Mike Stojanović

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Mike Stojanović
Stojanović in 2007
Personal information
Full name Momčilo Stojanović
Date of birth (1947-01-26)26 January 1947
Place of birth Lapovo, FPR Yugoslavia
Date of death 18 November 2010(2010-11-18) (aged 63)
Place of death Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Position(s) Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1966–1969 Morava Velika Plana
1969–1973 Radnički Kragujevac
1973 Vardar
1973–1976 Serbian White Eagles 85 (98)
1976–1980 Rochester Lancers 115 (51)
1979–1980 Hartford Hellions (indoor) 9 (1)
1981–1982 San Diego Sockers 52 (32)
1981–1982 San Diego Sockers (indoor) 5 (2)
1982 San Jose Earthquakes 12 (2)
1983 Hamilton Steelers
International career
1980–1981 Canada 15 (5)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Momčilo "Mike" Stojanović (Serbian Cyrillic: Момчило Мајк Стојановић, Serbian pronunciation: [mǒmtʃilo mǎjk stojǎːnoʋitɕ]; 26 January 1947 – 18 November 2010) was a professional soccer forward most notably playing in the NASL and for the Canadian national team.[1]

Early life[edit]

Mike Stojanović, nicknamed Stole in Serbian and Stollie in English, was born on 26 January 1947 in Lapovo (PR Serbia, FPR Yugoslavia) to parents Vitomir and Ruža.[1]

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Stojanović spent time in the Yugoslav First League in 1969 with Radnički Kragujevac where he assisted the club in successfully avoiding relegation to the second tier.[2] For his part, he contributed seven goals throughout the season.[2] He briefly played in the Yugoslav second tier with Jedinstvo Paraćin in 1971 before returning to the Radnicki.[2] He also had stints with Vardar Skopje and Morava Velika Plana.[1]

The Yugoslavian soccer structure was affected by the monetary reforms imposed by the country's president Josip Tito in the early 1970s which resulted in a decrease in payouts to players.[2] The cutbacks caused Stojanović to seek opportunities outside of Yugoslavia.[2] Before moving to North America, Stojanović was set to join OGC Nice, but there were complications with his documentation upon signing.[1] He also had intentions of playing in West Germany but ultimately landed in Canada.[2]

Serbian White Eagles[edit]

In 1973, he landed in Canada's National Soccer League with Toronto-based club Serbian White Eagles FC.[3][4] In his debut season with Toronto, he assisted the club in securing a postseason berth where he contributed two goals against Toronto Homer in the opening round.[5] He played in the second round of the playoffs where he recorded a goal against Toronto Hungaria but the Serbs were eliminated from the competition.[6]

Stojanović returned to the Serbs for his sophomore season where he produced a league record by registering 54 goals in 36 matches which ultimately secured him the top goal scorer award.[2][7] The feat is still a club and National Soccer League record. His contributions helped the Serbs in clinching the regular season title.[2] He also was featured in the Canadian Open Cup where he contributed a goal against Calgary Springer Kickers which secured the title and a berth in the CONCACAF Champions' Cup.[8]

In 1975, he finished the season once more as the league's top goal scorer with 42 goals in 36 matches.[9]

On 7 August 2009 in a pre-game ceremony, the Serbian White Eagles retired the number 9 which was worn by Stojanović while playing for the club from 1974 to 1975.[10] This is the only number the club has retired.[11]

Rochester Lancers[edit]

Momčilo was recruited by former Toronto head coach Dragan Popović to join the Rochester Lancers in the American-based North American Soccer League in 1976.[12] It was his time in Rochester when his name became anglicized to Mike by the media.[2] He had a productive debut season with the Lancers where he scored 17 goals and finished with 41 points, marking him the league's fourth-leading scorer.[13] He also assisted Rochester in securing a playoff berth after a three-year absence.[14] He participated in the preliminary round of the playoffs where the upstate New York club was eliminated from the competition by Toronto Metros-Croatia.[15]

Stojanović's contract was renewed for another season in 1977.[16] In his sophomore season in Rochester, he once more aided the team in securing another playoff berth.[17] For the second consecutive season, he finished as the club's top goal scorer with 14 goals.[18] In the opening round of the postseason, he contributed a goal in a penalty shootout against St. Louis Stars.[19] In the Conference finals, he recorded a goal against the New York Cosmos in the opening match, but the Lancers were eliminated from the competition after losing both matches.[20][21] Following the conclusion of the season he was named to the league's All-Star Second Team.[22] The club also selected him to the Rochester Lancers Team of the Decade.[23]

His third season with Rochester was cut short after suffering a leg injury which ruled him out for the majority of the season.[24] Throughout the 1978 season, he would appear in 12 matches and registered 4 goals.[25] For the 1979 season, he transitioned into a midfielder role where he would support striker Branko Šegota with a club record of 13 assists and 4 goals.[26] The 1980 season, marked his final run with the organization where he managed to surpass Carlos Metidieri record as the club's all-time goal scorer with 51 goals.[27][28] He finished the season as the club's top goal scorer along with Segota with 11 goals.[28]

North American Soccer League[edit]

In 1981, Rochester had their franchise revoked which resulted in San Diego Sockers signing Stojanović to a multi-year deal.[28]

He was fifth-best the following season with 14 goals and 33 total points. His most productive season was in 1981 when he finished third with 23 goals and 52 total points while playing for the San Diego Sockers (1981–1982) and was named the NASL's North American Player of the Year.[29] Stojanović also played for the San Jose Earthquakes (1982) which was his last season in the NASL. Stojanović is 9th on the All-Time NASL Top Scorers list with 83 goals in 179 appearances and 10th on the all-time points list with 211, ahead of fellow NASL players George Best, Pelé and Franz Beckenbauer. He was a 2nd Team NASL All-Star in 1977 and an Honorable Mention All-Star in 1981.


In 1983, he returned to Canada to play with the Hamilton Steelers in the newly formed Canadian Professional Soccer League.[30][31] Stojanović recorded his first goal for the club in the debut match on 23 May 1983, against Edmonton Eagles.[32] Shortly after his first match, he received a lengthy suspension as he missed a practice session, but the suspension was later revoked.[33] The Steelers would reach the championship finals in the playoffs where they were defeated by Edmonton.[34]

In 1992, Stojanović, aged 45, played for United Serbs FC based in Oshawa.[35]

International career[edit]

Stojanović was 33 years old when he won his first cap with Canada's senior team on 15 September 1980 in Vancouver (a 4–0 win over New Zealand), scoring on his debut. He played in all of Canada's games in 1980 and 1981, a total of 15 times, scoring five goals. His final cap came in a 2–2 draw on 21 November 1981 versus Cuba in a 1982 World Cup qualification match in Tegucigalpa.[36]

Stojanović was inducted into the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame on 6 June 2009.[37][38]

As part of the Canadian Soccer Association's 2012 centennial celebration, Stojanović was honoured on the list of the top 100 men's footballers.[39]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Canada's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 15 September 1980 Empire Stadium, Vancouver, Canada  New Zealand 4–0 4–0 Friendly match
2. 18 October 1980 Exhibition Stadium, Toronto, Canada  Mexico 1–0 1–1 1982 FIFA World Cup qualification
3. 12 October 1981 Skinner Park, San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago  Trinidad and Tobago 3–0 4–2 Friendly match
4. 2 November 1981 Estadio Tiburcio Carías Andino, Tegucigalpa, Honduras  El Salvador 1–0 1–0 1982 FIFA World Cup qualification
5. 6 November 1981 Estadio Tiburcio Carías Andino, Tegucigalpa, Honduras  Haiti 1–1 1–1 1982 FIFA World Cup qualification


On 18 November 2010, Stojanović, aged 63, died in Toronto after a battle with stomach cancer. He is interred at the Serbian Orthodox Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Milton.[40][41]


Serbian White Eagles

  • National Soccer League Regular Season: 1974[1]
  • Canadian Open Cup: 1974[1]



  1. ^ a b c d e f Vujcic, Djuradj (18 November 2022). "Remembering Mike Stojanovic". Serbian White Eagles FC. Retrieved 20 November 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Lewis, Michael (29 December 2021). Alive and Kicking - The Incredible but True Story f the Rochester Lancers. pp. 251–252. ISBN 9798475227916.
  3. ^ Jose, Colin (2001). On-Side - 125 Years of Soccer in Ontario. Vaughan, Ontario: Ontario Soccer Association and Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum. p. 235.
  4. ^ Waring, Ed (1 October 1973). "Momcilo Stojanovic scores four as White Eagles swamp Montreal". The Globe and Mail. p. S8.
  5. ^ Waring, Ed (15 October 1973). "Serbian White Eagles win 2-1 on disputed penalty-kick goal". The Globe and Mail. p. S5.
  6. ^ "Hungaria win sparked by Fahy". The Globe and Mail. 18 October 1973. p. 48.
  7. ^ Adamson, Stan (13 November 2016). "Procession of Incoming Talent Key to Success of 2016 Champions....never ending arrivals keep Serbian White Eagles on top". Canadian Soccer League. Retrieved 26 December 2022.
  8. ^ Waring, Ed (21 October 1974). "White Eagles romp to Canadian title, defeat Calgary 3-1". The Globe and Mail. p. S6.
  9. ^ "Maestro". Democrat and Chronicle. 13 July 1976. p. 29.
  10. ^ CSL/Rocket Robin (7 August 2009). "August 7, 2009 CSL details". Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  11. ^ CSL (12 November 2016). "Procession of Incoming Talent Key to Success of 2016 Champions". Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  12. ^ Lewis, Michael (26 March 1976). "France appeals to Garcia". Democrat and Chronicle. pp. D7.
  13. ^ Lewis, Michael (1 September 1976). "Stojanovic's demand: dump Portuguese stars". Democrat and Chronicle.
  14. ^ Lewis, Michael (15 August 1976). "Lancers surprising themselves". Democrat and Chronicle. p. 9.
  15. ^ "Lancers fall on last-second goal". Democrat and Chronicle. 19 August 1976.
  16. ^ Lewis, Michael (25 February 1977). "Stojanovic signs - I'll break scoring record". Democrat and Chronicle. p. 33.
  17. ^ Lewis, Michael (31 July 1977). "Lancers in Playoffs". Democrat and Chronicle.
  18. ^ Lewis, Michael (10 August 1977). "Stojanovic May Not Quit".
  19. ^ Lewis, Michael (11 August 1977). "Lancers Finally Win a Big One on Road". Democrat and Chronicle.
  20. ^ "Cosmos near division title". Poughkeepsie Journal. 22 August 1977. p. 15.
  21. ^ Lewis, Michael (25 August 1977). "Cosmos End Lancers' Title Dream". Democrat and Chronicle.
  22. ^ "Sounders' England First-Team Selection". The News Tribune. 29 August 1977. p. 12.
  23. ^ Lewis, Michael (3 August 1977). "Lancers can win title only by optimum output". Democrat and Chronicle. p. 50.
  24. ^ Lewis, Michael (12 July 1978). "Lancers Need a Miracle". Democrat and Chronicle. p. 47.
  25. ^ "NASL-Mike Stojanovic". www.nasljerseys.com. Retrieved 15 January 2023.
  26. ^ Lewis, Michael (8 May 1980). "Scoreless Streak Not Unnerving for Stojanovic". Democrat and Chronicle. p. 8.
  27. ^ "Lancers". Democrat and Chronicle. 22 May 1980. p. 41.
  28. ^ a b c Lewis, Michael (27 February 1981). "Former Lancer Stojanovic signs with Sockers". Democrat and Chronicle. p. 26.
  29. ^ "Momčilo "Mike" Stojanović". Rochester Lancers. Retrieved 19 November 2022.
  30. ^ "NASL-Mike Stojanovic".
  31. ^ Panzeri, Allen (22 May 1983). "Name of the game is offence". Edmonton Journal. p. 51.
  32. ^ Panzeri, Allen (24 May 1983). "Long Blast Propels Eagles to First Soccer Win". Edmonton Journal. p. 16.
  33. ^ Lewis, Michael (29 June 1983). "The More Things Change". Democrat and Chronicle.
  34. ^ Panzeri, Allen (2 August 1983). "Eagles Become Winners at Last". Edmonton Journal. p. 12.
  35. ^ Vujcic, Djuradj (28 October 2022). "Blast From the Past: United Serbs (1992)". serbianwhiteeagles.ca. Archived from the original on 5 February 2024. Retrieved 6 February 2024.
  36. ^ "Mike Stojanovic". www.canadasoccer.com. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  37. ^ "Former Canadian striker Stojanovic, 63, dies". CBC Sports. 19 November 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2022.
  38. ^ A legend from his first kick Archived 7 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Big Apple Soccer, accessed 27 November 2011.
  39. ^ "100 Notable Canadian Footballers (Men's Soccer)". Canada Soccer. 31 December 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  40. ^ Lewis, Michael (19 November 2010). "Hall of Fame Inductee, Mike Stojanovic 1947–2010". The Ontario Soccer Association News. Archived from the original on 28 August 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  41. ^ B92 (20 November 2010). "Preminuo Momčilo Majk Stojanović" (in Serbian). Retrieved 14 April 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  42. ^ "The Calgary Herald - Google News Archive Search".

External links[edit]