The Canadian Premier League (“CPL”) establishes a first division professional football league across this vast country – the world’s second largest in area size. The CPL – which began with seven teams in 2019 – has a traditional league structure where teams play each other home and away over a season that runs from late April to October.
The league has the third longest domestic away trip in football. Pacific FC – based on Vancouver Island, British Columbia – are 4,476km (2,781 miles) from the home of HFX Wanderers FC in Nova Scotia. It would be quicker to fly from London to Toronto.
2020 sees the addition of the nation’s capital to the league, with new club Atlético Ottawa joining the league, in a new venture made possible by LaLiga side Atlético de Madrid.
The 2020 had to be completely revised due to the COVID-10 pandemic. [The league had decided to move to a single-table format with a playoff at the end rewards the best overall team with a bye straight to Finals 2020. The other finalist will be decided with a playoff. With only eight teams in contention, that battle for third place was expected to be tight.] Instead, the league will have a summer tournament on Prince Edward Island, dubbed “The Island Games.”
The official colours of the CPL are “pitch green,” “sky navy,” and “ocean blue.” The crest features all three colours in a depiction of the Northern Star.
Relive The Birth of the League
“For Canadians, By Canadians”
Squads must have between 20 and 23 players, with only seven foreign nationals allowed in each.
Three U21 Players
A minimum of three domestic players in each squad must be under 21, and those players must play a minimum of 1,000 combined minutes a season.
Six Canadians must be in each team’s starting eleven.
“People here have been starved of the game. Now they have an opportunity to cheer on their own home teams and fall in love with the sport in Canada..”― Jim Brennan, former Canadian international, co-owner York 9 FC
“Growth is very equal from a gender perspective and football is the fastest-growing sport among new immigrants too. People who come to the country may not know basketball, hockey or NFL, but they know football.“― David Clanachan, the CPL’s first commissioner
“When I was looking to transition into the professional game, there weren’t that many opportunities. I was forced to look abroad. Now there is a proper professional environment here.“― Marcus Haber, Pacific FC
2019 At A Glance
The Canadian Premier League played its inaugural season in 2019, after years of planning, kicking things off at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ont. on April 27.
The first-ever championship of the CPL was played over a two-leg, home and away format. Forge FC of Hamilton were crowned the Canadian Premier League’s first champions after beating Cavalry FC 1-0 in the second leg of the 2019 Canadian Premier League Finals at Spruce Meadows. Forge FC won the two-game series 2-0 on aggregate.
Highest attendance: 17,611 Forge FC 1–1 York9 (April 27).
Total CPL Attendance 419,314
|1 T. Borges||Forge FC||13|
|2=||D. Malonga||Cavalry FC||11|
|2=||T. Campbell||Pacific FC||11|
|4||E. Ongaro||FC Edmonton||10|
|5||R. Gattas||York9 FC||9|
|6||R. Telfer||York9 FC||8|
|7=||A. Garcia||HFX Wanderers FC||7|
|7=||Oliver Minatel||Cavalry FC||7|
|7=||S. Karlsson Adjei||York9 FC||7|
|7=||M. Bustos||Valour FC||7|
|1=||M. Petrasso||Valour FC||5|
|1=||B. Fisk||Pacific FC||5|
|1=||B. Smith||Pacific FC||5|
|1=||K. Awuah||Forge FC||5|
|1=||T. Borges||Forge FC||5|
|1=||K. Bekker||Forge FC||5|
|7=||E. Adekugbe||Cavalry FC||4|
|7=||D. Abzi||York9 FC||4|
|7=||J. Escalante||Cavalry FC||4|
|7=||J. Büscher||Cavalry FC||4|
|7=||K. Porter||York9 FC||4|
|7=||M. Doner||York9 FC||4|
To the world, it’s the beautiful game.
To us, it’s proving we belong.
In the neighbourhoods and cities
that make us who we are.
This is a league we can call our own.
For Canadians, by Canadians.
We’re on a journey out of the shadows
and back into the hearts of a nation.
That noise you hear is us moving in.
And we’re bringing the best
home grown talent with us.
Players that bleed the same red as you.
Sworn to defend your home turf.
Playing for your loyalty.
Playing for respect.
Bonds will be forged.
History will be written.
The stage is ours.
The journey has begun.
Pour le monde entier, c’est le beau jeu.
Pour nous, c’est prouver qu’on existe.
Dans les quartiers et les villes
qui nous ressemblent.
C’est notre ligue à nous.
Une ligue canadienne, par des Canadiens.
Sortons de l’ombre, c’est notre mission.
Gagnons le cœur d’une nation.
Ce bruit, c’est nous qui avançons.
Avec les grands talents d’ici.
Des joueurs qui ont la ferveur dans le sang.
Qui jurent de défendre notre terrain.
Qui jouent pour votre loyauté.
Pour le respect.
Des liens se tissent.
Des allégeances se créent.
Des rivalités naissent.
C’est à nous de jouer.
Notre mission commence.
Tous uniques, Tous unis.
CPL News on Russo Soccer
CPL News from CanPL.ca
Photos: Canadian Premier League and respective clubs