Munster passed over as MVP

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:26 AM ET

Star striker Paul Munster scored plenty of hat tricks on the field this summer, but he couldn't bag another three at the Canadian Professional Soccer League awards banquet last weekend.

The 22-year-old from Northern Ireland, who racked up an eye-popping 25 goals for London City, was named the league's top scorer and rookie of the year but was passed over for the CPSL's biggest prize -- most valuable player.

The league MVP went to Toronto Supra midfielder and former Portuguese pro player Danny Amaral, who finished second in scoring, 10 goals behind Munster.

Each team in the league nominates an individual for major awards and then one representative from each team casts a vote. The only hitch is the rep can't vote for his own player.

"It's petty jealousies. There's no credible reason why Munster shouldn't have won the MVP," said City head coach and GM Harry Gauss.

"Why can't you give a deserving player all three awards?

"I guess it comes down to whether you're picking the best player in the league or a good player on a great team. Munster's biggest fault is he doesn't play defence and goalkeeper, too.

"I never thought I would have to start lobbying for these awards, but it looks like that's how it's going to be."

Munster's City team missed the playoffs with a 7-10-3 record while Toronto Supra won the Eastern Conference title with a 14-2-4 record.

"He scored 25 of (City's 35 goals). You don't get much more valuable than that," Gauss said.

Amaral scored 15 times for a team that scored 49 goals this season.

Chances are Munster isn't too worried about the slight -- he's currently on a three-week tryout with Czech pro league power Slavia Prague. The Belfast native, who was working at a soccer centre in Kitchener, suffered a knee injury two years ago and came to City this summer as part of a pro comeback bid.

Other CPSL winners included Windsor Border Stars' Justin Marshall (top defender), Toronto Croatia's George Azcurra (top keeper), Windsor's Pat Hilton (coach of the year) and Amato De Luca (top official).

Toronto Croatia won the playoff title on Monday with a 4-0 win over the Vaughan Shooters in Brampton.

Bazos on board

Londoner Kate Bazos will compete for Canada at the world under-19 girls' championships in Thailand Nov. 10-27. The midfielder was among the first 17 players named to the squad with four more to be picked by head coach Ian Bridge on Oct. 22.

The Canadian women were runners-up to the United States in the inaugural world championship two years ago in Edmonton.

London F.C. launched

Local coach Ian Knight's London F.C. soccer club has teamed with Velocity Sport Performance to launch a pro development program in the Forest City.

London F.C. will offer year-round coaching services, coach education clinics and individual technical and skill development through its academy. Phone Knight at 652-8212 for more info.


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