Manitoba was a pioneering province in the early years of Canadian soccer; not only was the first meeting of the Canadian Soccer Association held here in 1912, but the first two official national champions resided in the province.
The Norwood Wanderers of St.Boniface won the first two Connaught Cup championships -awarded to the national champions – in 1913 and 1914. Winnipeg Scottish were also perennial powerhouses, joining United Weston teams in the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.
The city’s professional history in the sport is not extensive, but the Canadian Soccer League’s Winnipeg Fury did provide the community with a championship in 1992, after shocking the mighty Vancouver 86ers in a two-game series.
The Fury name still resonates in the Canadian soccer community to this day, and Valour FC’s valour-maroon stripe is inspired by the CSL club. The Fury debuted at University Stadium at the University of Manitoba before moving to the old Winnipeg Stadium.
In more recent years, Winnipeg has provided Canada with multiple soccer professionals, including Internationals Desiree Scott and Tony Nocita, pioneer builder Fred Stambrook, and one of the country’s most decorated FIFA officials, Hector Vergara.
Valour FC aspires to help grow that list.
There are 12 Manitoba teams in total who have won either the Connaught Cup or the Challenge Cup, both presented to the national champs:
- Hellas SC, 2009
- Sons of Italy (FV Winnipeg Lions), 2002
- Lucania SC, 2000, 1987
- Manitoba Selects, 1970
- AN&AF Scottish, 1962, 1954
- United Weston FC, 1926, 1924
- Winnipeg Scottish, 1915
- Norwood Wanderers, 1914, 1913