The Canadian Premier League
The Canadian Premier League will start its inaugural season on April 27 2019. The first season will feature seven teams spanning almost the full width of the country. The founding teams span Pacific FC on west coast’s Vancouver Island to Halifax as HFX Wanderers FC on the easy coast with York 9 FC, Forge FC, Valour FC, Cavalry FC, FC Edmonton in between.
The aim is to expand over time and unlike the MLS have a relegation/promotion league system. Many cities have shown some interest and this first season will be an important test for the league in its initial life.
Teams are playing in stadiums that range from 5,100 to 33,000 capacity, FC Edmonton to Valour FC respectively. Not all teams are residing in long term facilities, for example York 9 FC are using York University’s York Lions Stadium until plans are finalized and a brand new ground can be built.
There has been a new mini wave of talent emerging that promises a better team, perhaps in time for the US/Mexico/Canada hosted 2026 World Cup. In the previous decades players like Owen Hargreaves didn’t even choose to represent the country and the few other recognizable names didn’t make a big enough mark in the country itself. The three Canadian teams in the ML have opened a new market and attracted interest in the game but three teams is not enough. The MLS Reserves and United Soccer League did and do provide small avenues for staying and developing in North America but a Canada only league can make it more local and attract more Canada wide interest.
Now players like Cyle Larin and Alphonso Davies are young and gaining experience at Besiktas and Bayern Munich, others like
Ballou Tabla play for Barcelona B (he is currently on loan at Segunda Division Albacete). Perhaps crucially all three of the above are offensive talents, that is in contrast with most of the previous generations of top Canadian players such as goalie Craig Forrest and defender Jason De Vos.
The first season of the Canadian Premier League will run until October 19 2019.