Striker: Domenic Mobilio
Team: Vancouver 86ers
POB: Vancouver, BC
Domenic Mobilio was a local boy raised in the lower mainland on the east side of Vancouver who grew up in a soccer loving Italian family.
As a child, he and his family were keen fans of the original incarnation of the Vancouver Whitecaps, and fellow Italian-Canadian Bobby Lenarduzzi. According to several accounts, he would often sneak into the venerable Empire Field to see his local soccer heroes.
However, Mobilio was not a natural defender like the iconic Lenarduzzi.
He was a natural born striker and as an 18 year old, his skills at finding the net were such that he became one of the original signings of the Vancouver 86ers as they rejoined the world of North American professional soccer in 1986, two years after the original ‘Caps folded.
Mobilio was a very reliable striker. He scored consistently from year to year, and is greatly underrated even in the history of Canadian soccer.
Rarely the scorer of the spectacular strike, Mobilio was much more of a goal area poacher in the mold of revered English forward Gary Lineker.
He had great vision and a knack for finding the space between defenders when he sensed an opportunity arising.
His talent for finding the net was so acute for the 86ers that he remains the second leading scorer in the history of North American pro soccer with 167 goals.
There he stays behind only Giorgio Chinaglia, a former Italian great who was an early convert from Europe to the famed NASL glory days of the 70s and 80s.
Mobilio also found success at the national level, tallying three times in 25 caps for Canada against Honduras, El Salvador and Australia.
His final international was a November 1997 World Cup qualification match against the USA.
Sadly, the talented Mobilio had an untimely demise, passing away as the victim of a surprise heart attack aged just 35, while returning in his car from an amateur game of the sport he loved so much.
He was inducted into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame in 2006, and he was inducted into the Baltimore Blast Hall of Fame on February 16, 2008.
He was an underappreciated talent who deserves a lot more recognition.
Rest in peace Domenic.