Rangers-CPSL exhibition tilt still up in air

KATHY RUMLESKI -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:38 AM ET

An all-star team from the Canadian Professional Soccer League may get a chance to play the Glasgow Rangers on Saturday.

The CPSL has spent about two weeks planning for the game but still does not have confirmation from sports agency International Management Group, which is handling the Rangers' training camp in Toronto, that the game has been approved.

"I'd say it's probably 60-40 in (our) favour," CPSL commissioner Cary Kaplan said yesterday. "We're hopeful that we're going to be playing them."

Rangers, champions of the Scottish Premier League, began a nine-day camp on Tuesday at the University of Toronto.

Coming to Canada was seen as a retreat for the Glasgow players, who wanted to get out of the international spotlight in Scotland.

Because they want low-key practices in Toronto, details about the possible exhibition game against the CPSL have been kept under wraps.

Kaplan expressed frustration about that.

"I'm surprised at the extent of the logistics," he said.

Rangers agreed to a game against Croatian powerhouse Dinamo Zagreb slated for Tuesday at the Rogers Centre but expressed an interest in playing a Canadian team.

"They've got the one big game. They don't want anything to get in the way of that game," Kaplan said.

"They're looking for a practice game somewhere, but playing us is a little bit more high maintenance than just playing some team in a backyard somewhere. It's probably easier for them to play an amateur club somewhere in a discreet location."

CPSL officials planned to hold a practice last night and likely will have one more tomorrow with the men selected to play.

London City was asked to send four players -- Eris Tafaj, Gentjan Dervishi, Dennis Peeters and Haidar Al-Shaibani, who will not attend because of an injury.

However, City manager Harry Gauss was unsure if he would send any players to Toronto.

City had a game last night against the St. Catharines Wolves and will play another tomorrow against Toronto Croatia at Cove Road field.

"I want some confirmation. I'm not just sending my players into a pool," Gauss said.

Kaplan said most of the players the CPSL has called on will get a chance to play if the game is approved but there will be a few who will not suit up.


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