Achieving the (near) impossible

The FC LONDON Women’s Team, who went undefeated during the 2018 regular season, are joined here by fans who travelled to Ottawa for a game

In the spirit of constantly raising the bar in Ontario soccer, FC LONDON’s League1 Ontario Women’s team have done it again. With a record of 11-0-1 after the regular season, the squad launched into first place heading into the playoffs by going undefeated throughout the 2018 regular campaign, finishing with 39 goals for and only 9 against. At the time of this writing, the team was preparing for a two-game playoff between the top four teams to determine the league champion. For the third year in a row, London striker Jade Kovacevic led the league in goals (18) during the regular season.

“It’s quite an achievement to go undefeated for four solid months, but this team continues to surprise and impress,” Head Coach Mike Marcoccia said. “Now we’ll have to figure out how to top it again next year.”

On the men’s side, also under the guidance of Marcoccia, the team stepped up from last year. The unique playoff structure this year will see the final top eight teams broken into two 4-team divisions. In Champions League style, each will compete to determine a group winner. The top team in each group will compete in the final. The winner of the men’s competition progresses to the pool of teams entered in the CONCACAF championship in 2019 against the top teams – from Vancouver Whitecaps, Montreal Impact and Toronto FC.

“We’ve got a solid squad that is competing at the highest level,” said Marcoccia. “With the right bounces, any team can take a shot at the championship, leading the way for even bigger things next year.”

One of those bigger things is the new Canadian Professional League, which starts play in 2019 and opens the door for elite players to gain ‘professional status,’ an important first step to playing not only in Canada, but overseas as well.

On the youth side, FC LONDON’s ‘London TFC Academy’ completed its first year in OPDL for U13 boys and girls. This will expand in 2019 to U13 and U14 players. FC LONDON is creating a solid pathway for players, regardless of gender or level of play. This 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 an exciting time,” says club CEO Ian Campbell. “We’re always looking for ways to create opportunities for players, and we’re on the right track to find that right formula to make it a win-win for everyone.”

Submitted by FC LONDON