CSL-Canadian Premier League

CSL-Canadian Premier League

CLS-Canadian Premier League or Canadian Soccer League is a professional football league in Canada that began playing in 2019. The country’s first national football championship is at the top of the Canadian Football League system. The league consists of seven teams, from five of Canada’s 10 provinces. The regular season lasts from April to October and consists of two separate tournaments: the spring season and the fall season. The season culminates in the tournament, which takes place among the winners of the second season.

The champion gets a seat in the CONCACAF League, where he plays against teams from Central America and the Caribbean. All Canadian league teams also play in the Canadian Championship against Canadian clubs from other leagues. The Canadian Football Association officially approved the league on May 6, 2017, originally with the 2018 public launch date, which was later postponed to 2019. The league focuses on improving Canada’s national football and sports talent, with many rules in place to ensure this. This includes the minimum share of Canadian players on team rosters and starting formation, the requirements of players under the age of 21, and the university draft.

The CLS-Canadian Premier League uses a club-based system, unlike the franchise-based system used in Major League Soccer and other sports leagues in North America, to add more teams and get promotions and eventual relegation within the Canadian Football League system. It is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario with plans to establish a second office in Hamilton, Ontario.

Competition’s History

CSL-Canadian Premier League
CSL-Canadian Premier League

A new CLS-Canadian Premier League, Canadian professional football league was reported in June 2013. Hamilton Tigers owner Cats Bob Yang has reportedly been part of a core group of investors working with the Canadian Football Association and its president Victor Montagliani to create a new group of fully professional or league teams in Canada. The Tiger-Cats ownership group was granted exclusive rights by the Canadian Football Federation until 2017 to establish a team playing at Tim Hortons Stadium in Hamilton. In February 2016, league reports emerged again when Bob Yang spoke to Hamilton City Council requesting permission to set up an air dome at Tim Hortons Field between December 1 and April 30 annually to allow training throughout the new professional year of a football team that would invite the local stadium.

During the board members’ questions, it was revealed that the league name would be the Canadian Premier League and that the Hamilton team was expected to be the main franchise.

More details were expected after the Canadian Football Federation’s annual meeting in May 2016. In a March 2016 interview, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber explained that, as he understood it, the league would be a “lower division” of the Canadian Football League system but did not discuss it with Canadian counterparts. Reports in June suggested that the CLS-Canadian Premier League would avoid the current major football markets.

On November 14, the first official in the Canadian Premier League was announced. Paul Byrne, a Canadian who was Toronto FC’s first employee, was appointed project manager in the new league. On May 6, 2017, the league was unanimously approved and the Canadian Football Association was sanctioned. Ownership groups have also been approved in Winnipeg and Hamilton.

On April 27, 2018, the Canadian Premier League unveiled its logo and new brand. The three colors of the logo, dark green, dark blue, and ocean blue, indicate “cultural mosaics as seen through the colors in the northern lights.” A red version will be used on Canada Day and when teams play in events such as the CONCACAF Champions League and the Canadian Championship. The logo features three main aspects – the North Star to serve as a “beacon of talent”, four episodes to denote the ball, Canadian coasts, and the entire country, while the maple leaf reflects the country.

Two days later, Byrne announced that the difference would be revealed almost weekly. On 5 May, the Canadian Football Federation accepted club membership in Halifax, York Province, Calgary, and Port City (an undisclosed location in British Columbia), confirming their admission to the league. It was confirmed on 1 June that the Port Royal team would be based on Vancouver Island, ending speculation that the team would be located in Surrey.

The first team, York Nine FC, was unveiled on May 10, with co-owners Jim Brennan, Briben Ganzhorn, Byrne, and Clanachan. This was followed by the Calgary-based Cavalry FC team on 17 May 2018, the Halifax Club’s Aich FX Wanders on 25 May, then the FC Falor in Winnipeg on 6 June, and the former North American Soccer League team was reconfigured with the FC Edmond team on 8 June. World Cup 2018, Hamilton Forge FC was the next reveal on July 12, followed by Pacific Langford on Vancouver Island on July 20.

On September 28, 2018, the Italian sportswear company Macron was announced as the official supplier of clothes in the Canadian League. Macron Company will provide training equipment and customized tools for each team in the tournament. The Canadian Premier League opener between Forgie FC and York Nine FC took place at Tim Hortons Stadium on April 27, 2019, resulting in a 1-1 draw.

The Teams

Seven clubs compete in the first season of the CLS-Canadian Premier League. Only Club Edmonton predates the tournament, having been a member of the North American Football League, as well as participated in the Canadian Championship seven times before joining the league. The remaining six teams were established to compete in the league. Alberta and Ontario each have two teams each, while British Columbia, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia each have one team. Both teams in the same province have a series of contests: Clasico between Cavalry Club and Edmonton Club, and Derby 905 between Forgie Club and York Nine, named for the common area symbol by both teams as Atlético Ottawa subsequently joined.

Matches between Pacific and HFX Wanderers require the third-longest road trip of any professional football league in the world, with the teams separated by 4,476 kilometers (2,781 miles). The 905 Derby, between Forge Club and York Nine, is the shortest distance between two clubs within 70 km (43 miles). Teams follow a club-based system that resembles European leagues in which clubs are independent members of the league, rather than franchises as shown in major soccer leagues and other North American sports leagues.

The Potential Expansion

In 2017, New Soccer Brunswick expressed interest in bringing a professional team to Moncton by 2020. A Saskatchewan-based ownership group plans a team in Regina or Saskatoon. There were rumors of a team in Quebec City or Sherbrook. The league approached Mississauga, Ontario, around a potential team stadium. There have been rumors that Ottawa Fury FC will feature alongside the AFC Champions League Championship, where it will join the league in 2019, prompted by the acquisitions of Canadian players before the 2018 season. However, on September 5, the club announced that it would remain in Asia. Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group Executive Mark Judy said the club would not rule out joining the league at a later date and discussions would continue. Following Ottawa’s decision not to join the league, Clanashan stated that the league was looking at areas and owners in St. John’s, Moncton, Laval, Quebec City, Tray Cities, Niagara, Durham, Mississauga, Regina, Saskatoon, and Kelowna. He noted that while the team was working towards the eighth team for 2019, they were ready to start with seven teams. On November 5, 2018, League Commissioner David Clanchan confirmed the league’s plans to gradually expand, pointing to 10 clubs by 2020, followed by 14 clubs in 2024 and 16 clubs in 2026. In connection with the 2020 expansion, Clanashan also stated, “We are working hard with 5 to 6 locations right now for three additional locations by 2020” while noting that the biggest problem is the lack of facilities.

Derby Games

Derby 905

The 905 Derby is a football competition between top-flight Canadian clubs, Forgie and York Nine, both located in southern Ontario. The Derby gets the nickname “905” from the 905 area code, which includes both Hamilton and York. FC Forge and York Nine are the only teams in Ontario in the league, the two closest teams, with stadiums less than 65 kilometers (40 miles) away. In January 2019, the Canadian Premier League announced that its opening match on April 27, 2019, will be between FC Forgie and York Nine at Tim Fortness Stadium, the first-ever launch of the 905 derbies. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.

Canadian Clasico

The Canadian Clasico, or the Battle of Alberta, is a football competition between the Cavalry Club and the Edmonton Club. The name was proposed by supporters and was inspired by the Clasico competition between Real Madrid and Club Barcelona. The Wildrose Cup is awarded annually to a team that wins the most points in a league game series. The first game of the Canadian Clasico was played in 2018 when Edmonton FC played against regional rivals Cagliari Football FC in two friendlies in preparation for their upcoming season. Matches were also used for Edmonton FC’s interest to join the CLS-Canadian Premier League. In May and June respectively, it was announced that Cavalry, based in Kaari, and Edmonton would join the Canadian Premier League, where competition would continue. In preparation for the season, Cavalry announced that they would host a match against Edmonton on 29 September, followed by a game on 20 October at Clark Stadium in Edmonton. On 11 September 2019, Cavalry clinched the first Wildrose Cup Championship with a 1-0 win over Edmonton.

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