Spring 2019 began a new chapter for football/soccer in Canada. With the launch of the Canadian Premier League's inaugural season Canada seems to have found a stable system. The Canadian Premier League will serve as the nation's highest tier on it’s domestic pyramid system. When the league was announced there was lingering questions that I had, that even led to questions still lingering throughout the season. Like where would Teams be placed, who’s going to run it or how they’ll coexist with MLS teams and teams from other associations. After following along with the different stories and fixtures throughout the leagues opening season, taking time to look into it and what the whole idea of the league was to begin with. Next I dove into looking into how the league was operated and how it got going and is organized. Canadian Premier League abbreviated to CanPL, with the way things are looking will be the future of countries soccer operations. In this article I’ll mention reasons why the league and system will grow, develop and become the forefront of CONCACAF associated nations with Leagues and in Canada in general.
The main reason why I like the idea of the CanPL and why I believe it will benefit everyone associated with the sport. First and foremost without a full out domestic league it challenges a nation to be competitive on a continental or even global scale. A big advantage to help Canadian players is having a domestic league with regulations in place to help ensure growth and improve overall national talent. For example like most leagues in the world there’s a rule made that teams have to have a certain amount of players from Canada. Just like other leagues where the rule states teams having to have a percentage of players from the home nation that club is based in. In result with that rule means developing talent is easier by having constant access to professional positions so they can get the opportunity to increase their level of play in an organized setting. Adding to that claim the league has furthered efforts by also making a draft for university athletes in the Canadian university athletic programs. Basically that translates to literally having a draft simple as that. The one time this league adapts a more North American approach to things, which I do believe will benefit them. As they are searching for talent from a whole new place to find it at. With that rule being made it genuinely opens doors and opportunities for Canadian athletes to become professional. When at one point in time becoming a professional footballer from Canada seemed impossible now you have the option of maybe starting in the CanPL, staying and fulfilling a career in this Canadian system or taking this as the first step in finding bigger opportunities overseas or domestically.
The second big reason for why I really like the idea of this league being formed and running. Is it’s going to improve levels of competition throughout the nation in all levels. A clear instance of this is the Canadian Championship, also known as the Voyageur Cup. The Voyageur Cup is Canada’s version of a knockout cup competition for all Canadian clubs like the FA Cup or US Open Cup. With the inauguration of the league this spring I knew it would help legitimize the cup competition. Despite Toronto FC still favourites every year and ultimately winning it most years, the tournament is taking a step in the right direction. Now with more competition for the MLS sides and even Ottawa’s Fury, it’ll eventually close the gap in quality between all the clubs once they continue to compete against each other. We saw it this year with Cavalry FC eliminating MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps showing that these teams aren’t to be taken lightly. Regardless of being eliminated next round, Cavalry were able to show heart and give Montreal a real run for their money. This was just this year give it some time and have patience eventually games will be more competitive and less predictable. Regardless of all that having more teams to play against is always a good thing.
With these reasons plus good sponsors and organization this league will grow and grow and continue to do so. I’ve been impressed with the level of play and also how well it’s all come together in such a short span of time. With the addition of clubs in other areas around Canada plus the CanPL saying they are eventually going to add promotion-relegation into the system when the time is right. The league has shown signs of how it’s run on a club based system as opposed to a franchise like system in all North American sports leagues. With the indications seen throughout this opening year would tell me is they are on the right path and it will only get better.