Columbus Clan F.C.

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Vancouver Columbus F.C.
Columbusclan LOGO LOWRES.png
Full name Vancouver Columbus F.C.
Founded 1953
League Vancouver Metro Soccer League

Vancouver Columbus F.C., is a Canadian soccer club based in Vancouver, British Columbia currently playing in the Premier Division of the Vancouver Metro Soccer League. In 2013 the club was honoured with induction into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame as an Organization of Distinction.[citation needed]

History[edit]

Father Della Torre was instrumental in starting the team in 1953 as Sacred Heart soccer team, with the goal of providing a team for the many Italian immigrants who settled in the east side of Vancouver.

By 1957, the team name changed to Columbus and was under the guidance of Peter Mainardi. As president, Mainairdi gave the club stability and strong leadership and paved the way for Columbus' future successes. In the 1960s, Columbus was a dominant team. Their domination on the field captured the imagination of the Italian soccer community in particular. The team played at Callister Park in Vancouver at that time.[1]

In 1973, for having played in an unsanctioned tournament, the club and its owner Peter Mainardi were suspended. Therefore for a few years the same players played under the Vancouver Italia name until coming back with the Columbus name in 1975.

Following the death of Mainairdi, the club came under the guidance of Paul Anthony who had joined the team as a player in 1954.

Anthony continued on as secretary and team manager and played a key role in the evolution of the club until his death in 1982. From 1982-87, the administration of the club was under the leadership of Eugenio Vazzoler, Peter Greco and General manager Charlie Cuzzetto.

In 1985, Columbus entered the newly formed semi-professional Pacific Rim Soccer League with Joe Tinucci as president and Mike Bernardis as coach. Columbus as a semi-professional club, quickly became league and cup champions and well as national finalists with Toronto Blizzard.

After an absence of 10 years Columbus reemerged in 2003 under the direction of Rob Mascitti, Carmen D'Onofrio and Joe Papa. Although the passing of years has seen the influx of non -Italian players, the major part of the team still hold fast to its Italian roots, a tribute to past Coaches Gianni Azzi, Jack Hobbs 1964 (Canadian Champions) Joe Csabai 1969 (Canadian Champions), Tony Canta 1977, 1978 (Canadian Champions).

Columbus has been at the forefront of Canadian soccer and has planted deep soccer roots in Canada over the past 60 years. The team has provided more players then any other amateur club in Canada to Canada's Professional, Provincial, Olympic and National Team rosters as well as supplying Universities and Colleges. Columbus also holds the distinction of having the most players in the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame with eleven players. After the Westminster Royals, Columbus is the most successful amateur club in Canada having appeared in six National Finals and winning four. Columbus also holds the record for the largest margin of victory in a Canadian championship final game a 10-0 score against Montreal Ukraine in 1969.

To compliment the Columbus Premier men's team, the Masters over 35s and over 55s, the club is excited with the latest addition to the Columbus family an over 40s men's team.

Off the field the Columbus Alumni also play a major role in Canadian soccer as evidenced by the following;

  • Victor Montagliani:
    • President of Canadian Soccer Association
    • Past Vice President Canadian Soccer Association
    • Past President British Columbia Soccer Association
  • Charlie Cuzzetto
    • Director of Canadian Soccer Association
    • Past President British Columbia Soccer Association
  • Joe Cuzzetto
    • Former Director of British Columbia Soccer Association
  • Frank Ciaccia
    • Technical Director—Mountain FC
  • Danny Lenarduzzi
    • Vancouver Whitecaps—Director of Youth Soccer Development
  • Michael Findlay
    • BC Soccer Head of Soccer Development

In addition to winning numerous League Championships, Kennedy Cups, Imperial Cups and Provincial Cups, Columbus has won the National Challenge Trophy four times: 1964, 1969, 1977 and 1978 and were Finalists in 1968 and 2007.

In addition, Columbus Masters Over 35's also won a National Championship in 2003 and Western Championship in 2009 and 2013. The Over 40's have won 2 league and 1 cup championships. Since 2003, Columbus plays in the VMSL and have won a Provincial Cup, 2 Imperial Cups, 2 Western Canadian Championships and 1 Provincial Cup Finalist and 1 Canadian National Trophy Cup Finalist.

Honours[edit]

Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame: Organization of Distinction 2013
Canadian National Challenge Cup Champions 1964, 1969, 1977, 1978
National Challenge Runners-Up 1968, 2007
Provincial Cup Winners 1964, 1968, 1969, 1977, 1978, 2007
Provincial Cup Finalist 2011, 2012 (Women)
National Soccer League Cup (Semi-Pro) Finalists 1986
Open Canada Cup National Runners-Up 2007
Open Canada Cup Western Champions 2007
VMSL Imperial Cup Winners 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 2006, 2007
VMSL Imperial Cup Finalist 2013, 2014
VMSL League Champions 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 2013
Pacific Coast League Cup Winners 1984, 1988
Pacific Coast League Champions 1964, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972,1988, 1989
Pacific Coast League Junior Division Winners 1965
Pacific Rim League President's Cup 1972, 1985
Pacific Rim League Champions 1985, 1986
Anderson Cup (PCSL) 1960
JFK Kennedy Cup Winners 1989
BC Masters Provincial Cup Champions(Over 30/35) 1994, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2009, 2013
BC Masters Provincial Cup Finalists(Over 30/35) 1995, 1997, 2007
National Masters Trophy Winners 2003
Western Masters Trophy Winners 2009, 2013
VMSL Over 40s League Champions 2012, 2013
VMSL Masters B Cup Champions 2013, 2014

Notable alumni (includes premier, masters & seniors)[edit]

National trophy winners by player for Columbus FC only[edit]

Player Trophies Years
Eugenio Vazzoler 4 1964, 1969, 1977, 1978
Peter Greco 3 1969, 1977, 1978
Sergio Zanatta 3 1969, 1977, 1978
Vanni Lenarduzzi 3 1969, 1977, 1978
Steve Djoric 2 1964, 1969
Bob Hazeldine 2 1964, 1969
Jim Berry 1 1969
Roy Nosella 1 1964
Carlos Franco 1 1964
John Camuzzi 1 1964
Sam Lenarduzzi 1 1969
Victor Kodelja 1 1969
Elio Ciaccia 1 1978
Joe Cuzzetto 1 1978

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BC Soccer Web". BC Soccer Web. Retrieved April 9, 2013.