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The History Of Ukrainian Soccer In Canada

The Global Game is one of the internet's most interesting soccer sites, and specializes in the kind of full-length features that other outlets rarely bother with in the fast-moving online world of quick quotes and one-sentence paragraphs. But you should take the time to read John Turnbull's latest piece about the Ukrainian soccer Diaspora in Canada.
The article begins with a game played last month in Ontario between Ukraine United, which wears "the blue and yellow of its homeland, a representation of the sky and wheat fields of Europe's breadbasket," and FC Shakhtar, dressed in "the bright orange shirts and black shorts said to symbolize the shift workers emerging from the antiquated coal piles." From here, Turnbull traces the history of four generations of Ukrainian immigrants going back to the first wave of arrivals "lured by 160-acre homesteading offers in the Prairie provinces, [who] preceded the Russian Revolution of 1917 by some 20 years."
Turnbull talks to some of the latter-day immigrants, such as Vladimir Koval, who signed a professional contract with a Ukrainian second division team at aged 1, but left his native Lviv to join his brother in Toronto, and played in the former Canadian Professional Soccer League for teams such as the Mississauga Eagles and Toronto Croatia. Because, as the player says, "Things change, people can leave."

Read the whole story at The Global Game »

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