In 1961, along with industrialist Larry Myslivec and journalist Ed Fitken, Steve Stavro, a Macedonian Canadian businessman formed the Toronto City Soccer Club which played in the newly created Eastern Canada Professional Soccer League. During its inaugural season the team featured several prominent footballers including Northern Ireland international Danny Blanchflower, England internationals Stanley Matthews and Johnny Haynes and Scottish internationals Jackie Mudie and Tommy Younger, notable as the last time the England, Scotland and Northern Ireland captains played on the same side. Younger also coached the team. In January 1966 Stavro fell out with the league administrators and withdrew the team from the league.
In 1966 Stavro helped form the United Soccer Association and entered a team called Toronto City in the new league. The USA originally intended to launch its league in the spring of 1968. However a rival league, the National Professional Soccer League, announced it was ready to launch in 1967. Not wanting to lose ground to its rival, the USA decided to fast track its launch. Without any players of its own, it opted to import whole teams from Europe and South America. It was intended that these teams would represent the franchises during the inaugural season, giving them time to build their own squads for the following season. Toronto City was subsequently represented by Hibernian of the Scottish Football League.