Maccabi men’s soccer team wins more than a game

The Maccabi Toronto men’s team captured the TSSL premier league title for the 3rd time in the last 4 years. The season was toped off with winning the Divisional cup and finalist in the TSSL Cup.  The team was narrowly defeated on penalties in the TSSL Cup to end their stellar season of 19 wins; 3 ties ; 4 losses.

Maccabi men’s team has always been a home for many of Toronto’s top Jewish players as well as provide an opportunity for many of the players to play together in advance of the Maccabiah and Pan American games. The roster included many players who represented Canada at the 20th Maccabiah games in Israel this past July.

Unique is exactly how one would describe this year’s team roster from past years.  The team embodied players from 3 different Maccabi soccer teams: Masters, Open and Junior.   Roster included 2017 Maccabi Masters player Yair Rabinovitch, Open players Zach Stemmer, Greg Zatulovsky, and Dror David, junior coaches Jason Mausberg and Josh Bennett,  and U16 player Jacob Mausberg. In addition Dan Frankel, Gil Vainshtein, Cuneyt Gulerce, and Ilan Friedman competed in previous Maccabiah games as well as Erilk Waisman and Ilya Orlov (not included in the photo).

The Maccabi men’s team remarkably clinched the league cup with three games to go in the schedule which opened the door for five of Maccabi Toronto’s youth U16  players to be called up and play with the men’s side. These 5 players saw action and did much more than just hold their own on the pitch.  Twelve players from Maccabi Toronto’s U16 youth rep soccer program, which started seven years ago to develop young soccer talent, were selected to play on the Canadian Junior U16 team at the 2017 Maccabiah games.  The next step for these players is to begin training with the men’s team and gain valuable experience which will put them in a much stronger position as they embark on their path to play with their respective university teams.

In the championship game of the TSSL Cup, the team fell short after extra time in penalty shots. Most say that penalty shoot outs are a flip of a coin or 50/ 50. Well fair is fair and the men won their Divisional Cup finals in penalty shots. The two trophies this season plus the six trophies in the previous three years, give the team eight cups and two second place Cup finishes, which some would call a dynasty. For the Maccabi men’s team it is just the start for a whole new generation of players.