When people from Mississauga hear about Streetsville Meadowvale SC, those with a knowledge of the local area might think of the skating club which has been teaching people on the ice rink for the past 50 years.
But there was also a Streetsville Meadowvale Soccer Club that was founded in the 1970s, and when the town of Streetsville became part of the newly amalgamated city of Mississauga, new horizons dawned for the sport along the Credit River.
In 1982 the club officially registered as a non-profit organization – the body of the North Mississauga Soccer Club that we now know today.
The city found itself on the world stage of soccer as soon as 1986 as Canada qualified for the World Cup for the first time. Two members of the Canadian national team that competed in the Mexico finals were Bruce Wilson and Gerry Gray, who also played their soccer in Mississauga.
This created a boom for the city’s soccer scene, which actually dates all the way back to the 1800s as charted in a book by Mississauga Sports Hall of Famer Mike Toth.
The 1990s then saw Streetsville Meadowvale rebranded as North Mississauga Soccer Club and incorporate red into the club’s black and white colour palette.
At the turn of the millennium the club hit a unique milestone as the U17 boys won both the National Team Championship and the Ontario Cup. With the U17 side having the nickname Panthers, the club adopted it for all its teams during the following season to mark the achievement.
Did you know? It is believed that there was a charity soccer game in June 1900 as teams from Streetsville and Cooksville raised money for a wagon-building workshop.
As NMSC continued to grow throughout the 2000s, the board continued to look at opportunities to further grow and strengthen the options for young players across the community. Many talented players have worn the NMSC badge, some of whom have gone on to play for top clubs across Europe.
Liam Millar spent eight years at NMSC until moving to Fulham’s academy in England in 2013 and becoming part of Liverpool’s youth setup three years later, scoring a hat-trick for the Reds in a 4-0 victory against Blackburn Rovers’ U18s.
He went on to make one senior appearance for Liverpool, in the FA Cup against Shrewsbury Town in 2020, and now plays his football for professional Swiss team Basel.
Another promising player who honed their skills at NMSC is defender Doneil Henry. In 2012 Henry was named Canadian U20 Player of the Year, and he had spells in England, Denmark and South Korea before signing for his current team, Los Angeles FC. He is now also part of the leadership team at L1O club Simcoe County Rovers.
Did you know? It was reported that NMSC received financial solidarity compensation payments from West Ham United in 2015 and Liverpool in 2016 for the transfers of Doneil Henry and Liam Millar.
NMSC were one of the eight founding members of the League1 Ontario Women’s Premier Division in 2015, and they won the L1O League Cup in its inaugural year. Jessica Lisi and Nadya Gill were key performers back then and are still repping NSMC in the league today.
Some NMSC women's players have also progressed to playing at international level, including nations such as Dominica, Guyana, and Jamaica.
In 2016, NMSC entered a team into the League1 Ontario Men’s Premier Division and while they could not match the achievement of the women’s team in the cup, they did reach the semi-finals.
The men’s best league finish was sixth in 2019 – the only time they have made the playoffs so far – and in that same season, they won the inaugural Credit River Cup due to their results against local rivals ProStars and Sigma.
Following the Covid-19 disruptions to the 2020 and 2021 seasons, 2022 represents a chance for NMSC Panthers to build some momentum once again. They may find themselves towards the bottom end of the table in both divisions this season but with almost 50 years of history and a passionate soccer community behind them, there’s likely to be more success on the horizon.