Columbus FC and its alumni are hoping to reach another level of Canadian soccer.

The strong influence of the Italian club continues with the recent election of Charlie Cuzzetto as president of B.C. Soccer, Vic Montagliani as vice-president of the Canadian Soccer Association and past president of B.C. Soccer and Bobby Lenarduzzi as president of the Vancouver Whitecaps, which recently was granted a franchise into Major League Soccer.

Other Columbus alumni include: Dan Lenarduzzi as Whitecaps youth director; and youth coaches Frank Ciaccia, Elio Ciaccia, Joe Cuzzetto, Carmen D'Onofrio, Carlo Alberti and Dino Alberti.

The alumni has played a major role in youth development through the following successful academies: Mike Bernardis and CSSA soccer academy, Ultimate Soccer School and the Excel soccer program.

In May of this year, the over-35 Columbus masters team coached and managed by Rob Alberti won the Provincial Cup and now will be competing for the Canadian championship in October.

In its 55-year history, Columbus has won numerous league and provincial cups, including four Canadian championships and one Canadian masters over-35 title.

Led by Joe Papa, Columbus's re-emergence in the Vancouver Metro Soccer League premier league over the last six years has been a real success story. In that time, Columbus-Clan has been a finalist at the Canadian national championships and a runner-up at the Canada Cup, while winning one Western Canada open cup championship, one Provincial Cup in 2007 and two Imperial Cups in 2006 and '07.

It is clear that Columbus's proud tradition and influence will continue both on the field and in the boardrooms.

Currently, Columbus FC is in the process of becoming a society and are always seeking members to join them in keeping the Columbus tradition alive and successful.

They encourage the Italian community to be part of something that meant so much in the past and has the promise to continue building Columbus as one of Canada's most prestigious amateur soccer clubs. Please visit the Columbus website at For further info, contact Rob Mascitti at

© Burnaby Now 2009