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Looking back on 2019

By Staff, 12/27/19, 8:30AM EST


Find some of the best photos, video and moments from a year which showcased what the sport has to offer in Ontario

Play. Inspire. Unite. 

As 2019 winds down, Ontario Soccer are taking a look back at some of the moments that defined the sport in our province in the past year. 

From celebrations to smiles, 2019 was a year that broke new ground and highlighted what makes soccer great. 

Thank you to all those who made our game beautiful in 2019. 

Ontario Indoor Cup kicks 2019 off right

An annual event, the Ontario Indoor Cup is the first competition of the year for most clubs and offers the opportunity to get your year off on the right foot.

This year's Finals take place at the Ontario Soccer Centre on Jan. 25-26 and Feb. 8-9. 

Click here to see the early rounds and draws

Click here and here to find stories on the 2019 winners. 

Ontario Futsal Cup comes to the forefront

Always a passionate and high-paced affair, the Ontario Futsal Cup expanded the number of divisions again in 2019 and showcased some of the best the sport has to offer. 

GTA Futsal won the Men's division final and finished with a bronze medal at the Futsal Canadian Championship. 

Toronto Idolo won their second straight Canadian Championship.

In 2020, the Ontario Futsal Cup finals for the U-18 division will be part of the Ontario Winter Games, which will take place Feb. 27- March 1, 2020. 

Ontario Soccer Summit another sell-out success

The Ontario Soccer Summit, presented by Respect in Sport, hit new heights in 2019.

On the final day of the 2019 Ontario Soccer Summit, Ontario Soccer announced the date, location of the host city and district for the 2020 Ontario Soccer Summit and its headline, keynote speaker.

The City of Hamilton will be the location of the 2020 Ontario Soccer Summit, held Feb. 21-23, 2020 at Redeemer College.

And the first keynote speaker of Ontario Soccer Summit 2020 will be Victor Montagliani, FIFA Vice-President and CONCACAF President.

In addition to recording its fastest ever sell-out in 2019, over 500 delegates from across Ontario and Canada attended the Ontario Soccer Summit, in London, ON, for their personal and professional growth.

Ontario Soccer announced its 2019-2021 Strategic Plan

Ontario Soccer announced its 2019-2021 Strategic Plan early in 2019. 

At the Ontario Soccer Summit, delegates got a first look back on the recent successes at Ontario Soccer and a deeper dive into the areas Ontario Soccer will target over the next three years. 

Ontario Soccer unveils Best Practices Guide for developing Match Officials

Ontario Soccer is investing in its Match Officials.

As part of its Long Term Officials Development (LTOD), a strategic initiative aimed at providing standards-based education and development for Match Officials, Ontario Soccer unveiled the Club Best Practices guide in March – a Comprehensive Guideline for Match Officials Development Programming at the Club level.

The first of its kind, this document will be used to assist Club Head Referees with the programming at their Clubs and raise the level of match officiating across the province.

Click here to find out more about the Best Practices Guide for developing Match Officials

Ontario teams advance to Gatorade 5v5 Challenge Global Final

Two Ontario Player Development League teams qualified for the Gatorade 5v5 Global finals and competed with over 20 other countries on the world stage. 

This year saw two new finalists, as Oakville SC and hosts United FA won their respective competitions, received a Gatorade Sweat Test and the enviable chance to travel to Spain as the Canadian representatives in the Global Final. 

Click here to read more about the Gatorade 5v5 Finals

Ontario teams dominant at Inter-Provincial Competition

Ontario Soccer's provincial teams put on a dominant performance at the Inter-Provincial competition in April. 

The U-14, U-15 and U-16 teams, for both the boys and girls groups, represented their province as Team Ontario, when they took on the provincial squads from Quebec at the Centre Sportif Rosanne-Laflamme in Saint-Hubert, Quebec.

The Ontario provincial teams played squads from Quebec, three times over the three days, offering them the opportunity to play against top-level competition in a high-performance environment.

Ontario teams finished the inter-provincial competition with a combined record of 10 wins, 2 draws and 6 losses. 

Click here to read more about the results. 

New leadership added to Ontario Soccer Board of Directors

Ontario Soccer elected new members to its Board of Directors at the Annual Meeting of the Members (AMM) in June. 

In the second election under the new modernized governance structure, four Board members were elected to help lead the strategy of soccer in the province.

Joining the Ontario Soccer Board of Directors for the first time was Matt Williams, who was elected as the Regional Director – East. Alice Strachan returned after being elected as Regional Director – South, Sergio Folino returned after being elected as Designated Director and Michael Szubelak also returned as an Independent Director.  

Click here to read more about the AMM

Soccer leaders honoured at Centre Circle Awards 2019

Volunteers from all over the province were recognized at the Centre Circle Awards. 

A classy, gala event, presented by Nothers Signs and Recognition, the evening of awards honoured those who have made outstanding contributions to the game.

Coaches, clubs, leagues, match officials, administrators and those who have dedicated a lifetime to the game, all took a moment to stand in the spotlight of the Centre Circle. 

Click here to read more about the Centre Circle Awards 2019. 

Ontario Soccer Club & Academy Registry launches

Ontario Soccer was pleased to announce the launch of its new registration platform, which serves to connect soccer in the province like never before.

Ontario Soccer Club & Academy Registry (OSCAR), previously referred as the Member Management Registration System, was built in association with SportsEngine, the Official Technology Partner of Ontario Soccer and Ontario Soccer officially retired its AIMS reporting system.

Click here to read more about the announcement. 

Match Official Appreciation Day showcases the Spirit of the Game

Ontario Soccer and Toronto FC were proud to present the 4th Annual Match Officials Appreciation Day this past year. 

The Spirit of the Game Awards recognizes individuals and organizations who are providing leadership and service to the match official community. 

The ceremony for the Match Officials Appreciation awards, which took place at the BMO Club at BMO Field, saw officials from across the province honoured for their role in either helping to develop match officials or for their outstanding performances as match officials. 

As part of the day, a percentage of the proceeds from each ticket sold to the event was donated to help equip Ontario Soccer fields with life-saving defibrillators. 

Click here to find the winners of the Spirit of the Game Awards

Circle K becomes the Grassroots 2v2 Festival Celebration Headquarters

Ontario Soccer and Circle K announced in July that Circle K, a Convenience Store industry-leader, would join Ontario Soccer as a Premier Partner of the provincial organization and the exclusive title partner of the Ontario Soccer Grassroots Program.

Circle K took on activation and promotional rights with the Ontario Cup, the Ontario Soccer Summit, Centre Circle Awards and other events.

Circle K’s presence was also found at marquee Ontario Soccer Grassroots 2v2 Festivals, which were held across the province. 

HUB International Presents: Session Prep

HUB International and Ontario Soccer are proud to present a series of Coaching Development videos targeted at helping coaches of all levels. 

The HUB International Session Prep series focuses on different topics relevant to educating today’s coaches further. The series includes how to conduct dynamic warm-ups, the walkthrough, coaching methodology, how to execute small-sided games, phase of play, analytical activities and more.

In these videos coaches will learn a variety of different ways to enhance their own sessions on the field, off the field and with their players to prepare for game day.

Each video thoroughly explains their objective through a specific coaching topic and breaks down how to properly implement and achieve the same in your own setting.

Coaches of all levels can watch and learn how players demonstrate, rehearse and perform each exercise/practice seamlessly.

OPDL Cup finals saw four champions crowned

The Boys and Girls U-15 and U-17 OPDL Cup winners were crowned this past August. 

Ottawa South United won a pair of titles as Markham SC and Richmond Hill also won their respective divisions. 

The OPDL Cup, in its third year in 2019, is a single-game knockout format, which is intended to introduce another level of intense competition into OPDL. 

Click here to relive all the action. 

Female Leadership Days held across the province

Ontario Soccer believes in the need to develop our next generation of female leaders on and off the pitch. 

Hosted in partnership with districts and local organizations, Female Leadership Days were held across Ontario in 2019. 

Nancy Spotton, the CEO of MPWR, and a variety of other speakers led days of discovery about individuals and connecting with others. Attendees were left Inspired, United and Connected.

First-ever Academy Cup champions crowned

The Ontario Academy Soccer League season came to a close with the first-ever Academy Cup champions being crowned in 2019. 

The U-15, U-16 and U-17 boys divisions wrapped up their seasons in front of crowds at the Ontario Soccer Centre stadium. 

Click here to read more from the finals.

Ontario Cup winners claim 3 medals at Toyota National Championships

The Ontario Cup, the Provincial Soccer Championship, is the largest Club competition of its kind in Canada. One of the oldest sporting events in the country, Ontario Soccer’s Ontario Cup was first staged in 1915 and has operated continuously, with the exception of the World War II period. The 2020 Ontario Cup will mark the 105th year of the Competition.

Each year, 12,000 athletes from all across the province compete for the Championship. The competition commences in May, with more than 600 teams drawn into either a Knock-Out round or a Round-Robin style tournament. The Ontario Cup Tournament culminates with the Final Round usually being hosted at the Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan, Ontario, with the added prize of a National Club Championship in the Under 15's, Under 17's, Men's and Women's divisions. The Ontario Cup is classified under LTPD as a “Soccer For Life” competition.

Twelve teams were crowned Ontario Cup champions in 2019, with six of those moving on to the Toyota National Championships.

Find coverage from all the Ontario Cup finals. Weekend 1, Weekend 2 and Weekend 3

Three Ontario teams would go on to win medals at the Toyota National Championships. 

OPDL wrapped its sixth season in style

Ontario Soccer’s Ontario Player Development League (OPDL), presented by Toronto FC, officially wrapped up its sixth season this year, as the OPDL Charity Shield match-ups took place at the Ontario Soccer Centre.

The top teams from the boys and girls U-14, U-15 and U-17 divisions competed in one game finals, in front of a packed house at the venue in Vaughan.

In the girls divisions, Markham SC came away with two title wins in the U-14 and U-15 divisions. In the U-17 division, Ottawa South United completed the treble by winning the Charity Shield, having previously won the league and OPDL Cup.

In the boys division, the Woodbridge Strikers also came away with two title wins as they collected hardware in the U-14 and U-15 divisions. North Toronto put on a dominant display in the U-17 Boys OPDL Charity Shield to capture their own title.

While the OPDL Charity Shield is an integral opportunity to showcase the immense talent found within the OPDL before fellow OPDL members, scouts and families, the Charity Shield also raises money for Ontario charities.

Click here to find coverage from each of the finals. 

See you in 2020 Ontario