Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 7/11/2008 (4566 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The 1992 Winnipeg Fury soccer team, which will be inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday night and will donate the trophy to the hall, will play an exhibition game against AC Italia senior men's side.
The Fury shocked the Canadian soccer scene when they won the Canadian Soccer League championship and the Mita Cup 16 years ago on the home turf of perennial powerhouse Vancouver 86ers.
Tony Nocita, a defender and one of five local players on that Fury team, said he will always remember what it felt like to be "a bunch of guys from Manitoba" who wrested the trophy away from the 86ers. The 86ers had won it the previous four years.
"It was a given that Vancouver owned the championship every year, they were so dominant, so we probably represented the rest of the country that was trying to pull that title away from them," said Nocita, a former national team player.
"Going into Vancouver, it was almost impossible to think about coming out of there with a result that was positive, but we did. It was huge, monumental as far as I was concerned, for us to win the championship and show the hotbed of soccer in Canada at the time that Manitoba had some very good players. This is something we will always be very proud of."
The win came in thrilling fashion as the Fury defeated Vancouver 2-0 in Winnipeg, then tied 1-1 in Vancouver on captain Steve Millar's goal to win the title in the two-game, combined-score format.
In addition to Nocita, the 1992 Fury included other local players Marcello Paolucci, John Berti, Constantin Ignat and Tony Capasso (unable to attend). They will participate in the exhibition game, as well as players Carlo Corazzin, Paul Fenwick, Ian Carter, Mike Dodd and Kevin Holness, who all went on to be national team players, and former CSL all-star defender Peter Sarantopoulos, John Gasparic, Brett Pence, goalkeeper Kent Kowalski, and Millar.
The team staff included head coach Tom McManus, general manager Laurie McIvor, assistant general manager Dr. Gerald Olin, chairman and founder Ralph Cantafio, team doctor Mike Mackay and athletic therapist Mary Turner.