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  HISTORY OF THE TORONTO LYNX
       
   

The Toronto Lynx Soccer Club represents the highest level of men's amateur soccer in North America, playing in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL). The PDL has 67 teams in four conferences and eight conferences spread across North America.  The Toronto Lynx will play in the Great Lakes Division of the Central Conference, joining 2006 PDL Champion and 2007 finalist Michigan Bucks along with the Chicago Fire, Cleveland Internationals, Cincinnati Kings, Forest City London, Indiana Invaders, and Kalamazoo Outrage.  Each team plays a 16-game schedule with a home and away match against each team in the division.The Lynx are joined in the PDL by fellow Canadian clubs the Ottawa Fury, 2008 PDL Champions Thunder Bay Chill, the Vancouver Whitecaps U23's and the Abbotsford Rangers, with the Victoria Highlanders and Forest City London joining the PDL for the upcoming 2009 season.

The Toronto Lynx announced its expansion rights at a Media conference in downtown Toronto on June 24, 1996 and played their first USL First Division game in Jacksonville, Florida in April 12, 1997. The Toronto Lynx set an USL First Division record of 10 consecutive wins during their first season in 1997 and continued to field a very competitive franchise on the field ever since. In 2000, the Lynx proceeded to the Eastern Conference Finals and a 1-0 loss to Rochester kept the Lynx just a step away from the USL First Division Championship game. In 2002, the Lynx narrowly missed the playoffs on the last night of the season, following a dramatic and exciting match against the Atlanta Silverbacks. In 2006 season the Lynx completed their tenth season of showcasing the magic and excitement of the world's beautiful game in Toronto and were inducted into the USL Soccer Hall of Fame for this tremendous achievement. 2008 saw the Lynx qualify for the playoffs for the first time since the glorious 2000 run, and set the tone for future successes for the young and talented players coming through the Toronto Lynx system.

The Toronto Lynx Soccer Club expanded in the fall of 2004 upon acquiring the W-League franchise rights for the city of Toronto, who began play as the Toronto Lady Lynx in the  spring of  2005 at Centennial Park Stadium in Toronto. The W-League represents the highest level of women's soccer in North America.  In 2009, 37 teams will take the field, in three conferences: Eastern Conference (Atlantic Division & Northeast Division; Central Conference (Great Lakes Division and Midwest Division) and the Western Conference. The Lady Lynx will be playing in the newly-renamed Great Lakes Division of the Central Conference along with the Ottawa Fury, Hamilton Lady Avalanche, Laval Comets, London Gryphons, Quebec City Arsenal, Buffalo Flash, and Western New York FC.   The Vancouver Whitecaps of the Western Conference round out the Canadian content of the league.

Over the years, the Toronto Lynx have produced some fine talent as attested by Lynx alumni and star players such as Paul Stalteri, Chris Pozniak, Marco Reda, Dwayne De Rosario, Pat Onstad, Atiba Hutchinson and Adrian Serioux, amongst others.  

HOME VENUE:

The Toronto Lynx and Lady Lynx will split the 2009 season between two primary venues: Centennial Park Stadium and the newly rebuilt Varsity Centre on the campus of the University of Toronto.  The Lynx played out of Varsity Stadium in downtown Toronto from 1997 to 2001. Varsity Stadium was demolished in 2002 to make way for a new proposed development at the University of Toronto and as a result, the Lynx moved to picturesque Centennial Park Stadium in Etobicoke in 2002. This community stadium is located in Centennial Park in the west end of the city providing Torontonians with high quality sports facilities from an Olympic pool, ski chalet, conservatory, golf, mini-indy, indoor soccer facility, picnic areas and of course, Centennial Park Stadium. Centennial Park Stadium has a full sports complex and can accommodate up to 5,000 fans with lawn seating.

TORONTO LYNX MISSION:

The city of Toronto is a city of nations with many diverse ethnic communities that have brought a great passion and knowledge of the game. They have succeeded in passing this love on to their children who play the game in greater numbers than ever before. The Toronto Lynx provides a vehicle for growing this Canadian soccer talent. Our mission is to:

  • To develop and showcase Canadian the highest level of male and female amateur soccer talent in Canada
  • To develop and inspire youth soccer talent
  • To bring together diverse groups in Toronto through the passion of the world's beautiful game

The Lynx provide high quality male and female soccer play in a family-friendly and entertaining setting that's very affordable. Many of the male and female players on the Toronto Lynx roster have played for Canada's national and Olympic teams.  Over the years, the Toronto Lynx has sent a number of players to European clubs to further their careers and showcase the growing talent we have here in our country. 

Soccer has mass appeal and participation because of its status as the world's game.  Soccer is perceived as being a healthy and non-violent sport and with the great number of our young that play soccer and the many young soccer fans that the Toronto Lynx are attracting, the future looks very bright indeed. The future augurs well for the sport as the entire North American soccer scene is growing rapidly. Being at the apex of the playing hierarchy in Ontario, the club is effectively bridging the gap between the recreational/amateur side of the game and spectatorship in support for the highest level played.

With committed ownership, enthusiastic community support and strong corporate sponsors, the Toronto Lynx continue to build on its past successes.   Fans are treated to world-class male and female soccer and receive the best sports entertainment value in the GTA.

The Toronto Lynx aim to reach all age groups in the soccer community and the many ethnic groups that call the Toronto area home via the many community outreach programs that the club has established. The Lynx have built a foundation of loyal fans via the following exciting community outreach programs:

The Toronto Lynx School Program allows educators to enhance their physical education programs through the delivery of soccer clinics by Toronto Lynx players and educational presentations on lifestyle issues. This is capped off every spring with an educational field trip to witness a Lynx match and Lady Lynx match.

The Toronto Lynx also partners with many Youth Soccer Clubs in Southern Ontario providing mentorship programs and special packages for club outings to Lynx and Lady Lynx home games. Game day is often a very exciting time for the many young teams that come out to games where they have the opportunity to be a part of the pre-game ceremonies, to showcase their talent presenting mini scrimmages at half time and to meet their heroes after the match.  Affiliations with the many youth clubs and associations in our province is growing stronger every year with many activities that bring our youth and their Lynx heroes together on and off the field.

The Toronto Lynx Corporate Care Program permits charitable organizations serving youth to attend Toronto Lynx and Lady Lynx home games and also the popular Summer Fantasy Camps courtesy of corporate sponsors. The benefit of these outings to the underprivileged youth is immeasurable. 

The Toronto Lynx Theme Days at home games honour the many diverse groups in our city and permit these to proudly and actively showcase their unique culture and talent during the pre-game ceremonies and at half-time through choirs, bands, demonstrations, mini- games, fundraisers and other promotional activities. Successful community partnerships through these theme days are paramount to the Lynx' continued growth and popularity.

The Toronto Lynx Event Team (players/mascot) take part in many Community Events throughout the year which are often tied to the many community partnerships. These may include fairs, conferences, banquets, tournaments and barbecues in support of many community groups in our city. The Lynx partner with many social, corporate and sports groups in support of their worthwhile causes while receiving support for the fine Canadian soccer talent being showcased by the Lynx. 

The Toronto Lynx also host International Friendly Matches which are a source of great pride for the ethnic communities from which they originate. These games allow the Toronto Lynx to showcase a high brand of pro soccer and to establish even closer ties to the ethnic community from which the club originates. In the past, visiting clubs have included:

- 2005:  Dungannon Swifts, First Division, Ireland
- 2002:  1860 Munich, German Bundesliga, W 1-0
- 2000:  Reggina, Serie A, Italy L 2-0
- 1999:  Santa Clara, Division One, Portugal L 2-1
- 1998:  Persopolis, First Division, Iran W 2-0
 

 
   
 
 
 

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