Wednesday, 29 January 2014

CSL: Kingston FC - 2014 Kickoff

Yesterday afternoon, Kingston FC held their 2014 Launch Press Conference at the Queen's ARC in the Alumni Lounge.

The team made several announcements about their upcoming 2014 season, some new ownership interests, a new partnership with Queen's University, and some player news.

They also unveiled their new logo (seen here), a new update done by a Toronto based graphic designer, Jennifer Coghill.

During their discussions, they talked about their objectives for 2014 (and beyond), and what the new governance situation with the Canadian Soccer League (CSL) means for them moving forward.

Lorne Abugov, the majority owner of the team, was the primary presenter at the event and discussed the upcoming season in terms of both his personal objectives and team objectives as Kingston FC moves forward, preparing for the upcoming 2014 soccer season.

On field, Abugov has hopes that the team can repeat as regular season champions and add a post-season trophy to the case. He is also looking to strengthen the reserve/second division team with the hopes of winning both divisions this season. He also reiterated the team's commitment to the Canadian Soccer League moving forward noting that Kingston FC would not be taking part in the OSA's League 1 Ontario at this time. He did not exclude the possibility of looking into that league as an option down the road.

Off the field, Abugov wants to continue to have a positive local presence, including working with local clubs, organizations, and others that want to work with the team. The ultimate goal is to become a very professional organization with financial viability for the longer term.

As part of the financial viability goals, three new local minority (~6%) owners were introduced: Shawn Geary (McCoy Bus Service & Tours), Catherine MacLeod (Physiotherapy Kingston), and Belleville businessman Jim Allore. The longer term goal is to expand that to six local minority owners.

Last Friday, the team held invite-only tryouts in Ottawa for close to thirty players. Of these, the team is looking at trying to sign six or seven. These signings will begin in mid-February with CSL Player Contracts being completed at that time. The team hopes to bring back several core members of last year's team, including top CSL goal scorer Guillaume Surot. With expectations of having most of the roster finalized by mid-March, there will be an open tryout held in Kingston in early April to fill the last few spots on the roster with local talent in advance of training camp starting on April 22nd. The CSL season will begin on the weekend of May 24th, and Kingston FC will be playing on the road, with their home opener following on May 31st.

For the 2014 season, Kingston FC will be playing at the Queen's West Campus field again, as part of a new three-year partnership deal with Queen's University. Expanding on the agreements they had in place for the 2013 season, the new deal allows for ticket and merchandise sales online and through the Q-Shop at the Queen's ARC. It also includes the use of facilities for training, both field time and time at the ARC in gyms and fitness rooms.

The most exciting news of the day was the official announcement of Queen's Varsity Men's captain Joe Zupo going on trial with Exeter City FC in England's League Two for the month of February. Go Gaels Go has a full story including a video interview with Joe on the news. The club also announced that Mike Smith and Hugo Delmaire were attending the USL Pro Combine in Florida this week, and that Edgar Soglo, Guillaume Surot, and Jason Massie trialed with Ottawa Fury FC.

The Ottawa Fury FC team is a new NASL team based out of Ottawa that will be starting play this season in the NASL. The NASL has a split season and the Fury are looking at the feasibility of playing an exhibition game in Kingston against Kingston FC during that break which falls between June 8th and July 19th (while the World Cup takes place in Brazil).

There were some discussions on the newly announced Soccer Federation of Canada (SFC), a group that the CSL is apparently one of the driving forces behind. Kingston FC and their ownership have not been directly involved in any of the discussions to this point. The SFC is working with a new federation in the United States and a new professional league named the ASL (American Professional Soccer). Kingston FC will be "twinned" with a team in this league and will be looking to play a home and home series in August and September, with the September game being held in Kingston. The SFC and CSL will be holding logistical meetings with the ASL in Niagara Falls in late February to firm up the specific details of their partnership.

From Abugov's understanding, the SFC is for unaffiliated clubs, leagues, and players, and will not be focused on governance like the CSA and OSA currently are. It will provide insurance for teams and players, similar to the current Canadian associations. He also indicated that the CSL was choosing to operate as a private league, similar to MLB, the NBA, and the NHL.

What this new Soccer Federation of Canada means to the actual play of games and referee situations is still unclear, and it is unclear if (or how) it will affect Kingston FC's interactions with OSA clubs in the Greater Kingston area. It also is unclear if it will affect future player movement, such as trials with professional teams abroad, combine events similar to those run by USL Pro and MLS. It could also affect the feasibility of the proposed exhibition game with the Ottawa Fury this summer.

Regardless, the possible effects have not yet been addressed by either the CSA or the SFC to this point in time and it remains to be seen whether the two groups will be able to work together or not.

A History of Kingston FC's logos

2012 logo as "Kingston Prospect FC" 2013 logo 2014 logo

No comments:

Post a Comment