The 2018 season was a banner year for FC LONDON, headed by League1 Ontario head coach Michael Marcoccia, who gathered hardware and honours throughout the year. The FC LONDON Men’s team went 13-5-2, had five players named all-stars, and rostered the league’s Young Player of the Year (Marko Malitek). Meanwhile, Marcoccia led the women’s team to a record of 12-2-1 and a third straight regular season championship. Six women were named all-stars, and Jade Kovacevic earned Golden Boot MVP honours for the third year in a row.
Marcoccia has confirmed a contract which will keep him as the head coach of the club throughout the 2019 outdoor season.
“I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to achieve as a club,” says Marcoccia. “The management gives me flexibility in picking the squad and applying training methodologies that are proven winners worldwide. Our goal now is to continue with this momentum into 2019.”
On the men’s side, the Canadian soccer landscape changes with the debut of the Canadian Premier League, scheduled to start in 2019. An affiliation between League1 Ontario and CPL will start to create a true pathway for players to a professional environment. League1 coaches are working directly with CPL ownership groups and head coaches to coordinate trials, creating opportunities for players who are looking to join professional teams.
“CPL is a great complement to the Canadian landscape,” says Marcoccia. “Having our own men’s league … and the possibility of a professional women’s league in the future … will allow Canada to be more competitive on the world stage.”
On the youth side, FC LONDON’s ‘London TFC Academy’ has completed its first year in the OPDL for U13 boys and girls. This will expand in 2019 to U13 and U14 players, who will get their chance to compete against other top youth players around the province.
With teams playing in the Ontario Academy Soccer League and the Ontario Player Development League, FC LONDON is creating a solid pathway for players, regardless of gender or level of play, which in combination with its U21 programs for young men and women bodes well for the continued growth and development of London and area players.
“From our professional team partnership with 2017 MLS Champion Toronto FC, through to our local partnerships with Strathroy United SC, St. Thomas FC and Lambeth Soccer Club, it’s definitely an exciting time,” says FC LONDON CEO Ian Campbell. “We’re always looking for ways to create opportunities for players, and we seem to be on the right track to find that right formula to make it a win-win for everyone.”
Keep track of all the FC LONDON news at www.FCLONDON.ca.
Submitted by London FC