(May 14, 2018) The 2018 Canada Soccer awards were celebrated on Saturday 5 May in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories after the Annual Meeting of the Members. Three Albertans were honoured over the course of the evening for their long-term dedication to soccer in Canada including Norm Odinga, Dave Gantar and Mike  Traficante.

Canada Soccer President’s Award – Norm Odinga

Norm Odinga of St. Albert received this year’s President’s Award from Canada Soccer President, Stephen Reed for his longstanding participation on Canada Soccer’s Appeals Committee Committee. For more than 10 years, he provided valuable expertise in the areas of discipline and appeals to the betterment of soccer in Canada.The Canada Soccer President’s Award provides recognition and appreciation to a person’s outstanding and unique efforts for an extended period of time, resulting in the positive and constructive development at the national level across Canada. The award winner is selected solely at the discretion of Canada Soccer’s President.

Norm Odinga played a total of seven games with Canada’s Men’s National Team between 1989 and 1993. He participated in the inaugural FIFA Futsal World Cup, the 1989 Jeux de la Francophonie, the North American Nations Cup and the CONCACAF/FIFA World Cup Qualifiers for USA 1994. Norm also had success with professional clubs including winning championships with the Edmonton Eagles and Vancouver 86ers as well as an amateur Challenge Trophy title with the Edmonton Ital-Canadians. He currently possesses his National B Licence and coaches with the St. Albert Impact.

Ray Morgan Memorial Award – Dave Gantar

Dave Gantar has served on the Canada Soccer Referees List since 2004 and the FIFA List of Referees since 2011. Already a Canada Soccer International Achievement Award recipient, Mr. Gantar becomes the 27th recipient of the Ray Morgan Memorial Award since 1980. An official since age 12 at the Edmonton Minor Soccer Association, he became the first person to referee three Canadian Championship final decisive matches when he took charge of the 2017 final, second leg, in Toronto in June. As part of his duties in professional soccer, he served as the Video Assistant Referee for the 2017 MLS Cup final in December.

Over the years, Mr. Gantar has been appointed to officiate at just about every major competition at the professional, national and international level, including the CONCACAF Men’s Under-20 Championship, the CONCACAF Gold Cup, FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, and CONCACAF Champions League. Dave Gantar becomes just one of three Albertans to win this award alongside Mike Seifert (1994) and Derek Douglas (1987).

Canada Soccer Life Membership – Mike Traficante

Mike Traficante has been a player, coach and administrator in Canadian soccer for more than 40 years. As a coach, he led Edmonton Ital-Canadians to Challenge Trophy national titles in 1994 and 1997. He later served as President of the Alberta Soccer Association and was a board member of Canada Soccer. He was also a member of the National Organising Committee for the record-setting FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007 and a Canada Soccer Award of Merit recipient. Mike was awarded Alberta Soccer’s Life Membership in 2015.