Columbus Clan F.C.
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|Full name||Vancouver Columbus F.C.|
|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.
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.
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 than 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.
The Columbus family of teams include the Premier men's team, the Masters over 35s, over 40s and over 55s. As of 2015, Columbus family of teams are now associated with the Italian Canadian Sports Federation which also include boys and girls teams from 5 year olds to adult.
Off the field the Columbus Alumni also play a major role in Canadian soccer as evidenced by the following;
- Victor Montagliani:
- President of CONCACAF
- 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
- Technical Director – Italian Canadian SportsFederation (ICSF)
- Former Director of British Columbia Soccer Association
- Frank Ciaccia
- Residency Recriutment Officer – Vancouver Whitecaps
- Former Technical Director—Mountain FC
- Danny Lenarduzzi
- Vancouver Whitecaps—Director of Youth Soccer Development
- Sam Lenarduzzi
- Manager of Regional Community Programs – Vancouver Whitecaps
- Frank Iuele
- Technical Director – Italian Canadian Sports Federation (ICSF)
- Michael Findlay
- Former BC Soccer Head of Soccer Development
- Canada Soccer Staff Coach
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.
|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, 2015|
|VMSL Masters A Cup Champions||2016|
|VMSL Masters B Cup Champions||2013, 2014|
National trophy winners by player for Columbus FC only
|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|
- "BC Soccer Web". BC Soccer Web. Retrieved April 9, 2013.