It's never a dull week in the land of League1.
First of all, we have to apologize for not publishing the Men's division schedule last week. We hit a slight bump in the road but, rest assured, it will be released early this week.
We can tell you that opening weekend is May 2-3 for the Men's Division. Our Women's division will kick off on May 23.
Now, on to the news of the past 7 days:
Former Sigma FC stars, Cyle Larin and Giuliano Frano, both recorded their first goals as professionals this past weekend and both turned out to be game winners for their respective sides.
Larin, the Brampton, Ontario striker who was selected 1st overall in the 2015 MLS Superdraft by expansion side Orlando City FC, got the start on Sunday in Orlando's match against Portland Timbers and he promplty rewarded his coach's belief in the young rookie by chesting home a cross in the first half to put his side ahead 1-0. That goal proved to be all the scoring Orlando would need on the day, although Brazilian star Kaka converted a penalty in the 2nd half to seal a 2-0 win.
Check out Cyle Larin's historic goal here:
One day earlier, Larin's former Sigma FC teammate, Defensive Midfielder Giuliano Frano, scored a beautiful goal late in the 2nd half to give USL side Sounders FC 2 a dramatic, come from behind 2-1 win over Portland Timbers 2.
This one is too pretty to describe with words. Check out the goal for yourself here:
Congratulations to both young men on their big accomplishments.
Oakville Blue Devils have confirmed the club's first two player signings this past weekend.
Former Toronto Lynx PDL Captain, Taylor McNamara (pictured left), was the first to put pen to paper. McNamara brings two years experience at the Professional level, having played for USL side Dayton Dutch Lions. He is a product of the Toronto Lynx Academy program and enjoyed a successful four year NCAA career at the University of Albany.
Also signing was Macca Wilde (right), another former captain of the Toronto Lynx in their PDL days. He too is a Lynx Academy alumni and recently returned from NCAA school Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee. Wilde represented Canada at the U20 level and is also a former Oakville Soccer Club Junior.
Oakville expects to announce additional signings throughout the coming week.
Late on Sunday evening, Woodbridge Strikers, who finished 2nd overall in the 2014 League1 table, announced they have signed former Canadian International Andres Fresenga for the upcoming L1 season.
The 22 year old Fresenga featured last year for NASL side Ottawa Fury before injuries cut his season short. The talented defender, who played for Nacional, Danubio and Racing Club in Uruguay before returning to Canada, is now back to full fitness and will bring leadership and experience to an already talented Strikers side.
Woodbridge will be announcing further signings in the coming week.
The results of the 2015 L1 Cup Draw for the Men's Division was announced to teams on Sunday at league meetings held at The Ontario Soccer Centre.
For 2015, the league's 12 teams will be divided into four equal groups, with each team playing the other teams in their group only once each. The top two teams from each group will advance to a single elimintation, quarterfinal round.
League officials confirmed that group stage matches that end in a draw after regulation time will proceed directly to penalties. In the Quarter-Final, Semi-Final and Final Round, matches that end in a draw after 90 minutes will proceed to two 15 minute overtime periods before heading to penalties in the event the match is still not decided after 120 minutes.
League officials announced to the teams that the intent is to play the L1 Cup Final during the 1st week of August 2015. Exact date is TBA.
The four Men's Division L1 Cup groups break down as follows:
Master's FA Saints
Oakville Blue Devils
Durham United FC
Pro Stars FC
The opening round of Group Matches are scheduled to commence in Late May. The Full L1 Cup Schedule for the Men's Division will be announced soon.
Vaughan Azzurri are the reigning L1 Cup Champions.
The draw for Women's L1 Cup competition will take place this coming week. Stay tuned for more details.