Ottawa Wizards

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Ottawa Wizards
Full name Ottawa Wizards
Nickname(s) The Wizards
Founded 2001
Dissolved 2003
Ground OZ Optics Stadium
Ground Capacity 1,000
Owner Omur Sezerman
League Canadian Professional Soccer League
2003 1st, Eastern

Ottawa Wizards were a Canadian soccer club which operated in the Canadian Professional Soccer League (CPSL), from 2001 to 2003. The team`s home stadium was the OZ Optics Stadium. Though the team had a relatively short tenure with the CPSL, the club dominated the league by winning three consecutive regular season championships, two Open Canada Cups, and the CPSL Championship. Despite the club success the franchise was revoked by the league in 2003 after several legal disputes with the CPSL administration.


Ottawa Wizards entered the CPSL in 2001, joining three other expansion teams the Toronto Supra, Montreal Dynamites, and the Brampton Hitmen. Under head coach Rasim Kara who previously coached Division 1 clubs in Turkey; brought in Trinidad and Tobago national team players Shurland David, Richard Goddard, Kevin Nelson and players with USL experience like Vladimir Edouard, and Sanjeev Parmar.[1] The club debuted on June 1, 2001 with the opening fixture resulting in a scoreless draw with London City. Ottawa would pick up from their draw with an impressive 5 game undefeated streak which included Open Canada Cup matches. After their defeat to Toronto Croatia, the Wizards bounced back with another 15 game undefeated streak Throughout the whole season Ottawa challenged league giants Toronto Olympians for the top spot in the standings; eventually finishing first in the standings the first club to defeat the Olympians regular season winning dynasty. Ottawa finished as the highest scoring team with Kevin Nelson winning the CSL Golden Boot, CSL Rookie of the Year, and Abraham Osman receiving the Canadian Soccer League MVP Award.[2] The Wizards added more silverware to their cabinet by winning the Open Canada Cup, thus becoming the second team in CPSL history in achieving a double.[3]

Canadian international Charles Gbeke played earlier in his career with Ottawa Wizards.

As the regular season champions Ottawa automatically qualified for the playoffs, but their postseason run was rather a disappointment losing in the semi-finals against eventual playoff champions St. Catharines Wolves to a score of 1–0.[4] Though eliminated from the playoffs Ottawa featured in a Consolation Final of the Rogers Playoff Cup against Toronto Olympians, but where defeated by a score of 5–2.[5] Head coach Kara left at the end of 2001, and he was replaced by Klaus Linnenbruegger who brought in additional new signings to the club; acquiring former Montreal Impact defender Abraham Francois, and several African imports like Urbain Some, Peter Mponda, and Sa Brahima Traore. During the 2002 season Ottawa had another tremendous season recording a 17-game undefeated streak, and making another milestone in CPSL history by becoming the second club to achieve a treble the first being the Toronto Olympians.[6] The Wizards clinched the Eastern Conference and finished first in the overall standings.[7][8] They repeated their success in the Open Canada Cup tournament by defending their title once more in a 1–0 victory over Toronto Croatia with the lone goal from Kevin Nelson.[9]

In the postseason the Wizards faced the Metro Lions in the semi-finals and advanced to the finals with a 1–0 victory over the Lions.[10] The Rogers Cup final was played at Esther Shiner Stadium, where Ottawa faced the North York Astros the outcome of the game was a 2–0 victory for Ottawa with goals coming from Robin Hart, and an own goal from North York.[11] At the conclusion of the season Abraham Osman was awarded for the second time in a row the CPSL MVP Award at the CPSL Awards Banquet.[12] In 2003, head coach Linnenbruegger was replaced by former Wizards player Hubert Busby, Jr.[13] Busby brought in Malawi international McDonald Yobe, and signed two promising Canadian players Alen Marcina, and Charles Gbeke. Ottawa began the season with dominance once more by becoming the second team in the league`s history to go undefeated; allowing the club to clinch its third consecutive division title. Unfortunately the Wizards ran into problems with the CPSL administration – one incident regarding the club was the removal of Ottawa from the Open Canada Cup tournament, thus not allowing the team to defend its title.[14][15][16] In response to the league`s decision Ottawa`s owner Omur Sezerman countered that he would obtain an injunction and planned to sue the league and certain individuals associated with the league.[17][18]

The dispute was taken to the Superior Court of Justice who ruled in favor with the CPSL; dismissing the injunction and allowing the tournament to precede.[19][20][21][22] On September 10, 2003 Hubert Busby resigned as head coach after philosophical differences with the team owner; leaving the Wizards with eight wins, four ties, and zero losses.[23] Busby was replaced by last season`s head coach Klaus Linnenbruegger.[24] After qualifying for the postseason by clinching their division and going undefeated for the entire season, the Wizards announced their withdrawal from the Rogers Cup stating disagreement with the rules of competition.[25] At the conclusion of the season two Ottawa players received awards one being McDonald Yobe as Rookie of the Year, and Simon Eaddy winning the Goalkeeper of the Year award.[26] On December 3, 2003 the CPSL board of directors announced the franchises of Ottawa and the Durham Flames were revoked.[27][28]

Head coaches[edit]

Years Name Nation
2001 Kara, RasimRasim Kara  Turkey
2002–2003 Linnenbruegger, KlausKlaus Linnenbruegger  Germany
2003 Busby, Jr., HubertHubert Busby, Jr.  Canada
2003 Linnenbruegger, KlausKlaus Linnenbruegger  Germany



Year Division League Regular Season Playoffs
2001[29] 1 CPSL First Semi-finals
2002[30] 1 - Eastern Conference CPSL First Champions
2003[31] 1 - Eastern Conference CPSL First Withdrew

Notable players[edit]


  1. ^ Baines, Tim (September 1, 2001). "Ottawa Sun: Meet the Ottawa Wizards". Rocket Robin`s Home Page. Ottawa Sun. 
  2. ^ Glover, Robin (October 14, 2001). "Presented at the CPSL Annual Awards banquet at Club Roma after todays Playoff Final.". Rocket Robin`s Home Page. 
  3. ^ Macfarlane, Steve (October 1, 2001). "Ottawa Sun: Magical Goal for Osman". Rocket Robin`s Home Page. Ottawa Sun. 
  4. ^ Glover, Robin (October 13, 2001). "Result of the CPSL game between Ottawa Wizards and St Catharines Roma Wolves played Saturday October 13th, 2001 at Club Roma in St Catharines at 3:00pm". Rocket Robin`s Home Page. 
  5. ^ Glover, Robin (October 14, 2001). "Result of the CPSL game between Ottawa Wizards and Toronto Olympians played Sunday October 14th, 2001 at Club Roma in St Catharines at 12:00pm. This was the Consolation Final of the Rogers Playoff Cup.". Rocket Robin`s Home Page. 
  6. ^ Cleary, Martin (October 28, 2002). "Ottawa Citizen: Pro style Wizards conjure up soccer success". Rocket robin`s Home Page. Ottawa Citizen. 
  7. ^ Brown, Joel (October 13, 2002). "Mississauga News: CPSL Report". Rocket Robin`s Home Page. Mississauga News. 
  8. ^ "Final Standings Monday October 14, 2002.". Rocket Robin`s Home Page. CPSL. October 14, 2002. 
  9. ^ Glover, Robin (September 29, 2002). "Result of Sunday September 29th, 2002 CPSL game between Ottawa Wizards and Toronto Croatia played at Cove Road in London at 3:15pm. This was the Final of the CPSL Canada Cup.". Rocket Robin`s Home Page. 
  10. ^ Glover, Robin (October 19, 2002). "Result of the Saturday October 19th, 2002 CPSL game between Ottawa Wizards and Metro Lions played at Esther Shiner Stadium in North York at 2:05pm. This was the first semi-final in the Rogers Playoff Cup.". Rocket Robin`s Home Page. 
  11. ^ Glover, Robin (October 20, 2002). "Result of the Sunday October 20th, 2002 CPSL game between North York Astros and Ottawa Wizards played at Esther Shiner Stadium in North York. This was the Finals of the Rogers Playoff Cup.". Rocket Robin`s Home Page. 
  12. ^ Glover, Robin (October 20, 2002). "Details of the CPSL 5th Anniversary Annual Awards Banquet hosted by the North York Astros Soccer Club at the Hollywood Princess Convention & Banquet Centre in Concord on Sunday October 20th, 2002 at 7:05pm.". Rocket Robin`s Home Page. 
  13. ^ Desaulniers, Darren (June 16, 2003). "Ottawa Citizen: High-Powered Wizards Fill Net With Goals". Rocket Robin`s Home Page. The Ottawa Citizen. 
  14. ^ "OTTAWA WIZARDS OUT OF OPEN CANADA CUP". Rocket robin`s Home Page. CPSL news. August 22, 2003. 
  15. ^ Soccer Online (August 24, 2003). "CPSL Administrator explains Wizards removal from Open Canada Cup". Rocket Robin`s Home Page. It's Called Futbol. 
  16. ^ Soccer Online (August 24, 2003). "Soccer Online interviewed Stan Adamson". Rocket Robin`s Home Page. It's Called Futbol. 
  17. ^ Soccer Online (August 25, 2003). "Who is Omur Sezerman?". Rocket Robin`s Home Page. It's Called Futbol. 
  18. ^ Soccer Online (August 25, 2003). "The Omur Sezerman Interview". Rocket Robin`s Home Page. It's Called Futbol. 
  19. ^ "THE GAMES ARE ON". Rocket Robin`s Home Page. CPSL news. August 29, 2003. 
  20. ^ Soccer Online (August 29, 2003). "August 29, 2003—CPSL finishes Open Canada Cup without Ottawa Wizards (from It's Called Futbol)". Rocket Robin`s Home Page. It's Called Futbol. 
  21. ^ "CPSL PRESIDENT: THE TRUTH CAME OUT". Rocket Robin`s Home Page. CPSL news. August 30, 2003. 
  22. ^ Soccer Online (August 31, 2003). "Aug 31, 2003 Author: Soccer Online – It's Called Futbol". Rocket Robin`s Home Page. It's Called Futbol. 
  23. ^ Cleary, Martin (September 10, 2003). "Ottawa Citizen: Wizards Coach Bolts on Owner". Rocket Robin`s Home Page. The Ottawa Citizen. 
  24. ^ "WIZARDS ANNOUNCE NEW HEAD COACH". Rocket Robin`s Home Page. Ottawa Wizards media release. September 10, 2003. 
  25. ^ "October 3, 2003 CPSL Rogers Cup Wild Card game London vs Brampton from CPSL website". Rocket Robin`s Home Page. CPSL website. October 3, 2003. 
  26. ^ Glover, Robin (October 5, 2003). "Details of the CPSL Awards ceremony held during the banquet on Sunday October 5th, 2003 at the German-Canadian Club at Cove Road Field in London.". Rocket Robin`s Home Page. 
  27. ^ "CPSL Drops Wizards & Flames". CPSL press release. December 3, 2003. 
  28. ^ KERNAGHAN, Jim. "SLAM! Sports – Soccer – Wizards owner determined to get back in CPSL". Retrieved 2016-01-01. 
  29. ^ "CPSL (Ontario) - League Standings". Retrieved 2016-10-15. 
  30. ^ "Monday October 14, 2002 CPSL Final Standings". Retrieved 2016-10-15. 
  31. ^ "October 2, 2003 CPSL Final Regular Season Standings". Retrieved 2016-10-15.