Vaughan Azzurri

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Vaughan Azzurri
Vaughan SC logo.jpg
Full nameVaughan Soccer Club
Founded1982/2014
StadiumNorth Maple Regional Park
Vaughan, Ontario
Capacity500
Coordinates43°53′00″N 79°31′08″W / 43.8832°N 79.5188°W / 43.8832; -79.5188Coordinates: 43°53′00″N 79°31′08″W / 43.8832°N 79.5188°W / 43.8832; -79.5188
AffiliationVaughan Soccer Club
Club presidentTony Bartolomeo
Head coachPatrice Gheisar
LeagueLeague1 Ontario
2019League1 Ontario, 2nd
Playoffs: Quarter-finals
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Vaughan Azzurri is a Canadian semi-professional soccer team based in Vaughan, Ontario, that currently competes in League1 Ontario. The semi-professional team was founded in 2014 by the Vaughan Soccer Club, which is a youth soccer club as part of their High Performance Program.

History[edit]

Vaughan Soccer Club was founded in 1982 as a youth soccer club under the name Concord Jets. In 1986, they renamed to Vaughan SC. Since 1986, the club continued to grow and by 2012, became the 2nd largest soccer club in York Region.[1]

They added their semi-professional club, under the name Vaughan Azzurri, to play in League1 Ontario in the inaugural season in 2014,[2][3] originally playing out of McNaughton Park.[4] They won the inaugural League1 Ontario League Cup defeating Sigma FC 2–1 in the final at BMO Field.[5] They won their first league title in 2016, defeating FC London in the playoff final.[6] This qualified them for the Inter-Provincial championship to face the champions of the Première Ligue de soccer du Québec champion CS Mont-Royal Outremont for the Canadian Division III title, where they lost over the two-legged fixture.[7] Since then, the Azzurri have won a league-tying two League1 Ontario Championships and a league-leading three L1 Cups.

During the 2018 season, they played a friendly against Italian professional Serie A club Frosinone Calcio, losing by a score of 2–1, although Vaughan managed to take an early 1–0 lead in the match.[8][9][10][11][12]

From 2014 to 2018, the club was led by head coach Carmine Isacco. Following the 2018 season, Isacco left Vaughan to join the newly founded York 9 FC as an assistant coach.[13] In spring 2019, it was announced that previous First Team assistant coach and U21 head coach Patrice Gheisar would take over First Team operations.[14]

Having won the 2018 League1 Ontario Championship, the Azzurri were awarded a berth to the first qualifying round of 2019 Canadian Championship.[15] They played HFX Wanderers FC of the Canadian Premier League in a two-legged series and hosted their home match at the Ontario Soccer Centre.[16] They lost the first leg 3–2 at home after HFX scored a stoppage time penalty kick,[17][18] but won the return leg in Halifax 1–0, being the first semi-professional club to defeat a professional side in the tournament. The two clubs drew 3–3 on aggregate but Vaughan failed to advance due to the away goals rule.[19]

At the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, Vaughan had four of their players selected in the draft.[20]

They added a women's club to participate in the inaugural 2015 women's season.[21] The women won the 2016 League Cup.[22]

Front office and technical staff[edit]

As of April 13, 2019[23]
Name Position
Canada Patrice Gheisar Head coach
Canada Anthony Vadori Assistant coach
Canada Francesco Vescio Strength and conditioning coach
Canada Tony De Palma Manager

Seasons[edit]

Men[edit]

Season League Teams Record Rank Playoffs League Cup Canadian Championship Ref
2014 League1 Ontario 9 8–3–5 4th Champions [24]
2015 12 12–7–3 3rd Quarter-finals [24]
2016 16 17–4–1 1st, Eastern (1st) Champions Champions [24]
2017 16 16–1–5 2nd, Eastern (4th) Did not qualify Runner-up [24]
2018 17 10–1–5 5th Champions Champions Did not qualify [24]
2019 16 12–1–2 2nd Quarter-finals First qualifying round [24]
2020 Season cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic[25]

Women[edit]

Season League Teams Record Rank Playoffs League Cup Ref
2015 League1 Ontario 7 10–5–3 3rd Finalists [26]
2016 9 8–5–3 4th Champions [26]
2017 11 12–3–5 2nd Semi-finals [26]
2018 13 8–0–4 3rd Semi-finals Semi-finals [26]
2019 14 10–1–2 2nd Semi-finals [26]
2020 Season cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic[25]

Honours[edit]

Notable players[edit]

The following players have either played at the professional or international level, either before or after playing for the League1 Ontario team:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "VSC history". Vaughan SC.
  2. ^ Hayakawa, Michael (April 10, 2014). "Vaughan to field 2 teams in inaugural soccer league". Vaughan Citizen.
  3. ^ Rowaan, Dave (April 14, 2014). "League1 Ontario announces teams for inaugural season". Waking The Red. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  4. ^ Kelly, Tim (April 14, 2016). "Soccer season in Vaughan a sure sign of spring". Vaughan Citizen.
  5. ^ Hayakawa, Michael (October 24, 2014). "Azzurri end season on winning note". Vaughan Citizen.
  6. ^ Hayakawa, Michael (October 21, 2016). "Vaughan Azzurri kicks up a storm to win Ontario soccer championship". Vaughan Citizen.
  7. ^ "CS Mont-Royal Outremont Griffons Beat Vaughan Azzurri In 2016 Inter-Provincial Cup". League1 Ontario. November 12, 2016.
  8. ^ Cheng, Jonathan (October 16, 2018). "Building The Azzurri Pipeline". League1 Ontario.
  9. ^ Mastrantoni, Andrea (June 22, 2018). "Ufficiale - Il 20 luglio amichevole contro il Vaughan Azzurri" [Official - On 20 July a friendly match against Vaughan Azzurri]. Tutto Frosinone (in Italian).
  10. ^ "Frosinone Calcio is Here in Canada". Molisana Imports. July 18, 2018.
  11. ^ "Frosinone - Vaughan Soccer 2-1". Frosinone Calcio (in Italian). July 21, 2018.
  12. ^ "Tournée Canada/USA, il programma delle Amichevolu" [Tournée Canada/USA, the friends' program]. Frosinone Calcio (in Italian). July 17, 2018.
  13. ^ Gourlie, Matthew (July 27, 2018). "Brennan ready to take on coaching role". July of 86.
  14. ^ Linh Nam, Devin (May 21, 2019). "Vaughan Azzurri Looking to take Advantage of the Canadian Championship, Win or Lose". Humber College.
  15. ^ Davidson, Neil (May 14, 2019). "Vaughan Azzurri up for Canadian Championship challenge against HFX Wanderers FC". Toronto Star.
  16. ^ Thompson, Marty (February 13, 2019). "'We'll be up for it': Underdog Vaughan states CanChamp intentions". Canadian Premier League.
  17. ^ Bedakain, Armen (May 15, 2019). "Late PK gives Wanderers advantage over Vaughan". Canadian Premier League.
  18. ^ "HFX beat Vaughan in first leg of Canadian Championship qualifier". Sportsnet. May 16, 2019.
  19. ^ MacDonald, Glenn (May 22, 2019). "HFX Wanderers survive Vaughan scare to advance in Canadian Championship showdown". The Chronicle Herald.
  20. ^ Shealer, Sheldon (January 9, 2020). "Vaughan SC revels in Super day". Top Drawer Soccer.
  21. ^ Rowaan, Dave (January 29, 2015). "League 1 Ontario announces expansion teams for 2015 season". Waking The Red.
  22. ^ Glover, Robin (November 28, 2016). "League1 Ontario 2016 Awards Luncheon". Northern Starting XI.
  23. ^ "Vaughan - 2017 Mens L1 Cup - Roster". www.league1ontario.com. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  24. ^ a b c d e f "League1 Ontario Historical Standings Men's Division". Canadian Soccer History Archives.
  25. ^ a b "League1 Ontario cancels Fall season plans for 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions". Canadian Premier League. September 4, 2020.
  26. ^ a b c d e "League1 Ontario Historical Standings Women's Division". Canadian Soccer History Archives.

External links[edit]