Canadian soccer star Mike Stojanovic dies at 63

Published Nov. 19, 2010 5:29 p.m. ET

Mike Stojanovic, a goal-scoring threat for Canada's national team as well as several clubs in the defunct North American Soccer League, has died. He was 63.

He died at home Thursday, Turner & Porter funeral directors said.

Born in Lapovo, Yugoslavia, now a part of Serbia, Stojanovic came to Canada in 1974 and earned a spot in the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame.

He played for the Rochester Lancers, San Diego Sockers and Golden Bay Earthquakes, all of the NASL. He ranked ninth on the career list with 83 goals when the league folded in 1984.

''I was like a thunderstorm from the center,'' Stojanovic said at his 2009 induction to the hall. ''When I came into the box, I was like a hurricane.''

When he first came to Canada, Stojanovic joined the Serbian White Eagles of the National Soccer League. He scored 52 goals that year, a league record.

Stojanovic made his Canadian national team in 1980, scoring in a 4-0 win over New Zealand in Vancouver. About a month later, he scored Canada's only goal in a 1-1 draw with Mexico in a World Cup qualifier.


The next year he scored in three consecutive matches, two in World Cup qualifiers. But Canada's attempt to reach the 1982 tournament in Spain fell short following a 2-1 loss to Honduras and draws with Mexico and Cuba.

His funeral is Saturday in Campbellville, Ontario.