of Distinction - Toronto Metros-Croatia 1976

2010 Toronto Metros CroatiaChampions of the North American Soccer League in 1976, playing a very attractive Central European short passing game, the team featured Portuguese superstar Eusebio.

As this was the year of the Montreal Olympics and Varsity Stadium was being readied for the soccer games that would be played there, the Metros-Croatia were relegated to play on the artificial turf at Lamport Stadium, until the Olympics were over. Still the team started well, winning eight of their first 10 games before losing its way in midseason when it had trouble scoring goals. However, the signing of winger Ivan Grnja near the end of the season, and a new coach in Domagoj Kapetanovic, corrected the problem and the team won all of it's last eight games including four in the playoffs.

Players such as goalkeeper Paolo Cimpiel and defenders Damir Sutevski, Filip Blaskovic and Robert Iarusi, and midfielders Mladen Cukon, Gene Strenicer, Carmine Marcantonio and Teddy Polak all played key roles as did forwards Ivair Ferreira, Ivan Lukacevic, Bruno Pilas and of course Eusebio.

The team came into existence in 1975 with the merger of the Toronto Metros of the North American Soccer League and Toronto Croatia that played in the Canadian National Soccer League. Toronto Croatia was represented by Dick Bezic,as Managing Director and Toronto Metros was represented by Bruce Thomas as majority owner. In 1999 the club was sold to Global Television and became the Toronto Blizzard.