Home Canadian Soccer Men's National Team Brampton, Ontario … The greatest soccer city in Canada

Brampton, Ontario … The greatest soccer city in Canada

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There’s no doubt about it. Canada’s soccer capital is…

Brampton, Ont.

Flowertown —the place that gave Canada Rick Nash, Scott Thompson from the Kids in the Hall, Michael Cera, Alan Thicke, Russell Peters, Rohinton Mistry and, ahem, this writer, is unquestionably the place to be if you want to raise a child who is going to be a soccer prodigy.

Canada named its roster for a pair of U-20 friendlies against the United States, to be played Dec. 16 and 18 in Sunrise, Fla., where Canadian national teams often hold winter training camps.

The Canadian U-20 team may as well change its name to Brampton United.

Toronto FC’s Doneil Henry leads the defensive crew. He’s from Brampton. So is fellow Canadian defender Roger Thompson.

Midfielder Jaineil Hoilett, brother of Blackburn Rovers up-and-comer Junior Hoilett, is on the team. He and his brother grew up a stone’s throw from the Bramalea City Centre, the biggest mall in the city of about 350,000. The Vancouver Whitecaps’ Kevin Cobby and Sheridan College’s Jonathan Osorio also made the team.

TFC striker Nicholas Lindsay and Portugal FC forward Massimo Mirabelli are both from Brampton. Both will be making the trip to Sunrise.

That’s seven players on the roster from Brampton.

Wow.

In 2009, I asked Jaineil why Brampton was such a soccer hotbed. He talked about how the city was so important to both himself and his brother.

“I think Brampton, compared with the big city, there’s not a lot to do, so we [Junior and Jaineil] focused on playing soccer,” he said. “In Toronto, there are so many things to do, so many distractions. In Brampton, we just played sports, played against each other.”

Paul Stalteri, who has more Canadian caps than any other player in history, is from Brampton. Atiba Hutchinson, who got my vote for Canadian player of the year in 2010, is from Brampton.

It’s like a broken record, isn’t it?

Dwayne De Rosario and Julian de Guzman can talk all they want about Scarborough’s soccer heritage; the famed Erin Mills Soccer Club, a factory for youth talent, is in Mississauga. The Whitecaps have their famed Residency program in Vancouver. Sorry.

The kids have gotta come from Brampton. They’ve got to know where to go to get to the Four Corners, to know to ask anyone from Bramalea what “section” he or she is from. They’ve wolfed down burger sat Sonny’s and been ejected from the food pit at the City Centre. They know how to pronounce “Chinguacousy.” Their homes have been buzzed by planes on their landing approaches to Pearson International Airport.

Brampton. Canada’s No. 1 soccer town.

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11 Comments

  1. George gillespie

    October 22, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    My name is George Gillespie – I played for Chinguacousy Thistle in 1976 – Peter Roe (probably the one mentioned above’s father?) ran the club, along with Eddie Davis. I remember playing against Brampton City, Toronto Emerald and Scarborough Italia. Some of the players I remember are: Billy Johnston, Keith Rushton, Glen…(inside forward), John Mc…(full back), Bobby Lennox, Ian… (goalkeeper), John Mylar.
    I have now moved back to Scotland, but have good memories of that time.

    Good luck to all the teams in the Brampton area.

    Reply

    • Billy Johnston

      March 24, 2015 at 9:14 pm

      George !! I cant believe it ! I was messing around on this and your post popped up . How are you doing mate. After all these years to hear from you.Unfortunately George there are none of the old teams left in Brampton as a lot has changed as I,m sure back home has. Eddie Davis and John McCush both passed away but I still see a few of the guys from time to time and we are all OLD !
      Send me your E-Mail address George so that we can connect again and talk about the great days in Bramalea ! Still cant believe it
      billjohnstonatw@cogeco.ca

      Reply

  2. fluolouse

    January 21, 2011 at 2:18 am

    I love the11.ca! Here I always find a lot of helpful information for myself. Thank you for your work.

    Reply

  3. Michael Robinson

    January 13, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    The list can run even deeper. I knew your brothers and the others mentioned. There were few on Peter’s team that played in the NASL. I haven grouped them on my facebook page. Michael E Robinson on Facebook

    Reply

  4. mark toale

    December 17, 2010 at 2:25 am

    I couldn’t agree more and you haven’t even gone back that far in the history of soccer in Brampton. Brothers Peter and Paul Roe, both played in the NASL and I know Peter had several caps for the men’s national team (I’m not sure about Paul). Jimmy McLaughlin represented Canada in 1976 Olympics. Jason Bent, current academy coach at TFC, represented Canada and had an MLS and European career. You also forgot to mention Iain Hume. The youth clubs from Brampton have always done well and so have the men’s competitive amateur teams going back to Bramalea Thistle, Brampton City, Academica and many more.

    Reply

    • Steven Sandor

      December 17, 2010 at 9:00 am

      Actually, my brothers, who played at an elite level in Brampton, knew the Roes quite well!

      Reply

    • Billy Rodgers

      January 8, 2015 at 11:29 am

      Hi mark dont know if u r related to Steve but I played with Steve when we beat Toronto emeralds in the playoffs in 1983 I know it’s a long ago but always how he was getting on

      Reply

      • Mark TOALE

        March 13, 2015 at 12:53 am

        Steve is my eldest brother. He’s doing well and still playing with some of same guys from the Emerald. They get together once a year.

        Reply

        • Billy Rodgers

          July 13, 2015 at 2:39 pm

          Hi mark good to know Steve still doing ok Could you tell him I was wondering if he still had a team photo of the Brampton team of 83 as I went back to Scotland before I could get a copy

          Reply

          • Bill Johnston

            July 14, 2015 at 7:06 am

            Hi Billy Ypu will remember me no doubt., Billy Johnston. How are you doing ? I stumbled across your post by accident but its always good to hear from someone from the good old days. I was playing with Brampton City in that Emerald game if you remember having played for Emerald the year before – good memories.You came from Irvine as I remember . Are you still there? I played golf with Steve Toale just last week funnily enough but I hadn’t seen this post yet or I would have mentioned it to him
            If I see him again soon I will ask him about the Brampton Pic.. I also see Sammy Murdoch fairly regularly so I will mention it to him as well

    • Fernando faria

      July 21, 2016 at 3:53 pm

      You got it, thistle,city and academica great games. Loved it,and miss it.

      Reply

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