On Friday, August 25 Toronto FC honoured Toronto Metros-Croatia at the KIA Training Ground.
Metros-Croatia captured the 1976 Soccer Bowl in stunning fashion. The team was 15-9 and won their last four matches to qualify for the playoffs where they went through the opposition to win seven straight, including the regular season & playoffs, to lift the 1976 Soccer Bowl.
TFC club President Bill Manning sought to recognize the 40th anniversary of that incredible achievement as the Reds mark a milestone of their own with 10 seasons of play in MLS.
On hand from the 1976 Soccer Bowl winning side was forward Ivan Grnja, midfielder Carmine Marcantonio, defender Mladen Cukon, defender Bob Iarusci, defender Paul D'Agostino, forward Pat Ercoli, goalkeeper Zeljko Bilecki and the coach of the team, Marian Bilic as well as staff members Bruce Thomas and Daniel Jaksic.
“It’s an honour for our team to be recognized by Toronto FC after winning the Soccer Bowl 40 years ago,” said Iarusci. “That team was fantastic with a great group of players with a lot of talent. Including one of the greatest of all-time Eusebio and the Brazilian Prince Ivair Ferreira. We had a great mix of young and old and bringing the team together brings back a lot of wonderful memories.”
“This is the third reunion we’ve had after the 25th anniversary and being inducted into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame, five years ago. Sadly, we’ve lost a number of great teammates over the years but it’s always nice to bring the group together and it’s something we’ve all been looking forward to.”
The team was honoured during Toronto FC’s match with the Montreal Impact at BMO Field the following night.