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FC London

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FC London
Full nameFootball Club London
Founded2008 (as Forest City London)
StadiumTricar Field
Capacity900
OwnerDave DeBenedictis
Head CoachYiannis Tsalatsidis (men)
Garett Peters (women)
LeagueLeague1 Ontario
2023League, 13th; Playoffs, DNQ (men)
League, 6th; Playoffs, SF (women)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

FC London is a Canadian semi-professional soccer club based in London, Ontario that plays in the men's and women's divisions of League1 Ontario in the Canadian third tier.[1] The men's plays in League1 Ontario's second tier Championship division and the women's team play's in League1 Ontario's first tier Premier Division.

The team was founded in 2008 as Forest City London Soccer Club, and were a member of the Premier Development League from 2009 to 2015; they won the 2012 PDL title, their first championship during this time. They re-branded to FC London following their move to League1 Ontario in 2016, being officially named Football Club London.

In 2017, the club partnered with Toronto FC. FC London's youth teams were renamed London TFC, while the senior team retained the name FC London, but changed its colours to red to match those of Toronto FC.

History

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The original Forest City London crest, used 2008–2015

Founded in 2008, Forest City London joined the Premier Development League in 2009.[2] In their first season, they had to split home matches between four stadiums.[3] and played their first ever game on May 29, 2009, against Cleveland Internationals.[4] London won the game 2–1, with the first goal in franchise history being scored by Kevin Zimmermann.[5]

London's debut season was a generally positive one; they remained unbeaten over the course of their first ten games, winning seven games. London's first loss was a 3–1 drop to the Indiana Invaders at the beginning of July, and it initiated a complete reversal of fortune for the team. They did not win another game all season and dropped down the divisional standings. The team finished third in the Great Lakes Division, seven points behind divisional champions Kalamazoo, and faced off against Chicago Fire Premier in the first round of the playoffs. London lost their playoff match 1–0 to the Illinoisans on a goal by Andre Akpan. Kevin Zimmermann and Alan McGreal were London's top scorers in their debut season, with nine and seven goals respectively, while Anthony Di Biase contributed four assists.

They won the 2012 PDL Championship defeating Carolina Dynamo in the finals.[6] The won their first Great Lakes division title the following season.[7]

Club logo from 2016 to 2017

The club moved to League1 Ontario in 2016, adding teams in both the male and female divisions.[8] The club went under new ownership and were renamed Football Club London following the move to L1O.[9]

The women's team won the league title in the 2016 and 2017 seasons by winning the league division, while also winning the League Cup in 2017.[10] They won the league division again in 2018, but fell in the semi-finals in the new playoff format.[11] In 2019, they finished third in the regular season, but won the league championship, defeating Oakville Blue Devils in the playoff final.[12]

The men's team won the Western Conference in their debut season in L1O in 2016, but fell to Vaughan Azzurri in the championship final.[13] In 2018, they finished as regular season champions, but ultimately fell in the playoffs.[14] During the 2019 season, they defeated Alliance United in the two legged playoff semi-finals by a 15–0 aggregate score, after victories of 5–0 and 10–0 across the two legs, respectively,[15] before ultimately falling to Master's FA in the championship final.[16]

In the latter part of 2017, the club became a partner of Major League Soccer club Toronto FC, with the club being renamed London TFC, although the senior side retained the name FC London, under which it still competes in L1O.[17] As part of the rebrand, FC London changed their club colours and logo to red to match those of Toronto FC.[18][19] In 2022, the club changed ownership from Ian Campbell to a group led by Dave DeBenedictis, the director of the London TFC Academy.[20]

Squad

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As of 6 June 2024

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Antigua and Barbuda ATG Taj Moore
13 GK Canada CAN Luka Palajsa
4 DF Canada CAN Bradley Heath
6 DF Canada CAN Finn Bansal
15 DF Canada CAN David Bulos
23 DF Canada CAN Justin Wood
24 DF Canada CAN Sokol Qamili
34 DF Canada CAN Charles Orbaugh
3 MF Canada CAN Jonathan Lopez
5 MF Canada CAN Tomas Alvarez
7 MF Canada CAN Dante D'Oria
8 MF Canada CAN Ryan Baker
No. Pos. Nation Player
10 MF Canada CAN Daniel Oshana
12 MF Canada CAN Ibrahem Saadi
16 MF India IND Aman Khanna
20 MF Colombia COL Santiago Fonseca
25 MF Canada CAN Alexander Nagy
32 MF Canada CAN Obada Abdallah
35 MF Canada CAN Julian Sanchez
2 FW Canada CAN Owen-Dillon Holmes
9 FW Canada CAN D'Andre Williams
11 FW Canada CAN Bai-Essa Coker
18 FW Canada CAN Efosa Emovon
- FW Canada CAN Jalen Loague

Former players

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The following players have either moved on to the professional ranks after their time with FC London, or played professionally before joining the club.

Seasons

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Men

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Season League Record Regular season Playoffs League Cup Canadian Championship Ref
2009 Premier Development League 8–3–5 3rd, Great Lakes Divisional Semifinals not eligible [21]
2010 10–1–5 2nd, Great Lakes Conference Semifinals [21]
2011 9–5–2 3rd, Great Lakes Conference Quarterfinals [21]
2012 7–5–4 2nd, Great Lakes Champions [21]
2013 10–2–2 1st, Great Lakes Conference Final [21]
2014 6–4–4 4th, Great Lakes did not qualify [21]
2015 9–4–1 3rd, Great Lakes Divisional Playoff [21]
2016 League1 Ontario 15–2–5 1st, West Runner-up Round of 16 [22]
2017 11–5–6 4th, West did not qualify Quarter-finals [22]
2018 12–2–2 1st (overall) Group stage Quarter-finals did not qualify [22]
2019 8–1–6 7th (overall) Runner-up did not qualify [22]
2020 Season cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic[23]
2021 8–0–4 3rd, West did not qualify did not qualify
2022 2–4–15 22nd did not qualify did not qualify
2023 6–7–7 13th did not qualify did not qualify

Women

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Season League Teams Record Rank Playoffs League Cup Ref
2016 League1 Ontario 9 14–0–2 Champions Semi-finals [24]
2017 11 15–3–2 Champions Champions [24]
2018 13 11–1–0 1st Semi-finals Quarter-finals [24]
2019 14 7–3–3 3rd Champions [24]
2020 Season cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic[23]
2021 7 9–2–1 1st Semi-finals [24]
2022 20 13–2–4 4th Semi-finals [24]
2023 19 9–5–4 6th Semi-finals [24]

Honours

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  • Premier Development League
    • National Champions: 2012
    • Central Conference Champions: 2012
    • Great Lakes Division Champions: 2013
  • League1 Ontario
    • Western Conference Champions: 2016
    • Regular Season Champions: 2018

Head coaches

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  • Martin Painter (2009–2016)
  • Mario Despotović (2016–2017)
  • Dom Kosic (2017-2018)
  • Michael Marcoccia (2018–2021)
  • Ruben Quintão (2022)
  • Yiannis Tsalatsidis (2023-present)

Stadium history

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Average attendance

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Attendance[25]

  • 2009: 1632
  • 2010: 1246
  • 2011: 841
  • 2012: 507
  • 2013: 1146
  • 2014: 777
  • 2015: 944
  • 2019: 250
  • 2024: 947

References

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  1. ^ Elioff, Michael (May 7, 2022). "FC Men hungry to compete, develop on the pitch". gamedaylondon.com. Archived from the original on May 10, 2022. Retrieved March 22, 2023.
  2. ^ "PDL adds London, Ontario for 2009". United Soccer League. December 3, 2008. Archived from the original on February 29, 2012.
  3. ^ Massey, Benjamin (April 22, 2009). "Canada in the USL PDL: The Ontario Teams". Eighty Six Forever. Archived from the original on September 26, 2021. Retrieved September 19, 2020.
  4. ^ "FC London kicks off with high hopes". The Londoner. Archived from the original on January 14, 2010. Retrieved January 20, 2012.
  5. ^ "United Soccer Leagues (USL)". United Soccer League. May 29, 2009. Archived from the original on June 10, 2011. Retrieved January 20, 2012.
  6. ^ "FC London wins USL PDL Championship". Canadian Soccer Association. August 6, 2012. Archived from the original on September 19, 2020. Retrieved September 19, 2020.
  7. ^ Rowaan, Dave (July 29, 2013). "Canadian clubs turning heads with PDL success". Waking The Red. Archived from the original on March 8, 2021. Retrieved September 19, 2020.
  8. ^ Dalla Costa, Morris. "Everything new at FC London". The London Free Press. Archived from the original on September 21, 2017. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  9. ^ Pyette, Ryan (December 17, 2015). "FC London rebrands for League1". The London Free Press. Archived from the original on August 9, 2016. Retrieved September 19, 2020.
  10. ^ "FC London Women Win 2017 League1 Ontario Title". Ontario Soccer Association. October 3, 2017. Archived from the original on September 19, 2020. Retrieved September 19, 2020.
  11. ^ Bowman, Greg (August 29, 2018). "FC London: Growing Soccer For Young Women". Radio Western. Archived from the original on March 31, 2022. Retrieved September 19, 2020.
  12. ^ "FC London wins 2019 League1 Ontario women's championship". Canadian Premier League. September 1, 2019. Archived from the original on May 13, 2021. Retrieved September 19, 2020.
  13. ^ Hayakawa, Michael (October 21, 2016). "Vaughan Azzurri kicks up a storm to win Ontario soccer championship". Vaughan Citizen. Archived from the original on July 17, 2020. Retrieved September 19, 2020.
  14. ^ Vanderhoeven, Paul (September 28, 2018). "FC London begins playoffs as favourites". The Sun Times.
  15. ^ Vanderhoeven, Paul (September 24, 2019). "FC London men looking to follow women's lead". The London Free Press. Archived from the original on July 11, 2020. Retrieved September 19, 2020.
  16. ^ Vanderhoeven, Paul (September 28, 2019). "FC London battles to the finish in League1 championship loss to Scarborough Masters". The London Free Press. Archived from the original on October 21, 2020. Retrieved September 19, 2020.
  17. ^ Dalla Costa, Morris (November 29, 2017). "Soccer: FC London's academy changes look, adds programs with Toronto FC link". The London Free Press. Archived from the original on May 18, 2021. Retrieved September 19, 2020.
  18. ^ Dalla Costa, Morris (April 27, 2018). "FC London changes colours, continues to grow". The London Free Press. Archived from the original on October 29, 2020. Retrieved September 19, 2020.
  19. ^ "A Bluffer's Guide to FC London". League1 Ontario. July 29, 2022. Archived from the original on August 1, 2022. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  20. ^ Devlin, Todd (April 28, 2022). "FC Women eyeing another chance at fourth title". Gameday London. Archived from the original on April 28, 2022. Retrieved May 14, 2022.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g "Forest City London". Canadian Soccer History Archives. Archived from the original on April 16, 2021. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
  22. ^ a b c d "FC London". Canadian Soccer History Archives. Archived from the original on April 16, 2021. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
  23. ^ a b "League1 Ontario cancels Fall season plans for 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions". Canadian Premier League. September 4, 2020. Archived from the original on March 2, 2021. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g "League1 Ontario Historical Standings Women's Division". Canadian Soccer History Archives. Archived from the original on October 21, 2020. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  25. ^ "Previous Season Stat Archives". United Soccer League. Archived from the original on January 5, 2010. Retrieved December 14, 2009.
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